Despite the frigid weather (have I mentioned that it’s cold here), we’ve done tons of walking around Paris. Every time it rains, we debate buying an umbrella but the rain abates before we’ve pulled the trigger.
We’ve enjoyed lots of Parisian street food. In addition to the requisite crepes — we went for ham & cheese as well as nutella & banana — we’ve had a lot of baguette sandwiches on the go. Baguette sandwiches may be my favorite lunch ever. While the crepes are seriously delish, it’s hard to feel like a million bucks after ingesting copious amounts of cheese and nutella.
After a day of walking the streets, we opted to go to the Louvre for the afternoon. I’d been to the Louvre when I did my whirlwind Europe trip at 21, and it was as I remembered — overwhelming and pretty freakin’ tiring. I mean, there are over 35,000 pieces of artwork in there. I know people who have spent nearly their entire trip to Paris in the Louvre. While it’s undoubtedly well worth the visit (I mean, you are in Paris), it can also slowly but surely drain you of all energy. We sat on one of the circular couches for way longer than should be allowed; when you are watching the people rather than the artwork, you’ve been there for too long.
I would recommend that you don’t try to do the whole Louvre; I mean, it’s massive, you’ll kill yourself. Instead, tackle the wing that interests you most. You art aficionados could make multiple days of it, giving a wing a couple hours of your afternoon rather than attempting to run by everything in one day. I also highly recommend bringing snacks to keep your energy up, and maybe wear a CamelBak.
We only waited in line for about 10 minutes, but we are visiting Paris during its sub-Arctic season of late May. Word in the square is that lines can be horrendous so plan your visit for off-hours if possible.
A friend who moved to LA from Paris told me I had to get hot chocolate at Angelina. He said it was an otherworldly experience. We trekked through the rain to get to the tearoom; our soggy shoes and socks haven’t deterred us from walking for some reason.
The line for Angelina was insane. Apparently, people are more willing to wait in line for luscious warm drinks than world-renowned landmarks — most of the people in line did look American. We debated skipping it but we’d walked for about an hour to get here, and it was still pouring rain so we waited. There are two separate lines — one to sit in the tearoom and have the full-service experience, and one to get takeaway items from the cafe. We opted for the latter, and, while the line was still long, it was much shorter than the full-service option.
The bakery cases were full of adorable and yummy-looking baked goods. We didn’t mess around with anything that we hadn’t heard raved about incessantly so we got a hot chocolate to go.
Um, this is seriously the best hot chocolate ever. I’m pretty certain they just take high-quality, super-delicious chocolate and straight melt it down. There might be some cream thrown in there for good measure. Basically, there’s no way this tiny cup of hot chocolate is fewer than 1,000 calories because it’s that good. I’d take a sip and then just let it linger on my tongue for as long as possible — I kept swallowing and it was gone too soon!
We leave Paris late tonight and head to Florence. On to Italia!