After that very eventful and tiring day, and a broken nights sleep, which was weird as I woke up because my legs were aching. What the? It is kinda nice, that feeling. Have you ever felt it?
Getting out of bed, bidding goodbye to my hostelmate, I ventured down, had breakfast, checked out and sat down in the lobby, using the wifi and figuring out the days plan. It didn’t take very long as I already had a faint idea in mind. The girl I met yesterday and I had made plans to go to the Catacombs, during the afternoon. She isn’t a morning person, but I wasn’t going to spend my morning in bed ( because I had 1 day and she had 1000). So, I decided to explore the Cathedral of Notre Dame in further depth. Come back for the Catacombs and then see how it goes.
Remember how my timing had been so perfect? Well, add another perfect to it! That’s how lucky I got. Just as I reached the Cathedral, I realised there was something on. It was a Sunday morning. What do Christians do on a sunday morning? Mass. Yes, that’s what I witnessed. The high priest followed by his 4 disciples advancing slowly through the path, cleansing their surroundings, to reach the podium from where the high priest performs the sermon. Correct me if I’ve used the wrong word somewhere, I’m not very well versed with the terms. I sat through it all, which was in French(duh!). Understood bits and pieces, and was so amazed by the beauty of it that I forgot / decided not to take any photos. In the middle I took a short video just for souvenirs sake. There were a lot of complicated procedures in between, involving the Golden Bible and a Chalice. (Judas Chalice?). In the end, I was offered the serving, a weird circular disc, which I ate seeing others do it. Interesting.
Energised with the experience, I left to explore the gardens outside.
Pro Tip : There’s a public toilet (free) right inside the garden next to the Cathedral. Fulfill all your city center needs.
Oh, look at what I found on this bridge! ( not the love lock bridge)
Moving back, I reached the Catacombs at 3, standing in line waiting for Dorothy. She arrived at 3:45 (sigh) and our turn arrived at 4. It was decent-ish. Pretty boring after you see the first few bodies, because it’s simply the same thing over and over again for 1.2 km. Well, we did get to go into the catacombs, so there’s that for the 8€ ticket.
It was about 4:30 or 5, and we hadn’t had lunch! Famished and tired as hell, we took the metro to the subway next to Cathedral de Notre Dame. When you don’t know what to eat and don’t want to spend much, go to subway! We took our subs on the go, sat on the bridge over the water, next to the cathedral. During this time, the place transforms! The Cathedral closes, and performers take over the square to showcase their talents! Roller skaters, dancers, musicians! I witnessed them all. Bloody brilliant! Soon after this, we parted ways and I was sitting at the Cathedral, listening to some amazing music, looking at the beautiful sky and the beautiful monument next to me. Oh, and the million tourists trying to get a nice photo clicked.
At 8:45, it was time for me to take the metro to the train station, and again I reached pretty fast. I prefered being earlier than late. This was the last train to Douai. Not. Taking. Any.Chances.
Since I had a lot of time, I played the free piano on the station, which felt really nice. I got a place to rest my aching legs and exercise my fingers. Over the course of these 2 days, I’d walked 50 kms! That’s right, fifty!
Budget tip: This whole trip, including travel to and from Douai, took me 100€. 20€ to go, 20€ to come back, 20€ for the night stay, 8€ for the catacomb trip, 20€ on (unnecesary but worth it(that’s what I’ve been telling myself)) cullinary experiences and 12€ for breakfast, lunch on Day 0 and Day 1. So, if you want to experience Paris like I did, once you get here, all it takes is about 35€ for 2 days! Some people pay that much just to get their photo photoshopped next to the Eiffel Tower 😉
Cullinary Experience #1 : That late night dinner at a chinese restaurant with tricky prices. Ah, well. Be careful about what you order! Confirm prices before hand to be extra sure 🙂
Cullinary Experience #2 : waffles and ice cream at Häagen Dazs.