Woah, it’s been a long time since I posted about our travels and now I already have another trip to write about!
We started out the Paris leg of our journey by taking a cab to the train station – St. Pancreas. We arrived a little early to be on the safe side, which just gave us time to peruse the little grocery store to get some goodies for the trip and a coffee shop before checking in. If you are a hot chocolate fan like myself you
need HAVE to try a Cafe Nero hot chocolate, I’m just sad that I didn’t try one until we were leaving London, as they were seriously more prevalent than Starbucks! Super creamy and thick, definitely not what my Keurig makes at home :-\ We got all checked in and went through security (got another stamp on our passports 😉 and boarded the train, as stated in a previous post, we used Seat 61 to help purchase our Eurostar tickets. We wanted to face the direction we were traveling so we could see the countryside better. The train was pretty pleasant, it was a direct trip and took only about 2 1/2 hours, I may or may not have taken a pretty fantastic nap, what’s new right? While I wasn’t napping I read up on Paris, I skimmed the Lonely Planet: Pocket Guide of Paris on my Kindle.
My hot chocolate and my cutie train partner
Lenton watching the beautiful English/French countryside, not really sure where this was at lol.
Now this is where the fun begins…not. We arrived in Paris a little before lunch time. We had pretty much become pros of the London tube by this point so I wasn’t expecting much trouble with the Paris underground. I was definitely wrong. I had heard about a lot of scams with “taxi drivers” charging way more than a normal rate to get tourists to their hotels so I was pretty certain we didn’t want to do that. So we decided to take the underground but that proved much harder than anticipated. In London we got the Oyster card which you just loaded with money but in Paris each direction is something like $1.50, so even though we had to take two separate trains it was still the $1.50, in London it would have been two separate fairs. And you had to buy printed tickets which were much more of a pain to keep track of than the card was. But we did finally figure it out and we got to the stop closest to our hotel and walked the rest of the way. Thankfully they let us check into out room early and we proceeded to nap most of the afternoon away. I know, what a boring way to spend our first afternoon in Paris, but after getting up really early and all the traveling and stress, we were just done. After a good nap we felt a little better and needed some dinner, we didn’t want to venture too far so we ate in the hotel. Not a bad meal but nothing real memorable, however the hotel bar that served Corona was top notch! So that was our eventful first day in Paris!
The view from our hotel, the tower was a
little lot obstructed by another hotel…grrr!
For our first full day in Paris we decided to put the first day behind us and start fresh! We didn’t really have much of an itinerary going into the day but we knew we needed to find Trocadero, which is right on the other side of the river from the Eiffel Tower. This is where we were to meet our photographer for our session so we wanted to make sure we knew where it was and it was kind of on the way to the Arc De Triomphe, which we knew we wanted to see. So we started out the day with a little early lunch at a cafe with an Tower view, it was quaint and very French.
Our lunch on our first full day in Paris
We then took off walking towards the Eiffel Tower to do some sightseeing. It was a beautiful, warm day so we soaked it all in. We walked all around the tower and then onto the Arc De Triomphe, it was a pretty long walk, but we decided we would walk off our lunch and see more of the city that way.
The River Seine
The Arc de Triomphe was pretty cool, such a huge architectural structure literally smack dab in the middle of an intersection, but then also it’s beautiful, it’s strange lol. What was probably the most interesting thing though was the TRAFFIC! There was probably at least 5 lanes of traffic circling the Arc and there were no marked lanes at all! So cars were racing around this circle like it’s an autobahn, cutting across lanes, cutting people off, braking, it was crazy. Lenton and I just sat there and watched the insanity, how anyone gets around that area in one piece is beyond me!
One of my favorite parts of Paris were the gardens and floral everywhere!
On our round about walking tour of Paris, we walked down Avenue Des Champs Elysees. This is a major street in Paris and where most of the high end shopping is. It was pretty fun to see all the swanky shops and try to guess which people were native to Paris and which were tourists. We also walked past this gorgeous building, the Grand Palais. It wasn’t really on our plan of things we wanted to see, so it was kind of a fluke but glad we saw it, as it’s extraordinary.
We decided to go to the Orangerie Museum, however they are closed on Tuesdays, so make sure to check that out if you travel to Paris, apparently Tuesdays a lot of things are closed there. The Musee D’Orsay was open though, so we did that museum instead! It’s a smaller museum but still had a lot of great pieces. By the time we waited in line to get in, it was one of the only museums open so it was pretty crowded, we were in need of a snack, so we hit up the restaurant that’s on the top level, we split a piece of cake and got a couple beers. I do love this about the French, the beer was almost always the same price if not cheaper than a coke or even sometimes water! You just can’t beat that! The clock inside the restaurant was also really cool and I enjoyed snapping a few photos of it. If you visit the D’Orsay, make sure to walk outside on the top level, there was a beautiful view of the River Seine.
The View from the roof of the Musee D’Orsay
Inside the restaurant
The main pieces I wanted to see were by Van Gogh, again, it’s so surreal to see some of this art so up close and personal. I already knew the Lourve was going to completely overwhelm me!
One of the hall of the Musee D’Orsay
I had been really studying the underground maps, because it really irritated me that it was so much harder for us in Paris than in London. So I was feeling a little more confident and we took the tube from the museum back to our hotel, it was a little stressful there for a bit, not exactly sure if we were going to the right way, but we were and we made it back to our hotel in once piece!
We found a great little Italian restaurant for dinner, we had pizza, pasta and of course some more beers! It was a great, quiet evening and just a short walk to our hotel.
More to come from our last two days in Paris soon!