Monday was our first full day in Paris. After breakfast we travelled on the metro to the Sacre Coeur. Mr Craik-Collins had the cheek to ask if we were brave enough to take the stairs to the top so naturally most of us took up the challenge. We entered the church through the grand arched doorway just as mass started. The building had dim lighting with shadows flickering on the stone floor from the candles we had lit with a donation of two euros for the upkeep of the church. Beams of light shone throughout the stain glass windows highlighting the detail of the hand carved stone. Near the cathedral was a market with painters selling their work and drawing pictures of passers by. Many of us had our likeness taken by a street artist, some drawings more realistic than others!
After another short ride on the metro we saw the beautifully carved Arc de Triomphe with the eternal flame for the unknown soldier burning brightly underneath. Stereotypically, the girls were very happy to hear they would be able to shop on the Champs Élysées and the boys were happy to eat lunch! There were many shops like Sephora, MAC and best of all…the Disney store.
After we had spent all of our money on ‘Frozen’ memorabilia we walked to Pont des Arts bridge where there are thousands upon thousands of padlocks which represent promises of love or friendship. Some people bought a padlock to put on the bridge to symbolise their friendships. After a few minutes of wandering along the bridge looking at different padlocks with promises of marriage and love a street artist stopped Mr MacLean for a caricature and everyone crowded round to watch as a rather goofy version of him was produced.
After, we went on the metro to a restaurant called Flam’s where we had a delicious take on pizza which originated in France, with a thin base and cream cheese topping. We watched France vs Nigeria in the World Cup and cheered on as France went on to score two goals and win the game. The bar was buzzing with people celebrating the win and as we walked back to the hotel there were people playing football in the street and cheering from car windows.
After the long day we had had, everyone was very relieved when we were able to go to bed!