Christmas Day in Paris! We started the day by sleeping in and having breakfast in our hotel, then I took an hour-long bath and we read our books until nearly lunchtime. Most things are closed on Christmas Day, after all, so there was no pressure to pack in a lot of activity.
Our metro station was completely deserted!
But the Pompidou Centre was not deserted. It's the only major museum open on Christmas, so that's where everybody went. We had a Christmas lunch of a shared sandwich and cake overlooking the entrance hall.
There were a lot of people there, but it's a big place so it wasn't too bad. When we arrived we picked up a 6-day Paris Museum Pass, which allows you free entry into most of the major sites. The best feature is that you get to use a special entrance line in most of the museums as well, which is always shorter than the regular line. The Museum Pass ended up saving us a lot of money, but it would have been worth it for the line-skipping even if we'd had to pay extra.
The best thing about the Pompidou Centre is the views from the top.
Sacre-Coeur really is on a steep hill!
We liked the modern art parts all right, but the contemporary stuff veered toward silliness.
Oh look, it's Americans.
After the museum we wandered the streets.
We saw Saint Jacques Tower. Its church was destroyed during the French Revolution. I just googled right now to find out the name, as I had forgotten, and discovered Nicolas Flamel is buried underneath it!!! Inventor of the Sorcerer's Stone!
We walked for a long time along the Seine. As the afternoon went on, the city got a little busier.
The Louvre was closed but there were still tons of people hanging around taking selfies.
We walked through the Tuileries Garden toward the Place de la Concorde. Paris was ten to fifteen degrees warmer than Munich (at least until the last couple of days) and it was a huge relief to be able to comfortably walk around outside without a hat and scarf and gloves.
For dinner we met my friend Melissa at La Coupole, just around the corner from our hotel. Melissa had been vacationing in Zurich but popped over to Paris for a few days. As you do. We failed to take pictures. The food was great, though, and it was really nice to see her and eat Christmas dinner together!