We arrived in Paris on Halloween, October 31, 2018, at 6 in the morning after a sleepless night on the plane. We took the train from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the nearest subway station, which was near Notre Dame and a taxi rink. We managed to get off at the correct station, but took a wrong turn underground and ended up coming up to the street level two blocks from Notre Dame and not a taxi in sight. With no sleep yet the adrenaline in our veins from being in Paris, we decided to walk to the hotel, four blocks away.
It is now about 8:00 AM, and the streets of Paris are starting to get busy, the coffee shops and bakeries are open, businesses are slowly pulling up the security gates in front of their shops. We are trudging down cobblestone and cement each of us with a suitcase on wheels and a carryon each. I am sure we stuck out like tourists.
Luckily the last leg of our walk was downhill where we checked into the Hôtel des Nations St-Germain and to our great delight, an English speaking host. Our rooms were not ready, so we checked our luggage and had them call us a taxi.
The taxi driver did not speak English, however “Notre-Dame” was sufficient so we were both on the same page. It was only a 15-minute walk, but it was uphill and we were on the tired side. It was right in the middle of morning rush hour and eventually, after not moving for awhile we asked the driver to drop us off as we had come as far as the Seine and agreed it would be nice to walk along the river. We got out of the cab, walked downstairs to the Seine and had this stunning view.
Now we are delirious with lack of sleep and the fact that we are walking around the grounds of Notre-Dame, a cathedral over 800 years old from the medieval era. The inside was incredible, more than we imagined. We were stunned.
On April 15, 2019, when the whole world watched this magnificent structure go up in flames, we were glued to the television as the images from the last day of October raced through our minds. In the picture below you can see the scaffolding that we watched burn…