Days 9 and 10: Paris

Our last couple of days in Paris were more laid back and slow-paced than the others. We still had some sights to see, in particular the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, on Ile de la Cite.

When we came out of the island’s metro station, the first thing we saw was the Marche aux Fleurs, or flower market, which was perfect because it was on my to-see list already:

Île de la Cité

I’m not the green thumb in the family – that honor goes to my parents and sister, who had a ball exploring the little shops selling all kinds of flowers, seeds and garden wares. I bought some lavender-scented soaps and satchels for a cousin and we soon walked the short couple of blocks to the Notre Dame:

Notre Dame de Paris

The cathedral is huge. I’m not particularly into gothic architecture, but it was impossible not to be impressed by the imposing walls, statues and stained glass:

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

I spent a good amount of time walking around and exploring inside the church. As one of Paris’ most popular landmarks, the Notre Dame attracted tourists aplenty, but the sheer size of the cathedral meant that it never felt crowded or stuffy.

Afterwards, we started walking towards Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge across the River Seine and reputably the one with the best views. Unfortunately, it was overcast while we walked across the bridge, so it lacked the je ne sais quoi of say, the view you’d get during a balmy evening sunset. But still, it was nice:

Île de la Cité

I had planned for us to pay a visit to Berthillon, the infamous Parisian ice creamery, at the nearby Ile Saint-Louis, but they were closed that day. Instead, we stopped at Jess’ Cafe near the bridge and I had a croque monsieur that didn’t live up to my expectations, but was filling nonetheless:

Croque monsieur and frites

We took our time walking towards the metro station after lunch. Ile de la Cite is full of flower shops, cafes and pet stores; in other words, the place is oozing with charm. By the time we got back to our apartment it was time to pack up and say goodby to Paris. The next morning we took a taxi to Charles de Gaulle Airport to catch our flight to our next destination: Istanbul.

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