Paris, France – Europe Day 19- June 15


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We woke around 10, had a short breakfast of more bread and cheese, and walked along the canal towards Lolita’s hotel. The canal is beautiful. Along each side are parks, museums, and open-air concert venues. The walk was refreshing and a good way to start my day after a long night. We took the metro the last bit of the way to Lolita’s work where she got off. Alex and I continued on the metro to the Louvre where we were to spend the day.

EU members get into the Louvre for free, so Alex went to one counter, got a free ticket, went to another counter and got a second free ticket, and voila, free admission for two to the Louvre. Alex and I spent the afternoon in the Louvre together getting lost and admiring art. Alex showed me some of her favorite pieces as we meandered around the museum. At 3:30 Alex had to leave for a driving lesson. She explained that because Paris was so congested and public transportation was so good, many people didn’t need driver’s licenses, or got them later. Alex was 20 and just now getting hers.

I left the Louvre shortly after her to head to the catacombs, which I found out were closed. So I returned to the Louvre and spent the rest of the day there walking through the statue garden, doing a Rick Steve’s walking tour of the Louvre, and sitting in the park behind the Louvre napping. I headed over to Alex’s apartment around 8 to meet her for dinner. Alex lives in a beautiful apartment on the second floor only 2 blocks to the Notre Dame. When I got to her apartment she buzzed me in so I could put my bag down and we walked to a local supermarket to buy groceries for a pasta dinner with bread, cheese, and wine.

After dinner, Alex and I went to a Jazz club in the basement of a former prison. The club was one of my favorite places in Europe so far. From the outside, the building is so unassuming and one could easily pass it by. Stepping into the first floor of the bar, its secrets are still not revealed. We walked to the back and down a steep set of stone stairs into a rough stone-walled basement. The basement was made up of several rooms, a bar room, and a room for jazz. The windows separating the two rooms still had bars on them from when the place was a prison. Alex and I got 2 gin and tonics and walked into the jazz room to listen while we waited for Lolita to meet us after work. Around 10:30 Lolita came by and we left the club to go back to Alex’s apartment. I played DJ while the girls made drinks and we waited for Coline to come over. Coline was Alex’s friend and they both studied advertising together in Paris. Lolita had had a long day at work and left shortly after Coline arrived. Coline, Alex, and I went to a bar at the site of the former Bastille and hung out for most of the night before Alex and I returned to her apartment and Coline returned to hers. Along the walk home, Alex pointed out sites to me such as the oldest building in Paris, a school for priests, and the best ice cream place in Paris. I was very impressed. She was a very good drunk tour guide.

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