je t’aime paris

Culture, September, Travel

it’s september – SEPTEMBER. when did that happen?

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it’s taken me over a month to get this up, but better late than never right? i’d also like to add that i coudn’t find my camera’s usb cord to upload my photos so that added to the delay.

as usual, i digress.

you will remember i used to live in utah, usa (if you’re new then hey i used to live in utah!) and having been back in the uk since march, time has flown by incredibly. two of my friends promised that they would come visit and they sure did. at the end of july my friends sara and sarah (!) flew over the pond for their first european trip.

Sara and Sarah
sarah (l) and sara (r) enjoying their first kebab experience. when one travels to the uk one must devour a kebab. 

we did start off with a few days in london and windsor but i’m going to start with our trip to paris.

we took the eurostar from london (kings cross station), which took a marvellous 2 hours and 20 mins. we arrived pretty late at night and our host’s sister met us to give us the key to our flat (rented via airbnb.com – highly recommended). we stayed in montmartre, just north of paris.

our trip was short, just tuesday night to thursday afternoon but we wanted to make sure we got the most out of our trip during our short stay.

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wednesday morning we booked ourselves onto a 3 1/2 hour walking tour. honestly, at first i thought it was going to be a drag. but goodness. i was so glad i was so wrong. we booked we go walking tours, a FREE walking tour of paris covering notre dame, la sainte chappelle, the louvre, lovers locks, napoleons tomb and of course the eiffel tower {and much more}. did i mention it was free? FREE. you have the option of tipping your guide how much you think the tour is worth. believe me when i say it is an excellent way to be introduced to the city of lights.

you meet the tour guide at notre dame cathedral and finish at the eiffel tower, and it honestly felt like 30mins than 3 1/2 hours.

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^^it is good luck to stand on and turn around this little golden gem outside notre dame. this is i believe the very centre of paris!

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^^the love locks bridge

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^^outside the louvre

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^^of course when you go to paris you need to try a street crepe!

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^^and this happened on our tour! the city of love indeed 🙂

after the tour we headed to a gorgeous little cobbled street and found a cute quintessentially french restaurant for lunch.

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^^ these fun little men on the stop signs were everywhere!

after lunch we headed back to the eiffel tower. now here’s a tip for you. the queues were incredibly long, with it being summer and everyone and their mother was in paris (or so it felt) the queues were 4+ hours long, and in that parisian heat it sounded slightly torturous {when you’re in paris though it’s not too bad 🙂 }. a friend of mine had told me that we could save a lot of time by walking up to first level then getting the lift from there. well we decided to be a bit more adventurous and we walked up the 669 steps to the second level. it was a definite work out. but. oh. so. worth. it.

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we were exhausted but so glad we did it. it took us about 1 hour 30mins instead of over 4 hours. that my dear readers i call an achievement.

after a long day of walking we wanted to rest a little. you see this stretch of gorgeous green up ^^there? we picked a spot right at the back, grabbed some freshly baked baguettes, meat and cheese from the local supermarket and slumped out tired selves as we watched the sun go down. there were several parisians and tourists out, it had been a beautiful summer day and the evening sun was glorious.

sunset picnic at the eiffel tower? perfection.

at 10pm {and every hour on the hour from then until about 2am} the eiffel tower sparkles. i can’t even describe what that looks like, but magical is the only word that comes to mind right now.

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absolutely magical.

we headed back to the flat soon after for a well needed rest.

thursday morning and afternoon was spent catching up on some of the sights we hadn’t yet seen and of course just soaking up our last few hours of paris.

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and i could not leave paris without trying escargot. aka snails.

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that green deliciousness you see there^^ is garlic sauce, they were divine. if you like mussels, you won’t mind snails at all.

we headed back to our flat to gather our things and leave the key with our host’s sister.

i also decided that i need some of these stickers in my life…

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the flat was perfect for the 3 of us and if you’ve never used airbnb i highly recommend it.

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i want to leave you with a couple of tips for paris:

  • if you don’t speak french that’s ok, make sure to apologise before you ask for what you need at a restaurant, tourist shop, everywhere really.
  • be prepared to walk. a lot. but it’s the best way to see the city. (buy a map and have great walking shoes!)
  • definitely walk up to the 2nd level of the eiffel tower and catch the lift up from there.
  • airbnb.co.uk for booking a whole flat or room, i think this is so much better than a hotel, and adds to getting a real parisian experience.
  • for cheaper travel from london try easyjet.com, ryanair.com or if you’re ok with a 4+ hour coach ride use meagbus.co.uk

i hope to get you the london post tomorrow.

travel is my live, c’est la vie.

m.

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