The fact that I want to write about how little sleep I’ve had instead of the food, is telling. The food is amazing, of course. Even a simple cheese pizza or scalloped potatoes is a gourmet treat here because the cheese is so wonderful.
Again, the kids led the way into the city for a fun walking tour. In the days before the French Revolution, Sorbonne University students had to speak Latin, so the area around the university is called the Latin Quarter and we all had fun poking around the little streets filled with an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants. At Notre Dame a mass was in progress, and it’s hard to say whether the singing or the vestments were more beautiful. I liked a banner inside the church that said in French “He knows your name.” The stained glass window is the biggest in Europe, made up of 32,000 individual glass pieces.
Then the kids had five and a half hours of free time to see the Louvre and do whatever they wanted. My group wanted a leisurely afternoon, and we opted to see art, go to Starbucks, and to meander through the city and along the Seine. We also saw Sainte Chapelle, a 13th century church which has over 1,000 stained glass windows depicting Biblical scenes. It was such a beautiful sunny day, and it was as if we were inside a jewel box.
Since 2006 it has been a been a tradition in various cities around the world to go to a certain bridge with your lover, write your names on the lock, lock it to the bridge and throw away the key. This supposedly means that your love will last forever. As far as I can tell it was the lock makers and the capitalist experts in cheap Chinese imports who introduced this tradition in Paris, and now many of the bridges are covered in locks. The students readily shelled out the eight euros (over $10), for the cheap locks. I think it takes away from the historical beauty of the bridges.
The reunited group had dinner in a neighborhood, then at sunset, we took the little boats down the Seine to see the beautiful Paris landmarks. Still not finished with our adventures, we went to the top of the Montparnasse Tower to see the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle at 10 p.m.