Ah, oui, c’est l’amour… One of the few sentences I can manage to pull together in French, haha. Well, we arrived in Paris from London via the “Chunnel”, the train that travels under the English Channel and only takes 2.5 hours. Our friend Sophie, who lives in Paris, was kind enough to let us stay in her apartment while she was working outside of the city. It was so great to feel like we had our own Parisian apartment!
Kris and I both agree that we have not walked so much in quite a while as we did in Paris. But, we also had a good amount of time to relax and enjoy life just as the French do. Besides seeing the big sights like the Eiffel Tower, Arc du Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Palaces at Versailles, and the Louvre, we also did some less touristy things. We took a picnic of wine, cheese, and pate to the Jardin du Luxemborg and sat amongst the teenagers who were all smoking and gossiping, we sat along the banks of the Seine and just relaxed, and we took a bike ride all around the grounds of Versailles. Those were my favorite times in Paris.
One of the cooler, more informative things we did was to take a culinary tour around the Montmartre neighborhood on our last day in Paris. Besides eat and drink different foods, we also learned a lot about the area and saw Van Gogh’s house, an apartment where Picasso lived, and the cafe Le Moulin dela Galette which was the scene of a famous Renoir painting. After the tour, we walked to the church Sacre Couer where we had a view of all of Paris.
I really enjoyed all the walking we did where we didn’t have a destination in mind. It was great to get lost on the streets and find unexpected cafes or parks or shops. I loved sitting outside of cafes for a glass of wine and watching the action on the street. I loved eating croissant every day from a boulangerie near Sophie’s apartment. I loved that the metro comes at least every 5 minutes!
I think we both arrived in Paris just a bit intimated by the city. Our lack of French language skills probably did not help. But, we were fine. Parisians were very nice and it was such a cool city. At the end of our stay we were both ready to visit the countryside, but also wanting to go back again one day.
Paris on the Seine.
The beautiful Eiffel Tower at night.
The Arc du Triomphe.
Our beautiful picnic at the Luxembourg Gardens, taking a break from sightseeing and hanging out with all the high school kiddos. We really felt Parisian. There is also a picture of the beautiful gardens.
The famous Palaces of Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors and the outside garden. Also bike riding the vast gardens of the Palace.
Our trip to the Louvre. It was a bit crowded and the crowd to see the Mona Lisa was more astonishing than viewing the actual painting.
Our food tour in Montmatre. The Sacre C'ouer church.
And one more pic of the Arc de Triomphe at night. We took a nice romantic walk up the Champs-Élysées on our last night in Paris.