We didn't love our time in London, but Paris was a revelation.
I've been in love with Paris ever since I was ten years old and I studied French for 6 months before my family relocated to the Sunshine Coast (my level of devastation was VERY HIGH when I got to my new school and realized the only language on offer was Japanese). We caught the train from London to Paris, and from the very second we exited the train station my love affair with Paris was renewed, doubled, TRIPLED!
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL
- Our accommodation was saaah cute!! And so French! This teeny loft apartment on the fifth floor, in the middle of Montmartre, about a 5 minute walk from the Sacre-Cour. Our Air-BNB host was a photographer himself, so that was pretty cool.
- Climbing the Eiffel Tower - something I have dreamed of since I was ten.
- Wandering the streets of Paris with my love.
- Exploring Versailles and riding a bike around the grounds (I'm a child at heart).
THE NOT SO FUN STUFF
There are only two things I can honestly think of.
- Bread. Bread. Bread. Bread. Bread. Bread. So. Much. Bread. Everywhere. We nearly cried (I think I actually did get teary) when we found our first plate of vegetables 6 days later in a tiny country town in the middle of France.
- We arrived in Paris at the tail end of the floods last year, on their first sunny day since the heavy rains. The floods didn't cause us any trouble at all thankfully, but it was really sad to see so many boats and businesses closed due to flooding =(
I don't ever take photos of my accommodation, unless I'm in France apparently! It was the only place we visited that I did.
It had the cutest loft window on one side, and a teeny balcony overlooking Paris on the other. It wasn't until I looked out these windows that I realised how smoggy Paris is. Not something that 10 year old me pictured! And yes, both Dan and I smacked our heads, elbows and knees several times in this apartment!
I'm so glad that we stayed on Montmartre ♥ ♥ ♥ It was everything I hoped it would be, quintessentially FRENCH (at least, it was exactly the way I pictured Paris to be anyway).
The best tip I received was from my London friend Alice (thank you!) who suggested that when we visited the Sacre-Cour to walk around the back, where there is a beautiful little garden with a stunning view (more framing of monuments with plants..). We ended up sitting in the garden for a little while, just watching all the locals and children play.
THE Eiffel Tower
It did take poor Dan a while to find the Eiffel Tower though...
And my obsession for framing monuments with plants continues....
We chose to climb the stairs, because the line for the elevator was too long, and also because I couldn't NOT walk up the stairs after thinking about it for so long right? It wasn't even too bad, although come to think of it I was probably just distracted by my excitement.
Arc de triomphe
Of course, the next thing we had to do was admire this monument ♥
I snapped a few photos of the extent of the flooding as well - these poor business owners =(
PALACE OF versailleS
Holy smokes, this place is huge.
Like, really, really, really, huge. We spent a whole day here, and didn't even get to fully explore the grounds!!!!
Versailles is somewhere I always wanted to explore, again since I was ten years old, so it was so amazing to actually visit this place I had envisioned so much from reading books (okay, just this one fictional book I had since I was 10 which my dog literally ate and destroyed a few years ago, along with part of my heart).
PRO TIP: If you are planning a trip there and want to explore inside the palace, please do as the Internet suggests and get there FIRST thing in the morning. It took us nearly two hours to get there, and we were a bit lazy (and exhausted) so we took our time getting in, but by the time we got there it was absolutely PACKED inside. I'm normally okay in crowds, until people start getting pushy and shove-y and disrespectful of other people's space, which they were here. Everyone also moved really, really slowly, and even I needed OUT by about halfway through. Photo below to give you an idea of what it was like - this wasn't the worst, this was where I was able to breathe enough to get a photo!
it had been years since I rode a bike, and oh man it was so fun. Sun shining, wind in my hair - just one of those little moments that makes you feel young and free, and very grateful ♥
We managed to squeeze a few other things into our time in Paris, we saw the Army museum and Napoleon's tomb which was really fascinating, followed by a little wander through Paris, past the Louvre, over Pont Neuf and up to Notre Dame.
CAN'T BELIEVE THAT IS A SENTENCE I JUST WROTE - and so casually too!!!
Just a normal day for the locals I guess, but so awesome for me.
I have a thing for taking photos of other people taking photos - and when I stumbled across this wedding shoot I couldn't resist!!
Next up - our road trip through France =)