Europe Day 5: Last Day in Paris

Hello everyone! Today was my last day in Paris and even though I’m very sad to leave, I’m looking forward to being in Italy for the next week and a half. We had already seen most of the sights on our agenda, but we still were busy sightseeing for the first half of the day. My parents did laundry right when we woke up so we had clean pants (we all only brought two pairs of pants and it’s been cold everyday here) and then ate breakfast in the hotel as usual. We headed out for the day with three main points of interest: the Museum d’Orsay, the Pantheon, and Sorbonne University.

We arrived at d’Orsay about 20 minutes after it opened so there was barely any line. I was interested in going there to see the works of Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Van Gogh. It did not disappoint; there was so much to look at and all of the paintings were so beautiful. There was also a lot of different sculptures that my dad enjoyed looking at, but I stuck to viewing the paintings for the most part. My favorite painting was the famous Water Lily Pond, Green Harmony by Monet. After seeing his gardens in person, it was surreal to compare them to one of his actual paintings in person as well.

After finishing up at the museum, we ate lunch at a local restaurant. I don’t remember the name because we just wandered in, but I got thin crust pizza and it was very tasty. We walked around the Latin quarter of Paris since that’s where both the Pantheon and Sorbonne were located. We saw the Pantheon first and decided not to go inside, but we admired the outside and took pictures. The architecture was beautiful and there were many other large and impressive buildings on the same street/right across from it too.

The Sorbonne was very close by and we were not able to enter it because it was heavily guarded with security and there didn’t appear to be a public entrance. However, we were able to admire the numerous buildings from the outside and we went to the store selling apparel with its logo and I got a sweatshirt (which I had been hoping to do, especially because I was unprepared for the cold!). The store didn’t open until 2:00pm and we got there at 1:00, so beforehand to pass the time we went to another nearby café and got dessert. I got chocolate ice cream (glace in French) and it was good; I mean it was just chocolate ice cream. I’ll be able to give much more input on food (and probably actual pictures of it) in Italy.

Honestly, after visiting the Sorbonne the day went south. We were planning on trying to go see the Sacre-Coeur church so we went to take the Metro there as we did to get to the Eiffel Tower on Monday. We got on and two men came on right after us and one purposely bumped into my mom with his bag, proceeding to yell at her and cause what we later realized was a diversion so the other guy could steal my dad’s wallet. At the next stop, the guy who stole the wallet got off the Metro just as my dad realized he had been pickpocketed, and my dad yelled out what happened and rushed out the train to follow him. My mom, my brother and I got out at the next stop (in an area we were unfamiliar with) and so did the other man, so we were startled and lost and quickly exited the metro station. Luckily the other man didn’t follow us, but we got outside to find it was pouring rain and we needed to walk back to the hotel because we clearly didn’t feel safe on the metro.

I used Maps on my phone to guide us back to the hotel safely, where we met back with my dad. My dad caught up with the guy who took his wallet and questioned him but he didn’t have anything on him, so he must have passed it off to someone else. It was a very scary experience and he lost his driver’s license, 100 euros, and all of his credit cards which he had to cancel. It was only about 20 minutes later that he began canceling all the cards and there were already thousands of fraudulent charges being rung up.

We spent an hour and a half in the hotel recovering from the incident and figuring things out for our flight to Italy tomorrow, and then went to a restaurant down the block for burgers. It was good and I was glad we could go out one last time, but we didn’t feel like going out and seeing anything else after the incident so we came straight back to the hotel afterwards. Even though our time in Paris didn’t come to the best end, I’m glad we still saw everything we wanted to for the most part and that we made some good memories here. It’s still an amazing city but clearly we learned even when you feel safe, you still have to be careful. I’m kind of scared for Italy now since the pickpocketing is supposed to be so rampant there and we already had this experience, but I’m still very excited! I’ll keep you updated as always.

-Brooke

A picture of a post I took on the way to d’Orsay.

My favorite Monet painting I saw.

The huge clock face of d’Orsay from the inside- one of my favorite shots.

The Pantheon from the outside- the columns remind me of Greek architecture, it seems very Greek in general.

The cathedral across from the Pantheon, it was gorgeous inside.

The Sorbonne from the outside, such a beautiful building in a great location.

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