Sunday, December 12, 2010

Walking...and walking....and walking....and walking....

Holy crow. I am EXHAUSTED.

Today we decided we wanted to go back to Notre Dame, we both really loved it but felt rushed before because we had to make it back in time to get the last boat back to the Eiffel Tower. So we took the Metro and walked around the Ile-de-la-Cite, which is the little island on the Seine river where Notre Dame is. We had also heard that Saint Chapelle was a really pretty church that we should see, which is also located on this island. However, when we got there, the line to get in was pretty long so we decided to walk around, get some lunch, and try again. So this time, the line was a little shorter so we decided to go for it. We waited and waited, probs close to about 30 minutes or so, and we get to the door for the security checkpoint and all of a sudden this HUGE group of Asian kids comes along with their little tour guide dude and cuts the line. UGH. Turns out the monument/city/museum pass thing gets you to the front of all the lines, and ALL of them had one. So we had to wait another 15 minutes while they all went through security.. So. Annoying.

So we finally make it inside, after 13 euros total to get in, and the place is TINY. Seriously, like one room..or sanctuary as they like to call them. Don't get me wrong, the stained glass was pretty darned cool. But all that waiting and frustration and money for one ding-dang room?!? Needless to say, I was mildly annoyed and mom was REALLY annoyed. Which just turned out to be funny for me :)

Funny story whilst at the Saint-Chapelle. So we walk into the lobby area, which at first I thought was the whole thing and I would've been REALLY mad had that been the case, but it turns out (with no help from signage, naturally) that you had to go through this little door in the corner of the room, up a very narrow, steep, and spiral staircase. So we're walking up this staircase and I trip on one of the steps and almost eat it, but fortunately I catch myself. But right behind me is Mom, who sees me trip, gasps BIG time, and then says "Katie!!" in kind of an annoyed-at-your-toddler voice, sorta like "How Dare You!!!!" Of course I start CRACKING UP in the middle of this stairway, which makes mom start laughing obviously, and then I'm like "well jeez, I wasn't TRYING to trip and potentially hurt myself while taking you and whoever's behind you with me to our doom at the bottom of these god forsaken stairs!! SHEESH!" So then we're both just losing it in the middle of this dumb little church that was a total waste of time and money, and of COURSE there was a sign that I had seen as we entered that said, Please be quiet in the church! Or something along those lines, which naturally just made it that much more those were good times.

So after our little fiasco at Saint Chapelle, we went back to Notre Dame and found out there was going to be a concert pretty soon, so we waited around inside and it was way more crowded than the other day. But eventually the concert started and it was really cool!! It was organ music, although after a while I got a little tired of it, but I just kept thinking about the fact that I was inside NOTRE DAME listening to an organ that was probably like a million years old!! Ok not really, but it was still cool to realize where I was and the music made it even cooler. I just love Notre Dame, it's definitely my favorite place we've been this week!!

Earlier in the day, we decided that we wanted to go to the Champs-Elysees at night so I could take pictures of the pretty lights. I also wanted some pictures of the Arc de Triomphe all lit up. So as I was looking at the map, it really didn't look like it was that far from where we were, at Notre Dame, to the Obelisk, which is the beginning of the Champs-Elysees, and the Arc de Triomphe is at the end. I figured we could walk there, grab some dinner, walk to the Arc and then head home. I thought about taking the metro, but neither mom nor I wanted to waste the ticket. So we figured it could be fun to walk and see the city, and it really didn't look THAT far.....oy vey.

We start walking. And walking. And walking. And walking. Keep in mind that the sun was down at this point, so it's FREEZING, and we've already been walking all day, so we're not exactly just taking a Sunday stroll for the heck of it here. So we're still walking, and FINALLY we make it to the Obelisk. Then as we make our way up the Champs-Elysees, there are MOBS, even HORDES of people...then we see that there is some kind of Christmas festival thing going on and there are all kinds of tents and things with vendors selling all kinds of stuff. So basically it was PACKED, which meant it was VERY slow moving...finally we grab dinner, and after wards we both feel infinitely better. So we keep walking...and walking...and walking...and finally we make it to the fancy-schmancy part of the street where Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss and all the ritzy places are, and we're still not even there yet!!

FINALLY...we make it to the Arc. I snap some pictures, take a couple of mom and me, and we are both SO TIRED. We hoof it back to the Metro station, make it back to the apartment, and just collapse onto our beds...

I decided to google map how far it was from Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe by foot, and it's 5 kilometers. Which, in American, is a little over 3 MILES...after already walking ALL DAY!!!! WHY DID WE (mostly me) DO THAT TO OURSELVES?!?!? SO FAR AWAY.....Here's the visual.

Moral of the story. Don't trust maps. And maybe check the legend/key to see what the distance ratio is. FOR THE LOVE OF PIZZA JUST DO IT!!

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