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.
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.
Then, friends and planning.
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.
This was our first full day in Paris, and it was a big one!
Here’s what we did:
First, Eiffel Tower.
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.
Then, picnic at Champ de Mars.
Then, gardens at Musée De Rodin.
For only €2, you can wander some of the most pristine gardens you’ve ever wandered through. Also, kids are free!
Then, Champs Elysees.
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
Day 2 was full of monuments, sunshine and gardens. Good times were had all round.
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.
Then, the Louvre.
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.
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.
That’s enough death for now, it’s time to move on…
Jardin du Luxembourg
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.
Then, Eiffel Tower at sunset.
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!
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.
Well, it’s the last day of our epic trip, and we were a bit tired, so this just makes sense…
Then, Montmartre District
Then, Musee de Montmartre
Then, Musee de la Vie Romantique
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
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,