We slept in this morning to around 9 am and walked the 25 minutes to Cloud Cakes, a vegan cafe, where we ate an amazing brunch. Once again we had actually found a really nice place to eat. The good places might simply be those focused on health and using organic products at not too high prices.
We continued to the Notre Dame area not entirely sure what we wanted to do for the day, seeing as we were meeting up with my cousin, Caroline, and her half-Danish friend, Emma, for coffee at 3 pm, so we couldn’t go to Montmartre before that. We walked to Shakespeare and Company and went upstairs to plan the day, afterward of course having to look at books for a little while again. This time I found a book to buy: Anne Frank’s diary, finding it a fitting purchase, as we would soon try to get tickets for Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam.
We walked to the Bastille square, on our way sitting down to write a postcard to our previous dorm teacher and mailing it at a Post office. There’s something quite special about writing a postcard to someone nowadays and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves trying to figure out what we wanted to write.
From the Bastille square we walked a little further to Rue Crémieux, a cute little street filled with colorful houses.
We made our way back by the river, walking to the cosy vegetarian cafe, Le Comptoir 18-20, where we once again ate a really good meal.
By the time we had finished lunch it was close to three and so we walked to the cafe ’Lily of the valley’, where Caroline met us and Emma soon after showed up. It had started raining, so sitting outside was a bit cold, but I had a lovely time, all of us sipping our warm drinks while talking, the rain drumming on the canopy above us.
Around 4.30 pm we said goodbye and Zuzanna and I went to the nearest metro, from there quickly getting to Montmartre. My first impression of Montmartre was simply stairs, because, boy, was there a lot of them. Just to get from the metro to ground level I think we climbed about six flights of stairs, out of breath when we reached the street. Then followed first one and then a second really long staircase right after each other. You could actually feel how people just slowed for every step.
We did reach the Dalí museum in 5 minutes though, and although sweaty and out of breath, my knee had held up pretty well throughout the climb. We paid (a reduced price) for the entrance and walked around the museum until closing time at 6.30 pm. It was a truly amazing exhibition focused on Dalí’s sculptures for a change, something I found incredibly interesting and had known nothing about before stepping into the museum.
They even showed a short film that had been a collaboration between Dalí and Walt Disney. The museum had definitely been worth the money.
Afterward we walked to Sacré-Cæur, passing through really cosy streets to get there. It was a beautiful church and an even more incredible view that met us and we stayed there for a short while enjoying the sight, before making our way down, cold from the wind and light drizzle.
We walked to Moulin Rouge, on the way making a pit stop at Pret a Manger to buy breakfast for the next morning. And the closer we got to Moulin Rouge the sketchier the shops became. The last 100-200 meters were almost purely sex shops, sex theaters, porn shops and the like. It was an interesting walk there to say the least.
We snapped some pictures in front of the building, standing on a grate that blew out quite a strong wind, Marilyn Monroe style.
We started on our way home, pit stopping at a wine store to buy a wine for Zuzanna’s aunt as a thanks for letting us stay at her place in Ghent, as well as a bakery to buy a baguette for breakfast. I felt very French walking away with a baguette in hand (and later sticking out of my backpack).
We went to the vegan restaurant Furahaa Break to eat dinner, where we quickly realized that all the employees were deaf. We made our order through pointing and gesticulations and sat down to wait for the food. We were the only non-deaf people in the restaurant as most of their costumers were deaf as well, and it almost felt weird to talk in the complete silence. While waiting for our food we learned how to say ”Merci” and ”Bonjour” in sign language from a poster on the wall, and through some googling we taught ourselves how to say ’delicious’ in french sign language. The dinner was fantastic: I think the cheesy fries were the best fries I’ve ever had and when I answered the server’s gesticulated question to how the food had been with ’delicious, thank you’ in French sign language he actually seemed to understand me.
It’s amazing how easy it actually is to communicate through body language, ordering and communicating wasn’t in the least difficult, and the whole experience was really thought provoking. It seemed somehow ignorant of us not being able to talk in sign language. We agreed upon learning at least the basics of it once we got home.
We walked home to the apartment, climbing the five flights of stairs to our apartment for the last time, and falling into bed.
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