Sunday 24 September 2017
By Maddison Briggs
The first full day off in Paris sees two groups emerge: the first is awake and ready with coffee in hand at 9am, the other (sleepier) group heads out not too long after. The first group exits the hostel and stumbles out into a Sunday morning market, complete with authentic local Parisians and vintage goods. A quick scour of the market is followed by a stroll along the right bank of the Seine river (setting: clear blue skies paired with warm Parisian sun). The destination is the Musee du Louvre, again.
This time venturing inside the museum, the group is in search of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa – not an easy task when one is so easily lost in the many exhibitions of art. Finally catching a glimpse of the treasured sight, the group is elated. All the excitement calls for ice-cream in the Jardin des Tuileries, the gardens that adjoin the Louvre, as we contemplate how on earth this is all actually real.
Ice cream reward for a successful visit to the Musee de Louvre!
Meanwhile, the second group has made it out of the hostel.
First stop: Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. On a mission, the group proceeds to venture to Soufflot’s Pantheon (an incredible sight) and the famous Shakespeare and Co bookstore (picture eclectic collection of literature housed in a small 17th century building). Enjoying the company, food and sunshine, the group continues to take in the sights of Paris.
By late afternoon both groups unite at the base of the Eiffel Tower for a rustic picnic complete with Camembert and French wine courtesy of group two. Together we watch the sun set, and the Tower light up. Could a day off in Paris get any better than that?!