It was another cold morning and it was pouring down outside when we woke up, the rain drumming on the window. We ate müsli with fruit and soy yogurt for breakfast, sitting on the edge of our bed.
We put on our warmest layers of clothing and off we were to the metro, taking the metro to d’Orsay and from there taking two others to Versaille Chateau, figuring out how to get there through a bit of trial and error. The wind was absolutely freezing by Versaille and we quickly made our way inside, where we got through with an audio guide for free! Paris is the place to be if you’re an EU citizen under 26.
We walked through all the rooms, learning about life at court and the multiple etiquettes. It was an extravagant place, but we were actually a bit surprised that it wasn’t more splendid and extraordinary, seeing as the Sun King had lived there and all. The castle in Vienna had somehow seemed more impressive (although it had likely been more intact, making it an unfair comparison).
It was fascinating none the less and it was interesting to learn about the royals’ lives. After having walked through the rooms on the two floors we wanted to take a stroll through the extravagant garden that we had glimpsed from the windows, but it turned out that it wasn’t a part of our ticket. On a sunny day we might have spent the money, but we were both cold, and a long walk outside didn’t seem too appealing at the time, so we pretty quickly agreed to leave it for another trip. We instead found our way to the café Positive just a 5 minute walk from the castle. It had loads of vegan dishes to choose from and was cosy inside. The food actually tasted really great - the first impressive food we ate in Paris thereby turned out to be outside of Paris - and we stayed for a while drinking hot drinks afterward and planning the next days.
We took the metro back to Paris and walked to the modern art museum, musée national d'art moderne, housed in the Centre Georges-Pompidou. The exterior was bizarre in itself, like a building stripped bare to expose everything behind the usual walls, and as we took the escalator upstairs we had an amazing view over Paris.
The museum turned out fantastic with an amazing collection of all different styles, periods and artists from the start of the 20. century and up until present day. Picasso, Dalí, Mattise, Miró, Pollock and Warhol were only few of many talented artists and I even learned about some movements I had never heard of before.
Some of the exhibitions were really weird too though, with actually disturbing video exhibitions and minimalistic works I must say I didn’t quite understand. But all in all the museum was amazing and we stayed until just before 7 pm.
We walked to the vegan rice restaurant Riz Riz, where we ate a delicious and affordable meal for dinner, the second good meal of the day. I might’ve been too quick to judge Parisian food after all.
Around 8 pm we walked to the cinema Gaumont Opéra, where we saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was being replayed in the whole of Paris, probably because of some anniversary, and we watched it joyfully with almost a full room of Harry Potter enthusiasts. It was such a cosy way to spend the evening, and it had been a long time since I’d seen the first movie.
And I think I learned the most amazing thing that evening: a wand in French is actually called a baguette. It can’t get more French than that.
Speaking of baguette, another thing I’ve found out is that it really isn’t a stereotype how much the French love baguettes. I can’t count how many people I’ve seen just casually walking down the street, baguette in hand, even just eating straight from it. I think that’s a pretty awesome thing.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and walked home happy around midnight, ready for bed. And so the wind and coldness had been the perfect excuse for a bit of a cozy indoor day that ended in the cinema, watching the most nostalgic film possible. I don’t think it could’ve gone much better, even if we’d planned for it.
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