We decided to save Les Catacombes (the catacombs) for our last day in Paris.
In France, November 1st is called La Toussaint, or All Saints Day, and it is a national holiday. Which means the catacombs were fermés , closed. Daaaaaaaaaaang. Being a national holiday, pretty much everything “touristy” was closed.
It was a gray and darkish overcast day, our day for the catacombs. It would have been PERFECT! But, c’est la vie (c’est la mort??), our plans for the day required reworking. As we had not had breakfast we decided to eat at a corner cafe called Café Du Rendez-Vous, which was right down the street from the catacombs…and it was open! We picked a place outside so we could observe the bustle of the corner from a close perspective.
We settled in under the white and red striped awning and ordered the not so very frenchy sounding “Breakfast” from our waitress who spoke absolutely lovely English. :-)
It started with a generous basket of fresh breads with butter, jams, and Nutella. My choice was the croissant which I smeared with Nutella and would have died a very happy woman, had I died that is. Orange juice, café crème, water basted eggs, and a little glass pot of plain yogurt (into which I stirred just enough apricot jam to make it a wee bit fruity) rounded out the meal. I could have had bacon with it, too, but I passed on that. When the plates of food were brought out, another small pail of bread joined the jumble of dishes, and glasses, and cups filling two small round cafe tables.
As we dined, the rain started. And it was a GOOD rain, too! So, in sight of the closed entrance to the catacombs, we sat, and talked, and watched…and I took pictures!
And while we sat and just enjoyed being in Paris, others who planned their day around Les Catacombes came and went away disappointed…
I allowed myself to be disappointed as I really wanted to see this bizarre sight. But the rain and clouds lifted after a few hours and the rest of the day was spent enjoying long walks down broad boulevards, coffee on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, window shopping at Cartier and Louis-Vuitton, and a walk along the Seine to watch the lights of the Eiffel Tower ignite for the last time. We came across a photography exhibit and river house boats. And the smell of something sweet and delicate wafted through the air. We followed our noses to a street creperie where ordered crêpes chocolat. The guy making the crêpes was an artist. So cool to watch him fry up those delicate circles. And the final result was even better than the my earlier “could have died happy” croissant with Nutella. After one last look at the preposterously gorgeous Eiffel Tower, we made our way back to the 2nd arrondissemont and our apartment where we packed to get ready for an early leave back to the Charles de Gaulle airport the following morning.
Paris far exceeded my expectations.
“Go to Paris” was never on my list…but I daresay “Go back to Paris” is.