my journal, may 11, 2014, begins:
"it's nice how coming back to paris feels familiar, almost like a homecoming. no pressure to pack in all the sights or stress about getting too lost."
we know paris.
after arriving at gare austerlitz, we caught a taxi to our hostel in montmartre, my absolute favorite neighborhood. tamar and i went for a fruitless hunt for food and an atm. i ended up having to lend her my american cash to get her through paris and on a train to amsterdam for her flight home. but while traveling, money issues happen to the best of us... after i literally ran out of all money or access to money with three weeks left in senegal, i'm happy to help in any way i can.
while tamar speed-repacked her luggage at her family friends' apartment, near the musée d'orsay, maddy and i headed for île de la cité.
ate mediocre cheese crêpes and argued our way in for free to a random historic building that turned out to be the most boring museum in existence. actually it's the conciergerie, a former prison, but i'm so glad i didn't pay. we stumbled upon marie antoinette's tomb, which we had no idea was there (throwback to da vinci in amboise... how have we just come across so many important graves in france?) then we hightailed it outta there; we had to go meet T.
|palais de justice.|
next door was the sainte-chapelle, the real reason i'd dragged maddy to l'île, a place i'd been wanting to go ever since grandad brought it up a few weeks prior. the stained glass is stunning. unfortunately, i only had about 30 seconds to see it. unlike the conciergerie next door, the chapel turned out to really only be free for eu residents, and i couldn't justify paying just to run in and out. it was immensely frustrating to come all this way and not get to go inside, though i snuck a peak through the giant wooden doors as we left.
|outside the sainte-chapelle|
weighed down somewhat by tamar's many pounds of luggage but more so by the impending thunderstorm, we headed on a long-anticipated pilgrimage.
|a little bit of senegal, in a very different place.|
|i don't think i'd ever been to jardin de tuileries, by the louvre.|
to ANGELINA. a perfect cup of hot chocolate, and an indulgence so worth it for today.
aside from a money-changing ordeal that took far longer than it should have, we headed directly from the garden to gare to nord, to see T off. well, we all had nutella crêpes by the station, too. one last hurrah.
This Is The End.
it wasn't the same once tamar was gone. but we did get to check into our room at the hostel, a bit seedy but with a fabulous view of the sacre-cœur.
maddy had never been to the sacre-cœur before, and it was one of the most special stops on my time in paris with mom and laura in march. it doesn't close until late at night, so we summited the steps at sunset.
inside was magical and full-circle for me. i love that you can't take photos in the basilica, so the only souvenirs i have are two memories, one in march with my three moms (mom, laura, nora :) ) and the second in may with my best friend. it was emotional, actually, and the whole moment kind of took me aback.
i didn't really need to take photos; i'd taken them all almost two months earlier. but this one spot is my favorite spot in the city, and i was excited to share it with maddy, see it one last time.
maddy and i spent the last night of our gap year buying bread, cheese, and chocolate at an epicerie and eating them in the hostel kitchen as we eavesdropped on the conversations of our argentinian fellow guests, privately laughing at how many mate tea-making accessories the porteños had brought on with them to europe.
hard to believe it's over. i feel like i spent the whole year so aware of where and when i was and how unique those circumstances were, yet the end was still an adjustment and i'm still processing all my reflections.
good night, paris.
on may 12, we used the last day of our eurail passes to hop on the train to charles de gaulle.