Day 21: Paris Museums

Woke up early, but Vedran had not slept well so we rested until 10. Dilek spent that time updating the journal.

Today was a beautiful sunny day. We actually considered going back to Versailles so that we could get some nice pictures of the gardens. We decided against it however because it is after all winter, and nothing would be blooming at the garden.

Our first stop was the Carrefour where we bought the umbrella that broke as soon as we opened it. We tried to exchange it, but didn't have the receipt. The French, it seems will not call supervisors to ask for a return, even when they agree the product is faulty. Oh well, we started walking towards the University Science (or whatever), the same place Vedran had the crepe the night before. His aim was to get another crepe as well as get better pictures of the Eiffel Tower, as today was a very sunny day.

We got a crepe at the same stand, this time with a whole lot of extra Nutella (we told the vendor we were recurring customers from 2005 so he gave us a treat). In fact, he put in twice the amount of Nutella so we felt sick of it, but it was funny though as we were asking for it. Dilek got a crepe avec poulet. Thanks to the sunny weather we also got some nice shots of the tower, walked to the park, and had a really enjoyable morning.

After the tower we started walking towards the Orsay museum, however, our ambition was to find a nice cafe or lunch spot along the way. No such luck. Seriously, where are all the bakeries, all the cafe houses, all the baguettes? Last time, Paris was full of them.

In general, one of the summary impressions of Paris would be the complete and utter lack of food places. We expected small cafe vendors or cafeterias to be overflowing, but there were none.

The Orsay museum was nice enough, especially the large window clock at the top where we got some nice pictures, but not sure it deserves to be in the first place on Tripadvisor.

Thereafter we walked towards Notre Dame, which for Dilek was supposed to be the highlight of the day, stopping only for a few minutes on a bridge on the seine to have a Wasa knäckebröd (we were getting hungry as it was almost 15, and we had not had any food except the crepes).

When we got to Notre Dame, Vedran wanted to enter the church but Dilek wanted to go up to the tower. Vedran said that the tower was from inside the church, but Dilek knew the entrance was around the corner. Dilek has been here several times before, always trying to get to the tower but for various reasons never had the pleasure. Dilek also pointed out to Vedran that church was free whereas the tower had a cost and that we should prioritize the tower while there is sunlight, and it is open. Vedran replied that we had been queuing to the church and should use the queue time. Dilek then repeated that the church was free and the queue time was not that long, but Vedran had made up his mind.

Inside the church, it was dark and cold and terrible church music which put you to sleep. Vedran took his (long) time taking pictures, which Dilek didn't appreciate as she was very anxious to get to the tower before closing. When we finally exited the church and went to the tower, it was closed. They had closed earlier than the Paris passes say (they closed the tour 1:45 hours earlier from what is stated in the Museum pass), which of course Vedran could not have known, but Dilek was so sad.

By the time we got to the Louvre, Dilek was in real pain and exhausted from trying to walk fast (in accordance with Vedran's instructions). Also, we realized that things were extra hard on us because we had not eaten all day. It was about 17, and all we had the whole day was a crepe. Also, we had not really had any dinner the night before.

Notre Dame tower closed almost 2 hours early and even the Versailles was half closed (The Park and Marie Antoinette apartments). We felt cheated by the city of Paris for selling the Museum passes at full price with misleading information. We stopped at the Museum Pass sales office at the Louvre in order to get a partial refund for the pass. This time at least we go to talk to the Louvre Sales manager. The sales manager did not acknowledge the obvious mistakes but insisted that we can write a letter of complaint to the city. The city of Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and tourists are a cash Cow. Even as you check out from your prepaid hotel you will be milked by the city for another tourist "city tax", 15 euro for our 3-night stay. Dilek and Vedran decided to let it be and try to enjoy the museum. But a warning to all who buy a Paris Pass: 1) The information on the pass is not accurate 2) The Museums webpages are not updated 3) The Museums do not seem to care about false passes.

We started looking at the paintings in the Louvre, but the first order of business was to make friends with each other again. We managed to do so as much as we could, but as mentioned it had been a long rough day, both of us starving, and Dilek getting more and more handicapped due to her foot. We did the best we could.

There were 4 things Vedran wanted to see; 1) the big headless Angel 2) A grand painting + the Mona Lisa 3) The Louvre itself 4) statues of Isis and other historical artifacts that could fit in our book.

We actually managed to get through most of the museum, particularly enjoying the ancient Egyptian exhibition where we saw countless inspirations to Christianity (Isis = Mary; Horus = Jesus); Islam (Isis prayer position), and Buddhism (the sitting scribes of Egypt and Mesopotamia).

We also liked the Renaissance exhibition, the bronze exhibition and actually also enjoyed the Mona Lisa. We noticed her smile is more noticeable from the right (her left), we will google that later.

We stayed until closing; 21:30, and by now Dilek was in utter pain from her foot. Vedran had originally planned a proper dinner for our last night in Paris, but now as Dilek couldn't walk anymore and also everything was closed (we got out a bit after 22). Vedran wanted to take Dilek home in a taxi, but she felt she had been buttholed enough for one day, so we took the train. We found a small night open boutique close to our hotel and purchased some chips and yogurt for dinner (we also had noodles in our room). Maybe not the most romantic, but honestly it was so cold and dark, and we had had such a long day. All we wanted was to get home and get warm.

We pretty much collapsed at the hotel (about 24 hrs), happy that this day had finally come to an end.

Neither of the Paris attractions alone reaches up to the high standards of a Top 100 Wonder, however, together, the Paris Eiffel tower, the Versailles Palace, Notre Dame Church, and the Louvre Museum deserve a spot on the Top100 list.