Paris

Paris is always a good idea
“Paris is always a good idea.” – Audrey Hepburn

Paris flawed me.

With all of her beauty, spontaneity, grace and warmth, she proved far superior to my expectations.

I’ve been trying to write about what our experience was like now for days, but I find myself inadequate.

At risk of repeating myself, I just can’t stress enough how big an impression Paris left on me. I can’t form the sentences that do it justice, so instead, I’m going to break it down day-by-day through some photos.

Cheers!

– CB

Day 1

First, arrive.
We caught the Eurostar from London to Paris, and then arrived at our apartment around 1PM. Great location, right in Le Marias. I rate AirBnB really highly, so I’m sure you’ll hear more about this in the future.

The view from our AirBnB flat in Le Marias.
The view from our AirBnB flat in Le Marias.

Then, Macarons.

Phoebe had a sweets bucket list, full of sugary culinary delights around Paris. These Macarons from Le Café Pouchkine transcended all the macrons ever made in the world, ever.
Phoebe had a sweets bucket list, full of sugary culinary delights around Paris. These Macarons from Le Café Pouchkine transcended all the macrons ever made in the world, ever.

Then, friends and planning.

Our good friends Ben, Trinity and Mirrin were in town, so we made the most of the opportunity to hang out! Mirrin is the little cutie up top.
Our good friends Ben, Trinity and Mirrin were in town, so we made the most of the opportunity to hang out! Mirrin is the little cutie up top.

Planning was made pretty straightforward by using visitacity.com, which enables you to plan your days based off what you want to see, and it builds your itinerary. It also factors in how long things might take and travel time between destinations.

Day 1 was full of anticipation, reunions and planning. We were together in Paris, and so excited for the days ahead.

Day 2
This was our first full day in Paris, and it was a big one!

Here’s what we did:

First, Eiffel Tower. 

“I like the Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace.” – Natalie Lloyd.

We arrived at 9:30am, which is when the Eiffel Tower opens to the public.

Then, we walked up a lot of stairs. You can choose to walk up to the first two viewing platforms, then catch the lift up the summit.

People watching on the first viewing platform.
People watching on the first viewing platform.
So... this view isn't half bad, right?
So… the view up top isn’t half bad, right?


Then, picnic at Champ de Mars.

Baguettes, fromage, jambon and vin rouge... the lunch of French Champions. This weather, this spot, with good people. Winning.
Baguettes, fromage, jambon and vin rouge… the lunch of French Champions. This weather, this spot, with good people. Winning.


Then, gardens at Musée De Rodin.

Seriously pretty gardens, and some much-needed benches to sit down and rest your tired feet.
Lush gardens, and some much-needed benches for big people and small people to rest their tired feet.

For only €2, you can wander some of the most pristine gardens you’ve ever wandered through. Also, kids are free!

Sometimes, you've just got to find a photogenic wall and strike a pose.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to find a photogenic wall and strike a pose.

Then, Champs Elysees. 

Strolling through Champs Elysees. More impeccable parks, followed by the shopping strip.
Strolling through Champs Elysees. More impeccable parks, followed by the shopping strip.

Hot tip: If you’re starting to flag a little bit on Champs Elysees, duck into the Nespresso store, they’ll demonstrate their machine for you and you get a free coffee. Winning!

Then, Arc De Triomphe

The scale of Arc de Triomphe is something that you really can't comprehend, even when you're right there. It's the size, coupled with the detail that really makes for a stunning sight. I'd advise seeing it in the afternoon for some really nice light!
The scale of Arc de Triomphe is something that you really can’t comprehend, even when you’re right there. It’s the size, coupled with the detail that really makes for a stunning sight. I’d advise seeing it in the afternoon for some really nice light!

Day 2 was full of monuments, sunshine and gardens. Good times were had all round.

Day 3

First, Coffee.

Telescope Coffee - a cosy, quiet moment before getting into the rush of being a tourist.
Starting the day in a cafe is a great way to slow down and feel like a human, before you get into the rush of being a tourist.

Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about French coffee… there is goodness to be found! You’ll pay for it though, (at €4 a coffee you’ve got to remind yourself that you’re on holidays, and you should treat yourself).

Then, Saint Sulpice.

There are some buildings that just can't be taken in completely by a single photo. Saint Sulpice was one of them!
There are some buildings that just can’t be taken in completely by a single photo. Saint Sulpice was one of them!
Processed with VSCOcam with 6 preset
Everything in Paris is pretty, including my wife. This was taken out the front of Saint Sulpice.

Then, eclairs.

Goodies from L'Eclair de Genie is a must-nom for the foodies out there.
Goodies from L’Eclair de Genie is a must-nom for the foodies out there.

Then, coffee.

Some days just require two coffees, so we grabbed some Caffe Glace (Iced-Coffee) from The Broken Arm. Friendly staff, great atmosphere and delicious iced coffee.
Some days just require two coffees, so we grabbed some Caffe Glace (Iced-Coffee) from The Broken Arm. Friendly staff, great atmosphere and delicious iced coffee.

Then, the Louvre.

Every little detail of the Louvre has been thought through. In this photo, check out how the tiles exactly match the pyramid. It's just too cool.
Every detail in the Louvre is deliberate. In this photo, check out how the tiles line up exactly with the corner of the pyramid. Perfection.

I always pictured the Louvre as a series of dark alleyways, with little pictures of art lit up by a solo spotlight. I was so wrong. Grand, overwhelming, monumental, feel free to choose any adjective and it still doesn’t really do it justice.

For someone such as myself who isn’t particularly into art, just seeing the size and scope of the building was mind-blowing. I didn’t actually take any photos within that adequately translate the enormity of it all, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one, or go and see for yourself.

That’s it for day three, it was both sweet and grand at the same time.

Day 4

First, Coffee.

Holybelly is like your favourite local coffee shop, only in Paris. In here I consumed Pancakes with bourbon butter, maple syrup and bacon. It's everything you're imagining and more.
Holybelly is like your favourite local coffee shop, only in Paris. In here I consumed pancakes with bourbon butter, maple syrup and bacon. It’s everything you’re imagining and more.

Then, Catacombs.

I tried thinking of a caption for this, failed. Sorry, you'll have to make one up for yourself.
The Catacombs are definitely the creepiest thing we did in Paris, and also one of the cooler things too.

The catacombs began being built in 1810, when the decision was made to consolidate cemeteries around Paris in a way that both honoured the dead and was more space efficient.

Under the city are these mining tunnels, filled with six million skeletons. The Catacombs are said to be the world’s biggest graveyard, and it left me with this sense that I am an extremely small person in a very large world, that will one day die.

It’s an odd experience on your holiday to start contemplating death, but you can’t not when you’re literally surrounded by it down there.

Who decides, when stacking up skeletons to make a love heart out of skulls? Honestly, imagine the person making this... such a bizarre thought.
Who decides, when stacking up skeletons to make a love heart out of skulls? Honestly, imagine the person making this… such a bizarre thought.

That’s enough death for now, it’s time to move on…

Jardin du Luxembourg

This place was an unexpected delight, with immaculate gardens, bocce, chess, kids play equipment and a whole lot of photogenic moments.
The grounds of Jardin du Luxembourg were immaculate, and oh so photogenic.

These grounds were an unexpected delight. Right in the city, there’s this suburban retreat. Whether you want to read a book, let your kids run wild on some play equipment, play some bocce or some chess, these gardens were made for everybody to enjoy. Parisians do gardens right.

Some of the boys get together in the afternoon for a game of Bocce. It feels like Parisians are doing it right.
Some of the boys get together in the afternoon for a game of Bocce. There’s even a coat rack for the dapper gents.
Chess! They take it seriously in Jardin de Luxembourg, using the timers and everything. There was this whole section with tables built for it, and groups of friends would sit and watch.
Chess! They take it seriously in Jardin de Luxembourg, using the timers and everything. There was this whole section with tables built for it, and groups of friends would sit and watch.

Then, Eiffel Tower at sunset.

I found it! I may have cheated with Google Maps a little bit but let's pretend the compass got me here.
I found it! I may have cheated with Google Maps a little bit but let’s pretend the compass got me here.

The Eiffel Tower lights up when the street lights turn on, so right around sunset, everybody stops to wait for this to happen.

It’s the cheesiest, most cliché kind of romantic, but it. was. so. romantic. This view  of the tower, the sun setting and a group of strangers doing the tango… If you’re ever stuck for a date night, come here at sunset!

A carousel and the Eiffel Tower. Because Paris.
A carousel and the Eiffel Tower. Because Paris.

Then, a secret bar.

It was time for a boy's night, and what better way to do it then a secret bar?
It was time for a man date, and what better way to do it then a secret bar?

If you ever want to get a unique perspective on a city, look for one of their hidden bars. I went to the Moonshiner with Ben Doyle, and it was undeniably impressive.

You walk through a pizzeria, through their refrigerator and open some unmarked doors, then you find yourself in this Gatsby-esque cocktail bar.

The decor, the music, the drinks, the ridiculously well dressed couple jazz dancing on a makeshift dance floor in the middle of the room… Paris, you’re too much.

It’s a shame we didn’t know that the metro shuts down at night, so we both had to walk home at 1:30 in the morning.

That’s day four done. It was haunting, relaxing, romantic and exciting.

Day 5

Well, it’s the last day of our epic trip, and we were a bit tired, so this just makes sense…

First, Coffee

Friendly Americans made the tiniest cups of Cappuccinos here, but they were delicious!
Friendly Americans made the tiniest cups of Cappuccinos here, but they were delicious!

Then, Montmartre District

The Montmartre District, or 'Old Paris' as I like to think of it, is the hub of some incredible culture, history and beauty.
The Montmartre District, or ‘Old Paris’ as I like to think of it, is the hub of some incredible culture, history and beauty.
In the markets in Montmartre are some great artists, where you stand there and try and process the fact that they are creating these incredible works of art in front of you. I've never been able to draw / paint, so the whole process really baffles me.
In the markets in Montmartre are some great artists, where you stand there and try and process the fact that they are creating these incredible works of art in front of you. I’ve never been able to draw / paint, so the whole process baffles me.

Then, Musee de Montmartre

Musee de Montmartre outlines the history of the area, and the audio tour points out particular buildings where people used to hang out, like Picasso and his buddies. As well as this, there's a thoughtfully restored artists studio of Suzanne Valadon, which gives you the slightest glimpse into what it may have been like back in the day.
Musee de Montmartre outlines the history of the area, and the audio tour points out particular buildings where people used to hang out, like Picasso and his pals. As well as this, there’s a thoughtfully restored artists studio of Suzanne Valadon, which gives you the slightest glimpse into what it may have been like back in the day.

Then, Musee de la Vie Romantique

This secret little gem may just hold the best iced tea in Paris. Obviously, I can't guarantee this, but it was genuinely great, and the atmosphere didn't totally suck.
This secret little gem may just hold the best iced tea in Paris. Obviously, I can’t guarantee this, but it was genuinely great, and the atmosphere didn’t totally suck.

For those of you thinking “not another museum”, don’t worry… this isn’t really a museum. Well, it is, but not really. Just think of it as an excuse to sit down and drink some refreshing iced tea in a garden, and then wander through a building with some cool stuff.

Then, Notre Dame

Another one of this buildings that couldn't be captured in a whole photo. Even if you don't go inside, definitely go for a wander past. It's also right near the latin quarter, where some amazing food is!
Another one of this buildings that couldn’t be captured in a whole photo. Even if you don’t go inside, definitely go for a wander past. It’s also right near the latin quarter, where some amazing food is!


That’s all for now!

Again, I can’t stress enough… these photos are just a small teaser of the beautiful city that Paris is. You really do have to check it out for yourself, but before you do, let me know what you thought of this blog!

So much love,

CB

2 thoughts on “Paris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *