Paris, Day 3

October 6, 2012 (Saturday) – our third day in Paris. On this day the first stop on the itinerary was La Sainte-Chapelle, but first we stopped by Pomme de Pain to fuel up:

Pomme de Pain

After some delicious sandwiches and coffees, we took the Metro from Boissière to Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre:

Paris Métro
Looks externally very similar to Hong Kong’s MTR

If you’re familiar with Paris you might be wondering why we got off at Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre to get to Sainte Chapelle. Well, no particular reason, just wanted to walk around and take in the sights. Of course, we couldn’t miss the famous Pont Neuf:

Pont Neuf
5:30 PM. Paris. Today. Pont Neuf. You come alone.

I think I almost saw Jason Bourne looking down at us. Anyway, we finally made it to La Sainte-Chapelle. We paid the admission fee and went inside:

La Sainte Chapelle, Lower Floor

I felt a sense of awe and fascination as I walked around inside this nearly 800-year old building. The length of time is almost unfathomable… how could it still remain standing? How could it be in such good condition? The ingenuity of man is definitely not something to be underestimated.

La Sainte Chapelle Stained Glass

I’m not too familiar with bible stories but apparently the stained glass panels depict scenes from the bible. I wondered if this was the king’s little private bedtime story that he would visit each night. In a time before the printing press, electricity, and television, I’d imagine the stained glass would be as good as it gets. Pretty cool.

Notre Dame de Paris was the next stop. After visiting La Sainte Chapelle, it seemed a bit anti-climactic. For one, there were more tourists and it was a lot more crowded. Secondly, from a religious (or lack thereof) point of view, it was just more of the same to me. I did think that it was cool that people were actually entombed there.

Crypt of Jean Juvénal des Ursins inside Notre Dame de Paris

We had lunch afterwards at a cafe near the Notre Dame. Ugh, what a disaster. Tourist food at tourist prices. Don’t know what we were thinking, but at the same time I guess in a tourist area you can’t ask for much.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Notre Dame Archaeological Crypt. This is a great place to visit if archaeology (and getting away from the crowds) is your thing. We spent more time here than at the previous two places combined, learning about the history of Paris and studying the old ruins. To me, these ruins were even more significant than La Sainte Chapelle or Notre Dame because normal people, as opposed to royalty (or the clergy), once lived amongst them.

Notre Dame Archaelogical Crypt

Having walked all day, we were tired and made our way back to our neighborhood, stopping by the supermarket to buy dinner. Of course, the day would not be complete without polishing off another bottle of Bordeaux:

Chateau Les Moutins
You try taking a sharp picture after a bottle of Bordeaux…

Our 3rd day in Paris, and what a day it was!

Next: Paris, Day 4 – Walking, Pâtisseries, and the Louvre

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