Bad part: we woke up at the butt crack of dawn to get on a coach to Kings Cross station…yes another Harry potter stop ☺️. Good part: we got pictures with platform 9 3/4 and got seats together on the Eurostar
As soon as we got to our hotel in Paris, we dropped our bags in the room and headed out to Montparnasse which has a 360 view of Paris and it was stunning. Instead of going on the Eiffel and getting a view of the city, Mike took us here because it’s 56 floors and you have the Eiffel in the pictures rather than being on the Eiffel and taking pictures. But we’re doing that too don’t worry.
Then we went on the River cruise down the Seine river and got to see all of the monuments from the water on the island of Paris which is the heart of the city where the louve and Norte dame are located. It was about an hour and it really took it out of everyone. After that a lot of people were tired but Mike said we should do the Eiffel because we were right there instead of trying to cram everything in on Sunday. But everyone was exhausted and we would’ve have had time to walk to the second floor to skip the elevator line which was like 2 1/2 hours to wait in. Plus we would’ve missed our dinner at bistro la montagne (a mike excursion) which included a 4 course meal and unlimited drinks… It was a fun night to say the least 😄. We even had two French men serenade the whole group with accordion and guitar music. Cody and I split everything and got the French onion soup and escargot, the veal and the beef, a cheese plate, and an apple tart and ice cream. Plus I think we finished 3 huge trofs of wine between the two if us 😁 I was so so so stuffed afterward but it was well worth it.
We got to sleep in until 8am today which was nice since most of us were feeling that dinner… Then we had breakfast at the hotel and got on a bus for sightseeing at 9 with Anne, our tour director for the day. She was French, kind of snooty, and very hard to understand. We passed most of the major attractions including the Norte dame, the island of Paris, Pantheon (which was under construction), the Latin quarter, the Louve, Lock Bridge, Arch de Triumph, and we stopped at Church of the Invalids to take photos. Then we went to one of the best spots to take pictures of the Eiffel and got some cute pictures there. Hopped right back on the bus to the train station to take a 20 min ride to Versailles for the Palace and Gardens.
The Palace of Versailles is enormous. I’ve seen a few pictures of the gardens but not really of the palace and it was so much bigger than I was expecting and very very shiny; all of the gold shown so bright, I wonder if they clean it daily or something…
But the Palace was cool to walk through with our tour guide because there was a lot of historical information that I wouldn’t have known if she didn’t explain. Crazy packed with people but worth going in. Then we went into the gardens which was also very large. Beautiful fountains that we waited 45ish mins to start spouting again. One of the fountains did a show to music. There is so much history in Versailles and Paris in general that it’s hard to grasp how old the city really is.
We went back to the hotel and took a quick nap and then headed out to the Luxembourg Gardens which was fun to see and people watch. A whole band was just setting up when we were getting there. Stayed there for a good 15 mins and then decided to walk to the Eiffel and grab wine and dinner along the way. We found a wine shop but it took us two tries to find a place to eat. The first one we went into looked so good and was like a Chinese wok chipotle style place but the didn’t have anything in English and I couldn’t point to anything so I had not idea how to order. Then we went into another Chinese place because we thought that would be our best bet and the Asian lady behind the counter spoke better English then the Asian people in America! We were so thankful haha. So we stocked up on dumplings, calamari, chicken and lemon grass and some lo mein and we continued to walk to the Eiffel, which was a long trek. And because it was the summer solstice, France celebrates with street music almost on every corner and dancing! It was fun definitely entertaining to watch and listen to. A lot of the songs were sung in English and they didn’t even sound like they had an accent, strange but cool because we knew most of the songs.
We finally made it to the tower right at sunset, got some gorgeous pictures, cracked our bottle and food and enjoyed the different cultures and people around us. But a apparently it’s “frowned upon” to drink straight out of the bottle because a guy in front of us offered (in French) us cups and I don’t know how I knew what he said but I smiled and just said merci 😊 then we walked under the tower to look for some dessert and Cody got some chichis which are basically churros.
We went back to sit on the lawn to see the start of the twinkle. At 11 o’clock the tower twinkles for 5 mins at a time and it is absolutely worth waiting for. Apparently at 1 o’clock AM they shut off the regular lights and just turn on the twinkle.
We were in for a busy day. We got up and left at 8:30 to go to the Louve and good thing we got up early because it was packed even that early. Mike said if you spend 3 seconds at every piece of art, it would take you 3 months to get through the whole museum. Needless to say it is massive so we just went to a couple of the big pieces that we knew; the Mona Lisa, the Dying Slave, the Astronomer and I’m sure a couple other that I can’t think of.
For Christmas, Cody and my’s gift to each other were thing for Europe. So one of the things I got him was a lock for the Lock bridge. Yes, cheesy I know. So we went there next, locked our lock and threw the keys into to river. Of course got some good pictures and videos (while everyone was watching us ha). Guess I’m stuck with him now 😉☺️
Next stop was Notre dame. They were actually having a service inside the church when we went around. The stain glass windows were amazing and it hard to believe they made those years and years ago.
Then we went to the Fragonard museum which was a perfume museum. Interesting to hear how real perfume is made and how it’s changed since they first started making it.
At this point, I haven’t had lunch yet so I’m absolutely starving and we’re going to the Montmartre area which is home to the Sacre Coure church which is the highest hilltop/point in Paris which means lots and lots of steps. Got my workout in for the day and when we got to the top, they are known for their crepes so naturally we went straight for the crepes. I got a Nutella, banana and whipped creme one and Cody got a Nutella and strawberry jam one (they didn’t have regular strawberries, it was just jam). And after being starving all day, we scarfed them down in a matter of mins. They were a little but mushy and leaky but good anyways.
Still hungry, we went to a market, got some snackies, some wine and got on the metro to the Eiffel yard to chill for a little before we started our climb up. But we met Mike and he told us he actually got us reservations for an elevator at 9:30 which is apparently really hard so that was a nice surprise! We didn’t have to climb all those stairs. Sooo what did we do for the next hour in a half you ask… Got more wine ☺️. Cody also found out earlier in the day that Shaq and Terrell Suggs were in the city, so we had our eyes peeled for them all day. And when we got home for the night, he found out that we must have been feet away from Terrell at one because he had a picture right outside the tower!
At 9:30 we went to our reservation spot and only had to wait 5 mins to get on an elevator to the second level. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I couldn’t even begin to describe the view because it was just breath taking. We got pictures galore and then headed back down where we went back to the yard… And got some champagne haha. One of our friends bargained with the African guys trying to sell wine, beer and champagne and said we’ll pay 30e for 5 bottles. We got 6 bottles for 35e… And sat drinking our champagne and waited for the tower to sparkle again. Picture perfect ending to our time in Paris.
All in all, Paris wasn’t the cleanest city but it was historic, beautiful and called the City of Lights and Love for a reason.