• Jonathan Bastow

Interrail Dairy 2012 - Day 2

The second day in Paris was very highly anticipated. I planned to take the metro down to Luxembourg station and walk back north towards the hostel, covering the Notre-Dame and the Louvre on the way.

I got up early around 7 and headed out to the station. The metro system was easy to navigate and got to Luxembourg in just a few minutes. Luxembourg garden was empty and wet. The heavy rain from the night before drenched the park and gave the scenery a rather dull look. Whilst wandering through the rows of trees I got my first look at the Eiffel tower, piercing through the top of the trees. This is one thing I loved about Paris, the Eiffel tower. No matter where you are or what you're doing, the tower is always there. The park looked like it would be fantastic on a hot summers day, plenty of room to relax, play sports, read or even play chess on the parks tables.

I found myself strolling north, passing a lot of potential places for breakfast but none stood out. I crossed the Pont Au Double bridge onto the islands and Notre-Dame. The church itself is amazing. I sat looking at it in wonder, imagining how Victor Hugo felt when he was writing his famous book. The various creatures and gargoyles give the building an amazing Gothic look. One of the most amazing Gothic buildings in the world. I was also stunned at the amount of Japanese tourists in the area, hundreds all coming off of buses at once.

From here I found a nice enough place to have breakfast. A croissant, piece of baguette with jam and a coffee filled me sufficiently.

The Louvre is just a short walk from the islands. The museum, previously a fortress and residence, is the must amazing and complete collection of art and antiquities in Europe. Made up of three wings (Sully, Denon and Richelieu), it contains paintings, sculptures and articles from across France and the world. The museum is free to under 18s and under 26s from EU countries which made it easy to access and wander between the wings. One rule to follow whilst inside the museum is to not try to see too much. With millions of different things to see, I concentrated on things I liked and glanced at the others. The most popular part of the museum is by far the Mona Lisa, hundreds of people crowd in front of the painting hoping to capture a clear photo.

After enjoying a decent amount of art and artifacts, I headed back to the hostel and out for food. I found a steak restaurant and dug deep into a beef burger.

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