Finally! March 31st. The day in which my friends arrived. Reunited at last.
Zita, Charlotte, and I planned out an epic European trip. The first three days were filled with London shenaniganery. We went to Speedy’s (where BBC Sherlock is filmed,) walked along the Tower Bridge and the Southbank of the Thames, stumbled through Borough Market, Brick Lane, Buckingham Palace (something was filming…but more on that later), Leicester Square, Apple Market in Covent Gardens, and Trafalgar Square, as well as experiencing Flat Iron, Franco Manca, and a West End show (Kinky Boots.)
After two and a half days of London, the three of us hopped on a train and sped through the British countryside (and then through the Chunnel) to Paris, France.
Upon our arrival in France, the very first thing we did was go find the Louvre (as it was really close to our AirBnB).
As it was getting late in the evening, we went to find food and called it an early evening.
The following morning, we got up early and went to actually visit the Louvre. We entered in through the Carrousel du Louvre (a downstairs entrance with a much shorter line) and only waited about 45 minutes.
Honestly, after reading so many people say that the Mona Lisa was smaller than anticipated, I was delightfully surprised! I expected like…a postcard. It was larger than I had thought.
From there, we left and walked along the Seine. We passed several bridges, including Pont des Arts (where the locks used to be….and have since been removed) and Pont Neuf which is the point of much action during the first Bourne movie.
We eventually crossed a bridge into Ile de la Cité in an attempt to catch a walking tour of the city. Unfortunately, the walking tour we were looking for doesn’t run in April…so there we were, standing outside Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris without a tour guide, when we decided that we don’t need no stinking tour guide! Off we trotted on our own.
We wandered East along the island until we came across the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation which was (most unfortunately) closed but (fortunately) pointed us in the direction of the Holocaust Museum in the city.
We spent an hour or two there, scouring the museum and Holocaust monument, as well as their special exhibition on the Holocaust as its portrayed in comic books.
Following that, we headed East until we stumbled upon the July Column which stands at the former site of Bastille prison.
At this point, our group separated. I had made the decision to walk the hour-long trek up to Sacré-Cœur whereas my ladies wanted to take the underground and hit up a store on the way. We met up at the Sacré-Cœur two hours later.
From there, we slowly worked our way back down the hill, and sought out the Le mur des je t’aime which was a wall with “I Love You” in nearly every language conceivable.
And from there, we walked to our last stop of this particular excursion.
From there, we went home and had dinner, before emerging that evening to experience one last thing.
The following day, we decided to take a day trip out to Versailles. (My main justification being that my favorite episode of Doctor Who is Girl in the Fireplace and I simply couldn’t be that close to Versailles without going to see Versailles…even if it wasn’t filmed there.)
We hopped on the train, determined to spend no more than two or three hours there (HAH!).
Upon our return to Paris, we made one final stop at Les Catacombes de Paris. We saw the short line and scoffed, for we were conquerors of the ginormous line at Versailles.
While waiting in this line (two hours, maybe?) I discovered that the filming we had witnessed a few days prior had been the Mary Poppins sequel. I was THAT CLOSE to Lin-Manuel Miranda and I missed him! Ughhhh. I was so upset.
From here, we called it a day. On the way home, we stopped for McDonald’s (to see how it compares to the US) and the following morning we were on our way to Croatia.