Paris is just too beautiful. I absolutely adore just walking down any street. Any street at all. The white buildings that set such a different mood than the dark grey stone ones of Belgium. The ornate, wrought iron railings that seem to line every window, that would be holding back red geraniums if it were any season other than winter. The art nouveau everything, from train stations to lampposts. I have a tendency to walk around with my mouth open, staring at everything. And that’s all on just the outside.
We tried twice to get into the catacombs. Didn’t happen. You can’t buy tickets ahead of time and the line both times we tried was hours long. When you’re only in town for two days, that wait is just too long. So instead, we wandered. And rode the metro. I love the metro and how each station has it’s own personality. Take the metro in Washington D.C. and every station is that blah grey, lit from below making it a little bit spooky. In Paris, you never know what you’ll see when those doors slide open. Or hear, actually. We passed by a saxophone player in one station, a harpist in another, and a mini orchestra in yet another.
Day two saw us try the catacombs, give up on the catacombs, then just wander. Through the Luxembourg Gardens, pass into the St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, then over Le Pont de l’Archevêché to see Notre Dame. We chose to cross this specific bridge for a reason. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Bridge of Locks?
Sometime around the year 2000, couples began attaching padlocks, with their initials carved into them, onto the bridge. Then they toss the keys into the river. It’s not the only love lock bridge in the world, but it’s pretty impressive. There is absolutely no bridge space left and the locks are now being attached to each other. In the twenty minutes we were standing there, we saw three separate couples attach their locks. How the bridge has not collapsed into the river is beyond me. But we weren’t only there to gawk at the locks.
There’s a geocache hidden among the locks. And we found it! And we didn’t just find it for ourselves. We realized that as we were signing the log, there was a German group looking at us, waiting to hop on the cache as soon as we left. It’s a pretty popular place… for loving couples and geocachers, alike.
And so another weekend in Paris ended. We will be back. Maybe with a lock? Maybe to see the catacombs? Maybe to actually make it inside the Louvre? It’s only two hours down the road, so we’ll be back to do it all.