Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Travels: Paris, France

Welcome to the second instalment of Thursday Travels! We hope you enjoyed last week's feature on Ljubljana. This week, we thought we'd go for somewhere a liiittle more well-known, and decided that Paris would fit the bill nicely. Hope you like this brief account of our adventures in the beautiful City of Light.

Even though we'd been there already a few times, there is no such thing as running out of stuff to do in Paris; you cannot possibly get sick of the place. Seriously, just sitting all day long in a little outdoor cafe watching the world go by is the ultimate in entertainment. But, in all fairness, you can't go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montmartre and the Louvre. So that's what we did. (With quite a few cafe-stops along the way, might I add).

We arrived on a balmy day late in the afternoon and headed for Montmartre, Amelie Poulain's vicinage; a hill-top district dominated by the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. We had to climb 300 steps to get there, thus entitling us to copious amounts of croissants, pains au chocolat and raspberry meringues in payment for all that calorie expenditure (or so I reasoned).

                                        {Vicky and Ali outside the Sacre Coeur}

File:Montmatre bordercropped.jpg
{Charming until you have to climb up and down them, in wedge heels nonetheless}

{We stopped by the ET for some romantic Eiffel-tower-at-dusk shots}

                                                              {Sisterly love}

The next day we were up bright and early to see the Eiffel Tower by day, and go to its topmost level (which none of us had ever done). We were there at 9, there were very few people, and we had no bother at all getting tickets to get the lift up (no more stairs for us, thanks very much!) As was to be expected, the views were stunning; a real-life panoramic postcard of hazy early morning Paris. We were all full of the joys of spring until it was time to head back down again... Oh. My. Lord. The queues were absolutely insane. We had to wait over an hour to get back down again, and never were we happier to set foot on solid ground again.

                    {All smiles not realising the horrendous wait ahead of us}

At this point we were fairly famished, so we went in search of a cafe that was simultaneously non-depressing and reasonably-priced (which proved to be a tough find) but this little place hit the spot. I had a croque-monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) and a French-style chocolate-chip cookie (oddly crispy, with the chips sprinkled on top rather than embedded).

                                                           {Bon appetit!}

Next up on our itinerary was to take a Bateau Mouche trip down the Seine. It was about an hour, and not thoroughly riveting, but you can't really go wrong with sitting back and relaxing while sailing past Paris's landmarks. There was a group of around 50 French schoolchildren aboard and their antics never ceased to entertain us. Every time we passed under a bridge they would get super-excited and chant out "Une, deux, trois, OUIIIIII!!!!!!" (Roughly translated as "One, two, three, YEAHHH!!!!! So darn cute. Even after the twenty-ninth bridge).

                                 {Becky aboard the Bateau Mouche}

By this time, it was getting on in the day, so we had to hightail it to our two other destinations: the Louvre and the Notre Dame cathedral. You could easily spend a full day at the Louvre and not see all it has to offer, so we followed the herds to its main attraction, the Mona Lisa (cos you know, you kinda have to see that) before making a hasty exit.

                                     {Ali and Vicky outside the Louvre}

Our final cultural stop of the day was the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, one of my favourite places in Paris. There's just something so haunting and atmospheric about it, especially on a gloomy day.

                   {A lot of grass and people in this pic, but what can ya do!}

                                          {Having a moment}

Sooo...that was Paris! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's Thursday Travels!

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  1. Great post, I so want to go to Paris!


  2. aaahh i remember this! soo reminiscent, all the little kids yelling as we went under each bridge on the boat aha