The final countdown. 

And we both agreed that was no reason to feel rushed. We had a bad habit of wanting to see so much we’d forget lunch, or get super tired walking, or not stop and see a small shop or sight. Not on this last day! 

We had planned on getting to Notre Dame for its opening at 8. We didn’t get out of bed until after 9. Oops. The line was short, and we were inside the massive church shortly after. It was just as impressive inside as it was out, and it was refreshing to have a quiet look at something for a change. 

After we decided to do the tower tour since our museum pass included it. The line moves incredibly slowly, but an hour and a half later we finally started out ascent. 320 stairs to the top, with some stops along the way for things like seeing a 13 ton bell. The view from the top was tremendous, affording unobstructed vistas from the center of the old city. 

A brief visit to the crypt beneath the square in front of Notre Dame showed off remains from the Roman era settlement predating Paris. We then swung by a few shops, bought some more wine, grabbed lunch, and headed to Berthillion to have some incredible ice cream. More walking and shopping brought us back to the hotel, now a few pieces of cheese heavier. 

The sad task of packing took place to free up our evening for dinner without stressing over such an annoying task. Two bags to be checked full of French wine, beer, cheese, macarons and so many souvenirs, all of which we hoped would be under the weight limit and make it back home safely. 

For our last night in Paris we opted for…Vietnamese. The historical connection between these two countries can create some excellent culinary collaboration, and this meal was exactly that. Delicious spring rolls, noodles and Pho, with copious wine as usual. We reflected on the evening, the day, the weeks, the whole trip. 

It had been great.