I came to Paris armed with Rick Steves’ Paris 2015 travel book, confident that only logistical planning (and minimal, at that) was required on my part and I would be able to enjoy the city of lights without the hassle of long lines or disappointment at discovering certain places are closed.
“Certainly not I!” said I!
Yeah, well, I was wrong. I’m not sure what part of my brain got miswired while on this trip but even though I expressly recall reading and even writing down on my Google doc which museums are closed on Mondays, I still decided that today, Monday, was a good day to visit the Orsay Museum and Rodin Museum, both of which are closed…in hindsight, I should have saved the Louvre for today (even though the guide warns it is crowded on Mondays) then went to the Orsay Museum and Rodin Museum on Saturday. Alas, I remembered the note that the Louvre was especially crowded and that somehow overrode the note that the Orsay Museum and Rodin Museum are closed on Mondays!
But hey, I got to see the outside of the Orsay Museum so that’s something, right? Right.
After these museum visits, I was going to walk along the bustling Rue Cler, rub elbows with the locals, and enjoy the fine cheese and wine to my heart’s content along the way! Alas, on Mondays the Rue Cler is dead…but at least I still got to see some of the stores and I was able to drool from the outside, right? Right.
I’m making fun of myself but actually, it ended up being a really beautiful day and I was able to go see Napoleon’s Tomb and the Army Museum.
After getting my history on, I decided to go check out the Eiffel Tower since it was, like, right there.
I read somewhere a couple days ago that it was closed indefinitely after the events of November 13 but I decided to see for myself, just in case. As it turned out, it was open! I went to the first line I encountered, which was stairs only, and immediately purchased a ticket. Now, I knew there was an elevator but due to the miswiring in my brain that I had mentioned earlier, somehow, in my mind, the elevator was closed due to recent events but the stairs were open. After typing that, I realize how little sense that makes but in any case…I had a good work out.
I took the picture above at what I thought was the highest point tourists were allowed to go because that’s where the stairs ended (the rest were blocked off). And then…that’s when I saw it. The elevator. Apparently, it very much existed and was fully operational. It was also the only way to go all the way to the top, so I did end up taking the elevator. The view up there was nothing short of spectacular!
By the time I left the Eiffel Tower the sun was about to set, it was getting cold, and I just wanted to go inside a cafe to eat dinner. Yet somehow I was compelled to check this bridge out.
I actually walked by the bridge but kept looking back so I finally gave in to my compulsion to cross the bridge and I am so glad I did because…
The photo does not do this justice. It was incredible watching the sun set over the Seine River with the Eiffel tower in the background. For the first time during this trip, I finally found a moment of peace in my mind. I finally was able to let go of things that had been bothering me recently and was able to just breathe. I am not yet nearing the end of my trip (thankfully) but I already know this is going to be one of my favorite moments. I hope I experience more moments like this during this trip. Better yet, I hope I experience more moments like this in my life, even if it’s only a respite from whatever may be bothering me at the time.
To the quiet moments – May we find them, may we have them, and may we appreciate them when they happen.