730 am rolls around and we couldn’t wait to get ourselves out of the AirBnB place. I’m glad that I don’t have to step on the trail of ants by the bedside again. Speaking of which, we left a pretty honest review about the place and the host didn’t take it too well. I received a nasty gram that revolved around the theme of “brainless spoiled girl” repeatedly throughout her rant. Oh well, c’est la vie ! Life goes on.
The plan was to visit the Catacombs in the morning and the Jewish Quarter for the best falafel in the world (according to Bhupinder and Sharn) before catching the train to Brussels.
We dropped our bags at Montparnasse station, which by the way is more convenient than Paris Central Station if you need to store your bags before visiting the Catacombs. Adam was adamant about having a good omelet before leaving Paris and since we had some time to kill, we scouted around the neighbourhood and settled for a breakfast set at some random cafe.
French omelet at last !
When we got to the Catacombs, the line-up was practically in a full circle ! We purchased our tickets ahead of time for a specific time slot. It was €29 and includes an audio guide.
Here are some pictures in the Catacombs. If the thought of centuries of dead skulls bothers you, you can close your eyes and scroll 10 times to skip the pictures ….
Welcome to the Crypt……
5 stories underground
A system that identifies when the reinforcement pillar was built and the engineer who was responsible for the construction
Stop! This is the Power of Death
And they say Romance is dead
I must say, the Catacombs is truly a marvel yet disturbing at the same time. Can’t say I’ve been in a tomb surround by skeletons before. Adam was having a blast taking pictures of every second skull he sees 😂
Having the audio guide definitely made a difference in experiencing the tombs. It gave us some context and history behind the catacombs. It was constructed because the Kingdom back then ran out of room to bury the dead.
They figured, while not just stack the bodies underground….. Quite an ingenious idea. I mean, they probably knew that one day it was going to be a tourist attraction. Even Napoleon Bonaparte couldn’t resist paying a visit when he came.
It might have been better to have a human guide cause it would be storytelling with added drama. I believe you can get one for €39 as part of a tour group on the day itself. The bonus part is that you don’t have to stand hours in line for the general admission which I think was €12 per entry.
It took us about 2 hours to complete the catacombs and by then, we were hungry. It was time to try the infamous Falafel in Paris as recommended by Bhupinder and Sharn. They really insisted that we eat there no matter rain or shine.
We made our way to the Jewish Quarter and promptly greeted by soldiers bearing heavy guns at the entrance of the train station.
Side note, I was warned by many friends that Paris has a lot of pickpockets. Somehow, the presence of hunky army dudes with AK-47s was a relieving sight and gave me a small sense of security … The irony eh?
Arrrgggghhhhh! We were hoping for shops like that at Champ Élysées but of course… We kind of regretted not doing do a proper research before dedicating a whole day there …. And now, with barely two hours before we had to be at the central station, we couldn’t really explore the Jewish Quarter. It’s worth spending the day there. So many cute things to see and buy !
We could see the line for L’as Du Falafel from a distance away. There was at least 20 people in line. Must be that good if people are willing to wait!
We were slightly nervous about being in that long line cause we didn’t had much time to spare. There was a steady stream of people going in and out.
We stood in line for probably, 8 minutes and lo and behold, we were promptly seated with the menus in front of us.
Bhupinder did not lie and I’m so glad he made us promise that we will go to L’as Du Fallafel because it so falafeling good !
According to him, one’s Parisien experience will never be complete if one doesn’t go to L’as Du Fallafel. Apparently many famous people including world leaders have eaten here. It is truly the best falafel I’ve ever had in my life ! Make sure to try it whenever in Paris. Don’t say I didn’t share the goodies 😄😄😄
We shoved back the food and we were out of the restaurant in 20 minutes. Couldn’t believe that we were in and out so quick and even had some time to spare before heading to the train station. We went into some shops and Adam got himself a scarf.
We made it to the central station on time to catch the train to Brussels. Our Paris trip was certainly short and we didn’t managed to do much in that timeframe. Had we known better, we wouldn’t have spent much time at Champ Élysées but, seeing the infamous flagship Louis Vitton store is a must I supposed… But even that, it was the clientele that amused me more than actually admiring the bags…. Trying hard not to snort at the skinny Chinese boy taking a duck-face selfie with his new LV bag proved to be a challenge.
Nonetheless, some of our best experience in Paris was actually hanging out at some market, drinking wine for breakfast and people watching at cafes. For our next trip back here, we definitely will dedicate more time in the Jewish Quarter, book tickets ahead of time for the Louvre and research for restaurants where locals actually eat at. And most importantly, we’ll be more picky with our AirBnB accommodation next time 😉