After a BIG sleep at our room we ventured into one very rainy day for Paris!
Found our first brasserie (of many to come) for our first batch of crepes while we waited for the Louvre to open. Funnily enough our waiter knew we were Aussies because i said ‘no worries’. I didn’t even realise I had said it. Lol.
The line at the Louvre was NUTS. Once we were inside it was even crazier! The place is massive & you don’t know where to begin. After purchasing the official “louvre app” on iTunes for 99c, which I highly recommend, we followed the two guided tours (with directions) to see the most significant and popular attractions.
Very good value indeed.
After perusing for 7.5 hours, we headed outside and walked the entirety of the Champs Élysées! Needless to say our feet, legs and backs were dead!
Shops along the Champs Élysées were expensive so our only shot was McDonalds.. Lol. It was not very nice. Yes, it is true, French people like mayonnaise with everything – including fries.
Then we walked to the Arc de Triomphe (at the end of the Champs Élysées) and it is quite impressive. We went up the the top and the view was awesome. We really got a grasp on just how far we had walked that day. The Arc was a highlight for Tim.
Day 2 we walked to the Eiffel Tower, such a short and pretty walk from where we were staying & found a STARBUCKS… Thank god! French coffee is drank quickly and all I wanted was a long drinking coffee.
The tower is so much larger than it looks in pictures and you really must see it for yourself. Do yourself a favour and pre purchase your tickets so you don’t have no choice but to go to the shortest line- the stairs line- and climb over 500 stairs to get up the tower.
The pick pockets, aka the Gypsies, around the tower are so brazen and varied in age. BE CAREFUL! If anyone asks if you speak English– the answer is NO. Then they ask if you speak other languages, always say NO. Hold on to your belongings at all times and make sure bags are zipped and belongings are not kept in back pockets.
We stopped for lunch before wanting to head to Notre dame and Tim got to try duck patte…. I didn’t like it.
After getting off the bus at the wrong stop, we had a LONG way to walk to Notre Dame, and luckily found my lovers bridge in Paris! We did our love lock and ventured on.
Notre dame is just so magnificent, do not miss it on your trip! It was a very enlightening place to see such ancient art and stained glass windows. I did get a bit annoyed that there are signs everywhere asking for silence as it is a working church and people are praying, but EVERYONE was talking and being loud. So loud that, the priest had to get on a microphone and tell everyone to be quiet, to which no one respected. Blessed myself, incorrectly I realise now, with the holy water there. Doh.
We went to a unique American/ Parisian style restaurant for dinner and I was impressed! Although we came across that famous French hospitality again…. Seems we only encounter it when we are eating out.
Last day in Paris we ventured out of the main quarter to visit the former palace grounds of Versailles. Something I have dreamed about for a very long time. The crowds here were the worst we encountered. If you don’t pre buy tickets online, or if it sells out online for the day you want to go, still go there but buy your ticket at the information office at versailles for €2 extra per person.
Wether you have a ticket or not, you will have to queue to get in. The security line snakes round the whole front court yard & takes at least an hour to get through. My advice pack some food & cold water.
The ground themselves were breathtakingly beautiful but none of the fountains were turned on, and the biggest fountain that I dreamed of seeing was taken out for restoration 😦
Lots of food stands mean you don’t need to lug a picnic basket around all day. But be prepared to queue for toilets! And pack fairly light as there are no bag checks.
I was most impressed with the part I least expected. The Queens Hamlet, where Marie Antoinette went to escape royal protocols. It was so quaint and stunning.
The lowlight was the main castle, too packed, to hot, too stuffy and pushy tour groups everywhere. Visit it at the very end of the day if you can.
We were wrecked and didn’t wake up again to see the tower lit up that night. Whoops. And we checked out the next day!