Paris Day 1 – Sacre Coeur, Saint Chapelle, and Shakespeare & Co

Our first full day in Paris we woke up early and left for Sacre Coeur. I wanted us to get this done on the first day because it is not my favorite place. The church is not in the greatest neighborhood and if you are not careful, it is very likely that someone is going to try to get money from you one way or another. My father and M wanted to walk to the top of Sacre Coeur. While my mother, brother, and I wanted to go shopping. We looked around at the souvenir and pastry shops in the artist square just past the church. We collected chocolate, hot wine, and macaroons. There you can also have your photo drawn and find many pieces of original art done by local street artists.

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Afterwards we met up at an Irish bar for some hot chocolate and Irish coffee. We then went back into the city and saw Saint Chapelle. Saint Chapelle is probably one of the most underrated sites in Paris. The only thing that makes me hesitant to say that is the price. It is $10 a head and while it is a quick site, it is very beautiful. Like many other locations, I suggest buying tickets online. The wait to buy them could be long.

 

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Not to far from Saint Chapelle is the famous bookstore Shakespeare and Company. For those of you that are unfamiliar or have not seen the movie “Midnight in Paris”, it is a replica of Sylvia Beach’s bookstore. Sylvia Beach’s bookstore was a library and a bookstore to some of the most famous writers like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. Like many members of the Lost Generation, they were known to have spent a great deal of time here. The store closed due to Nazi invasion. When Sylvia died she passed the rights down to George Whitman who then went and created Shakespeare & Co. Today the store houses writers or as they call it “Tumbleweeds”. They are provided housing in exchange for some help around the store, reading 1 book a day, and writing one page of autobiography for George Whitman’s archives.

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*Sidenote: If visiting Paris I highly suggest the movie Midnight in Paris. Just go watch it. It makes you fall in love with the city while learning a bit of history.

After we bought our stack of books we went next door for some afternoon coffee. Our waiter noticed our Shakespeare & Co bags, then proceeded to explain to us how this store is a tourist trap. In more ways than one. He told us about how the store had a piano and when he was a teenager he would go up and play it to meet American & English girls. O the French…

We all returned to our AirBnb. Some were to sick to leave the house for dinner. So we split up and met up with some of our friends for some late night Risotto.

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