One Last Grand Tour

I woke up at 6am on a Sunday morning. I think the woman I was sharing the hostel room with was pissed off at me, but from what I could tell, she had somewhere to be pretty early, too. Still, I completely understand not wanting to wake up to the sound of someone else’s alarm clock.

But I had to! I had a bike tour booked for 8:30am and I knew I’d probably take half an hour just to get out of bed (which I did) and I wanted enough time to get ready and have breakfast and be early. I was running on time until I realized while on the train that I had forgotten something really important (money) so I had to go all the way back to the hostel and then I returned again.

Remember that thing I spent two hours looking for yesterday? It was actually the Place Vendome, the meeting place for the bike tour. It turns out I got off at the wrong stop so I was looking for it in the wrong part of the city and ended up at the shops I was at on the first day. But while I was lost, I also stumbled across this cool hidden garden place. I’ll get to that later.

I was not late to the bike tour, thankfully. Nor did I have to wait very long for it to start, as I probably would have had I not forgotten anything. The tour guide showed up and all twelve of us were already there, so we got right to it!

My steed for this particular adventure was motorized! Does this count as a motorbike?

My steed for this particular adventure was motorized! Does this count as a motorbike?

The tour was about Paris’ charms and secrets which had less mainstream and more behind-the-scenes stuff to it, and I didn’t take many pictures because: a) There wasn’t much to look at but the story that the guide told us was what was interesting. b) I’ve put pictures of the place or thing up before, either in my May trip or this one. c) I didn’t want my camera battery to run out prematurely.

But here are a few pictures I did get.

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The first place we rode to just happened to be the garden I found by accident yesterday while looking for the meeting point for the tour today. The letters spell out “UNE PIERRE DANS MON JARDIN”. I don’t know why there’s a Pierre in the garden, but okey dokey.

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We also visited the Louvre again (twice!) and the tour guide, Tomomitsu “Tom”, (I’ll show you Tom later) conspired with Robert (I’m really bad at names and we were never really introduced, but I think his name was Robert. He and his wife, whose name I never caught, were good company on the tour. They were visiting from the UK, too.) to get this photo which I didn’t even notice until uploading it on my laptop because I’ve been turning off my camera before looking at pictures to preserve battery and figured I’d see how it turned out when I get on my laptop.

We also saw this enormous mausoleum containing the bodies of famous people (and a famous person’s wife). There are 80 men and four women inside (including the wife).

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But hey, at least two of those women got to have their faces on gigantic banners…

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This wasn’t one of the attractions, I just thought it looked nice.

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I think this is a school of medicine, but I could be wrong. It was fancy, anyway.

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One of my favourite things from the tour was this crooked little alleyway which was once at the border of Paris. A lot of crazy things happened there. Guillotines were made, coffee was served, Ben Franklin wrote the American Constitution, Napoleon dined-and-dashed and left his hat. After the tour, I went back to the beautiful restaurant where Napoleon left his hat and had a late lunch there. I saw the hat, too. It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Either Napoleon had a tiny head (very possible considering the size of the rest of him) or every artist in history photoshopped his hat to look bigger (also possible, considering how Napoleon knew lots of painters personally so he would be able to tell them how exactly to “photoshop” the paintings that depicted him.)

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This is Tom. He was an awesome tour guide. A few things went wrong (I lost my bike lock at one point and he lost his at another point which I’ll admit made me feel a tiny bit better) but he was great. Afterwards, he even told me how exactly to go back to the restaurant we visited in the twisty alleyway and dropped a few extra information points about the exact restaurant I was going to. (It’s called Le Procope if anyone wants to check it out on Wiki or in person.)

After my fancy-schmancy lunch in this place that has been operating since the 1600s, I went to my favourite museum, Musée D’Orsay, and stayed until closing. If you’ve been around long, you’ll remember I did it back in May (here), so I tried not to repeat myself with pictures.

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It took lots of stairs to get this picture.

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Being crowned Empress of France #justgirlythings

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You know when you doodle someone’s picture in the corner of your notebook and write something like “My name is Donald Trump and I smell like farts” (for example)? Well this says, “I’m Bacchus who pressures delicious nectar for men. —Beethoven” My translation might be bad, but either way, I don’t know what the artist was doing.

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Sacré-Coeur, as seen from a big clock-window in Musée D’Orsay at sunset.

After that, I went outside and there was street music all over the place so I sat by the Seine river and listened to some for a bit. It was a good way to end the day, I think.

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As with all of the posts from this wonderful weekend, I will be adding more pictures to my Society6 page when I get back to England.

So that’s the end of it. I’ll be returning for uni tomorrow. Is there anything I should’ve tried to fit in? What was your favourite part? Where should I run away to next? Tell me below!

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