Je t’aime, Paris!

So we left off with a less than exciting view of France, but I promise, this post will change that. 

Like last time, this is filled with photos – even more, actually, because we spent a few more days in Paris than in London.  Be warned: this post is over 2000 words and has more pictures than any other post ever! Alright…let’s get to it!

Paris

Day 1: 

We arrived in Paris in the late afternoon and promptly took a train to the center of the city. Upon arrival, we quickly realized we were lost! Finding our apartment was not easy, and it took us about an hour, but in that hour we dragged our bags through the Latin Quarter of Paris, taking in views of the sun setting over the Seine, Notre Dame and the beautiful Paris streets alive with the hustle and bustle of a Friday evening. It was kind of awesome, though there are no pictures of this time well spent because, well, dragging bags while trying to read a map does not exactly make taking photos an easy task! I did get a sweet photo once at the apartment though… The sunrises and sunsets were perfect!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.43.58 PMYep, those are the towers of Notre Dame you see, and this was SUCH a blessing to wake up to every morning that we were there!

The view came from a 6th floor apartment, and the building, of course, had no elevator. This was our ‘other’ view every morning…

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Day 2: 

With our apartment so close to Notre Dame, we could hear the church bells, so we were up bright and early the next day and ready to take on Paris, so obviously we started with the Louvre! We walked over to a nearby bakery (which ended up being the bakery we ate at EVERY DAY!), had breakfast and walked to the museum. It was glorious.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe arrived nice and early, but it was already busy, of course! It would have taken an entire week to see all of the contents of the Louvre, so we tried to be as strategic as possible, making sure we saw some of the “big shots” and also that we saw some of the less well-known parts. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was one of the busiest, and also most impressive rooms in the place! Literally, gold from top to bottom, and flanked with portraits of France’s Monarchs on the walls, and the ceiling? Well, you can see a hint of the spectacular artwork up there!

This statue made me laugh because it’s as if the artist knew what people in the 21st century would be doing as they walk through Paris – taking selfies! I mean, I know that’s not what was intended, but let’s face it, it works!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI could show you all of the famous pieces, like Mona, for example, but you’ve seen it all, and I stand by the fact that seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre is more about the madness of getting through the crowds than actually looking at the artwork without feeling like you’re in the mosh pit at a concert is impossible.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 9.50.37 AMAfter the Louvre, we walked to the Champs-Élysées through the Jardin des Tuileries. It was a far, far walk, but we stopped along the way for a little rest and some French hot dogs, which were amazing (because they’re on baguettes and slathered with cheese!). 

We made it to the Arc de Triomphe and had to take the metro back – we had done more than enough walking for one day! The view before we made it back to the apartment was pretty spectacular, though…

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Day 3: 

We started the morning at Notre Dame, and being that it was Palm Sunday, it was a busy morning there! The views of the exterior of the church are matched on the inside with tons of Gothic flair, amazing stonework and some colour along the windows.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was a bit of a dream come true to see this place from the inside after studying it since High School. I don’t think I spoke much while we were in there. I just took it all in!

When we walked out, I was still busy looking because, I mean…

Notre Dame exterior sculpturesSo amazing! We walked to the back of the church where there is a park and hung out there for a little while.

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Then it was time for the tower. You guys, seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was VERY cool! I mean, you can see it from lots of different areas of the city, but when you stand in front of it, it’s like being a little kid and seeing a movie come to life. By no means was this the most impressive sight in Paris (sorry Eiffel lovers), but it was a cool experience, nonetheless!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.44.25 PMOf course we needed a selfie… and it’s probably my favourite photo from the hole trip! We walked along the tower and stopped for crepes. Ohhhh the crepes… I went for a ham and cheese and then we went back later for more. There are these Italian guys who run a little stand there, and they are hilarious and truly make your crepe experience so much more delightful! Also, it was kind of cool to speak a little Italian in Paris!

We kept walking towards one of Paris’ many bridges. I made sure to go to this one because Alex is a big fan of the movie “Inception”, so I looked up the bridge. Pont de Bir-Hakeim is not a touristy spot, but totally worth the walk because it’s SUCH a cool bridge. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe view from the bridge is also very unique. Old Paris to one side with the Eiffel Tower, and Paris’ city center on the other, with skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. 

This was just at the end of the bridge. A lovely little spot. Also, notice the light fixtures? The entire bridge is flanked with them! It’s amazing!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABelieve me when I say I took way too many pictures on this bridge!

We walked back towards the tower, and the perfectly manicured trees and parks of Paris never once failed to make me look up in awe. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had a lovely dinner which consisted of Gyros with fries (inside the pita, which is genius and amazing), and we met a couple from Vancouver, then ended up chatting with them during dinner for so long that the restaurant owner asked us to leave! HAHA We then walked along the Latin Quarter and stopped for gelato. So delicious! Such a beautiful day!

Day 4:

This morning started with a walk to the Museum of Natural History, which has beautiful gardens, greenhouses and even a zoo! From there we headed to the Pantheon, which was very close to our apartment, however, by this point my left foot was hurting so badly and I was so cold (it turned out to be very chilly that day), that we headed back to the apartment to change clothes and grab some essentials.

After finding that the world’s biggest and nastiest blister was taking residence on my little toe, we took it easy for the day and went to have ourselves a picnic. We took a boat to the Eiffel Tower and had a picnic with wine, fresh cheese, ham, bread and sweet treats. 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was pretty much the view from where we picnicked and later napped. 

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.45.01 PMWell rested, but still in pain, we walked to the Champs-Élysées for a little light shopping and a stop over at Ladurée. It was insanely busy, so we got some macaroons to go. 

We then headed back to the Eiffel Tower for the light show and got some ludicrously overpriced hot chocolate (5 EUROS EACH!), because it was so so so so so cold that night. We stayed, hopped back on the boat and enjoyed the view of the city lit up at night from the water. Paris is romantic even in the cold.

Dinner was ok, the service was terrible, and the creme brulee? The best we’ve ever had, so the night was a success!

Day 5:

Today we slept in. We didn’t leave the house until 11am. We went to “our bakery” and it was CLOSED! AAAAHHH! Not to worry… we walked to a nearby restaurant and had Croque Madames and coffee. Oh. My. Word. I want that for breakfast every day of my life!

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.06.47 PMWith bellies full, we tackled Montmartre! Seeing Sacre Coeur made a huge impression on both Alex and I. The church itself was beautiful, the views were amazing, and the streets of Montmartre just so sweet and full of life!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was the brightest, most clear day. The sky really was THAT blue!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeeing all of the shops and artists on the streets of Montmartre makes you feel like you’re in a small, quaint little town and does not feel like Paris at all! 

We happily walked back to our neighbourhood after strolling through a few other Parisian streets. This was the busy entrance into the area of town where we stayed. It was this busy basically all day and all night and we kind of loved it!

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Day 6:

Another late start to the morning, but at least our bakery was open! We took the train to Versailles, and it only took about 45 minutes. From the train station, it was only a 15 minute walk and once you’re there, there’s no mistaking it! The place is a palace in every sense of the word. Everything is huge, gilded, decorated and beautiful.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.48.57 PMWe spent all of our time outside. It’s sad but true… we didn’t go in. The lines were so long it would have been two-three hours in line before we made it inside! So we took in the gardens and fountains!

On our walk back, we stopped for a little antiquing and picked up some original artwork. I was on cloud 9, of course!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.45.26 PMThen  it was time for another picnic, and this one was quite epic!

We picked up wine, bread, cheese, etc in Versailles so that once in Paris we could get to eating right away, and that we did. We got off as close to Jardin du Luxembourg as possible and boy oh boy… 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was our view during the picnic, and I remember feeling like we were in a Woody Allen film. There were little Parisian children playing, friends talking, a man reading next to his elderly mother as she napped in her wheelchair. It was by far the best moment in Paris. 

We walked along the gardens for a little bit and then this happened…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYep… this is a thing. People borrow boats and watch them float along the fountain in the center of the garden. Oh Paris… I love you!

Day 8:

This was our last full day in Paris, and it was bittersweet. We got up early, enjoyed the now much warmer weather, and had breakfast at the usual place. We headed to the Pompidou Center to take in the sights of the city, which were beautiful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then walked through the Marais, which was easily my favourite neighbourhood in Paris. It’s old, charming, quiet and easy to get lost in, which IS a good thing when you’re in such a beautiful place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee what I mean?

Also, the Marais has some of the best Falafel you will ever eat in your life! I mean it. We stuffed our faces there twice and my mouth waters just thinking of those meals!

After lunch we headed to the Arc de Triomphe for more beautiful views and we were not disappointed. The Arc itself is gorgeous, and the view of the Champs-Élysées is amazing!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe walked some more and took the metro back to Notre Dame , and on our way caught this little chunk of awesomeness as the sun was setting:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack in our neighbourhood, we enjoyed a typical Parisian pre-dinner drink – sitting outside of a cafe, people watching with a view of Notre Dame in front of us. It was amazing.

For dinner, we went to a place that only serves one dish. Yep… ONE! Steak & frites. Alex wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had researched this place and it was fantastic. We ate so much and loved every bite and it really was the perfect end to our Parisian trip.

It’s been amazing to reminisce and share the memories and the photos with you. I leave you with two last views – the view from our apartment window, which also felt perfectly Parisian!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd our daily view for breakfast every day (except the day we had Croque Madames) at our neighbourhood park:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ll be sharing tips, tricks, and important things we learned on this trip with you as well as some VERY important info: what to wear!

Stay tuned, friends!

xo

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Comments

  1. So beautiful photos! Ironically I’ve never been in Paris although it isn’t further away than London or Stockholm or the other metropolis to which I’ve been a few times. I think, I definitely have to change that! Your photos definitely wet my appetite :)

  2. WOW! More great shots and fun narrative and… just wow! I want to sit in Notre Dame and just BE there someday. Love the shot of you and Alex with the Eiffel Tower was great. You’re both so adorable!

    • Thanks so much, Meg! Notre Dame is more amazing, more grand, more impressive and more ornate in person than any and all of the pictures I had seen of it could ever show – and as an Art History major, I had seen many!
      The tower shot is my fave because it was one of those “quick, I’m taking a picture” moments :)

  3. What a lovely post Thalita! You completely seized your vacation. I adore that you got kicked out of a restaurant in Paris! I thought they were late, late night people. Perhaps you weren’t enjoying enough wine ;) Thanks for sharing your photos…such a beautiful vacation journal.

    • Thanks so much, Meredith!! I still can’t believe we got kicked out! haha It was a teeny tiny spot, so I understood that they needed the table. It was so funny, though.

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