This is a long one… get comfortable.
Paris! How exciting. Abbie and I have reunited for three days of baguettes, wine and cheese… and a little bit of site seeing which is impossible because there are so many bloody sites to see in Paris.
Let the record show that three days is definitely not enough in this city, and with an awesome Airbnb (like the one we had), next time I will stay at least a week, if not more.
But, back on track, what things did we see?
1. The Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel):
We literally went to the Eiffel Tower three times… why? because we are fools of course. No, it was actually because I wasn’t keen to see it and then, once I did, I couldn’t get enough. We managed to see it in all its glory, in the midday sun, the evening sun and the night. We were also lucky enough to be in Paris for Bastille Day so saw some pretty epic celebrations. My advice: book a ticket long before you go, I would have loved to go up to the top, and my vendetta against planning has (in this case) worked against me.
2. The Arc de Triumph (L’arc de triomphe):
Oh… by the way, there is no particular order to these things (at least not a consciously chosen one). This was probably one of the most hilarious experiences of my life. We decided that I would throw my budget out the window so that we could get to the top of it because it was only 12 euros. Abbie could get in for free because she is part of the European union (not for much longer), when we got to the window I was trying really hard to speak French and was stuffing around with my money and the woman kept asking for my passport, and I kept trying (in French) to say that I was Australian and had to pay…. very confusing, in the end I relinquished my passport and she saw my UK visa, laughed and said I didn’t have to pay.
I don’t know why (most likely due to my chronic hangover) but I cheered and threw my arms up in the air… well, everyone around us looked over and started laughing… which just set me off and we giggled our way up the winding staircase and out onto the top of the Arc to see some spectacular views of Paris. We ended up staying up here for over an hour soaking up the sun and taking selfies with the buildings at angles which made them look like party hats.
3. The Louvre (Musee du Louvre)
Ok… admittedly I am not particularly qualified to pass comment on the Louvre, mainly because I didn’t actually go inside. Oops. Literally, the only day that the museum is closed is a Tuesday… guess who decides that Tuesday is a good day to go. Despite this, we had a lovely stroll through Tuileries Garden (in the rain) and the exterior is pretty spectacular therefore I am rather excited to head back there. DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKE and check when it is open.
4. Champs- Elysees (the same spelling but add some inflections on the e’s)
I guess this one is a bit of a necessity considering you walk down it to get to the Arc de Triomph. We also managed to see it fully decked out for Bastille day… it was insanely busy but it was quite enjoyable sitting down with a baguette and brie and watching the military parade.
5. Notre Dame
I loved Notre Dame, just make sure you get there early so you can climb up to the top of it before the crowds… the line looked like it was never going to move so we bailed on that, although, like the Eiffel Tower, I wish we had a bit more patience.
6. Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
This was somewhere that we were totally unprepared for! We literally had no idea what it was and it was just on a whim that we went there, thank goodness we did. This is an essential when in Paris, go up, sit on the stairs with the billions of other tourists (something I normally hate), buy a 2 euro Heineken and just look out over the city.
7. Shakespeare and Company book shop
This again was random, unexpected, and really cool. It is simply an old book store across the road from Notre Dame but it is crammed wall to wall with books. Spanning two levels it includes a reading area and beds with curtains that you can curl up with a book from their library. Definitely worth a look.
And that’s it from me for now… next I will bore you with the tale of the very best Baguette in Paris.