Last Day in Paris

Last Day in Paris

Are you really productive on Sunday? I am. There is something about the last day (of the weekend, in this example) that pushes me to action. Of course this ‘Sunday urgency’ exists today, Friday, as it is my last day here in Paris, France. With a full day at my disposal, I hoped to fill this time with as much as possible. Mainly, beautiful things to look at. One of my favorite past times.

I started at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Now, I never had a goth phase, thank goodness, but I have always enjoyed old cemeteries a great deal. So this was a must on my site-seeing list. Rows and rows of mausoleums, patina, the attempt to accurately capture grief and display it in memoriam, these old ways of honoring the departed are far more cathartic than a simple chisel of a dove or the like on new fangled headstone. There were many versions of mourning women, like below, in Père Lachaise Cemetery. I was hunting them down through the winding streets of tombs. But since this was only stop one, I had to be mindful of… time. Cruel time. I supposed I didn’t want to spend the last day of my trip contemplating my mortality, even if my soul was in good company.

Like a very early crush of mine, Jim Morrison. I became kind of infatuated with Jim Morrison when I was like 12 or so. While other tweens were digging on Kirk Cameron or Jonathan Taylor Thomas, I loved the dead lead singer of The Doors. What that says about me, I don’t know. I can make some guesses, but I’d rather not deconstruct prepubescent rationale and the indelible mark it leaves on years that follow.  

Rest in Peace, Lizard King. Yes, I said Lizard King. And I can still recite the entirety of The Soft Parade in all its weird, drug-induced randomness. 

Houses for grief.

Men with beautiful women crying on their graves.

This day was all about breathtaking stone work. From the mausoleums to below, the Arc de Triomphe. Commissioned by Napoleon after he had a military victory, this got me thinking. Is there anybody still creating these grandiose, perhaps ostentatious, displays of pride, patriotism, love, grief, zealousness, etc? Is there stone left for such endeavors or will they be constructed with plastics that leach endocrine disruptors that are Made in China? 

All snarkiness aside, this was a spectacular site. 

For scale. 

Paris is inundated with tourists right now. It was so difficult to go to The Louvre and not get some whackadoo with a selfie stick in your picture. And with a two hour wait just to get in the museum, I can only imagine what the situation would be near Mona Lisa. That’s if you can even get near her. Another time.

There are beautiful buildings everywhere. Kind of overwhelming.

Like here at the Le Palais Royal. Such a deep and rooted history these Old World cities have.

A quick stop for lunch at the all-vegan Cloud Cakes. This place was an absolute godsend. It’s by all the wonderful sights and it is top-notch vegan eats. 

First, a Buddha Bowl with a mix of cooked and raw veggies that hit every spot you need hit. I usually don’t go for bowls but this was the perfect, restorative lunch on a warm day of walking about. Inside, a mix of greens, sweet potato, broccoli, seasoned chick peas, avocado, quinoa, radishes, and a delicious creamy dressing. 

And a vegan croissant. Perfection.

Real layers. This is the best vegan croissant I ever did have.

And a tiramisu cupcake. I don’t mean to go nuts here, but I feel like this was the best vegan cupcake I’ve ever had at a bakery. I know, I know. Maybe the fact that I had walked 10 miles before this meal without breakfast can be playing into this proclamation. No, it was that good. 

And it truly was a tiramisu cupcake, soaked and everything.

They had other goodies too. 

Security was tight at the next two sites, being that it is Good Friday. First, The Sainte-Chapelle. Breathtaking Gothic architecture, stunning stained glass. I literally had to catch my breath when I walk into the chapel. To see the light streaming in through these panes… 

Good Friday at Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral. Great idea. This place was swarmed! There was mass going on and the longest line to receive the Eucharist I ever did see. It stretch out the door and around the block. Somehow I got in through a less popular entrance, not realizing mass was going on. 

More stunning stonework. I am running out of adjectives.

Communion.

What a house of worship.

After my 15 mile on foot, I headed back towards Bastille where my backpack was waiting. But first, a stop at Vegan Folie’s which, after Cloud Cakes, was perfunctory and solely for you, dear blog. But sure, I’ll get a little something.

I got this dome cake. 

It was okay. Nothing to write home about. 

They also had these long sandwiches that seem to be all the rage in Paris. The kind that Jerry Horne brings home to share with brother Benjamin in Twin Peaks.

Ok, last but not least as I am beat and losing the ability to formulate coherent sentences. This is my room service from the Hilton. It’s their own vegan option, listed on their room service menu as “Raw Vegan Salad.”  I was certainly not expecting such a beautiful dish to arrive. The blurry fruit salad was also wonderful.

Here it is, my final meal in Paris.

And because I really loved this big marzipan bar I bought at the airport in Amsterdam, I will put it here too. Two final surprises from two fascinating cities that hosted me this week. Goodbye, Europe!