With the arrival of my friend Tim and the August bank holiday, what better thing to do than catch the Eurostar to Paris and spend a week exploring France! We caught the Eurostar which was super easy and convenient, the only difficult bit perhaps was getting to St Pancras International on the tube with our heavy packs. After a nap and a coffee on the Eurostar, voila! We were in the heart of Paris!
We had a phantom Uber mishap and then a phone issue, but finally made it to our AirBnB in Le Marais and then we were off to explore.
Our first afternoon and evening, we wandered from Le Marais down to La Seine, through the winding medieval streets to the exquisite Notre Dame. Along the way we unknowingly sampled what is known as the best ice cream in Paris, and it was delicious. Notre Dame was beautiful, bathing in the 36 degree Parisian sun, with it’s bells chiming and putting on a show. We then wandered down to Pont Neuf with the oldest surviving bridge across the river. From here we wandered back along the Seine, through the winding streets of Le Marais and back to the AirBnB. But not without a dinner stop! All in all a lovely first afternoon in Paris.
Sunday was another beautiful, sunny day in Paris. Le Marais where our AirBnB is, is apparently the fashionable part of Paris, where true Parisians shop, eat, drink and socialise. It definitely wasn’t touristy and felt very authentic. We wandered towards a Patisserie for breakfast, and managed to find ourselves in a beautiful square which coincidentally is the oldest planned square in Paris. After picking up some pan au chocolat, we had a picnic breakfast in the square before jumping on the Metro to the Opera district for a walking tour. On our walking tour, our fabulous guide Alice told us all about the Paris Opera and history from the time of Napoleon III. She also explained the modernisation of Paris and the Haussmann influence, which has led to the Paris we have today. We also explored some of the gems of the right bank including Place Vendôme for all the most expensive designer shops. We finished up at the Tuileries Gardens, where a phenomenal amount of Parisians were playing PokemonGo! So even the most stylish city in the world is not immune to Pokemon madness!
After a ride on a Ferris Wheel to take in the views of the city, we deiced it was a good idea to risk our lives and bike up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc Du Triomphe. A terrifying 15 minutes later we ditched the bikes and walked the rest of the way to admire the beautiful Arch.
Later that evening, we were off on a bike tour of the city by night, including a river cruise. Initially we rode to Tour Eiffel along the banks of the River Seine. Once we made it to the Eiffel tower, it wasn’t long until we were on the boat for the river cruise. Just as we were about to leave, the Eiffel tower started sparkling and twinkling in the late evening light, so beautiful! However apparently quite expensive for Parisians. Our river cruise took in all the main sights of Paris by night, it really is the beautiful city of lights. After the river cruise we rode home via Napoleon III’s tomb, the Champs-Elysées and the Lourve. After a packed day there wasn’t time for much else, just bed.
Place des Vosges
Bit of shopping on the walking tour
Cycling up the Champs Elysees