We set off for the ‘City of Love’ earlier this year, rented a cute little flat on Airbnb for the week, and got into the Paris lifestyle! We’d both been to Paris before we met each other, so it was really nice to go back and visit together. We also managed to crash our friends’ honeymoon (just for a few days). We took them along to see some tennis at the French Open, of all things, and we of course accompanied them for all of the super romantic outings like climbing the Eiffel Tower, so I’d say we did a proper ‘crash’ job! We had a blast with Becc and Nath in Paris (although of course the time flew by and was way too short)!
We stayed near Montmartre, but away from the main tourist area, so it felt a little bit like we were living in Paris (although short-lived)! The owner gave us a map of the local area that he had marked with his favourite bars, restaurants and “cool areas” in the neighbourhood, which was…cool! We discovered ‘cool areas’ that we wouldn’t have otherwise found if it wasn’t for our great little map. After this experience, I would definitely recommend Airbnb as a better and cheaper alternative to the mainstream hotels in Paris.
In a week, we definitely covered a lot of ground, although we also just took the time to wander for the last couple of days, which was nice.
We started with buying ourselves a Museum Pass (although our plans for museum sight-seeing were a little too ambitious and I’m not sure that we actually saved ourselves any money with it in the end, but not to worry…).
First stop was the Musee d’Orsay, which is actually inside an old train station, and has a huge clock at the top of the building, with probably a 3 diameter and there is a great view, through the clock, out towards Sacre Coeur. Aside from the art, the building itself is quite spectacular.
Next was the Museum of Modern Art in the Pompidou Centre – a very interesting looking building with an ‘everything that is normally inside, outside’ kind-of-look:
A street performer in front of the over-sized pipes of the Pompidou Centre:
A photo-shoot with rainbow tights in front of the oversized Pompidou pipes:
Below is the view from the Pompidou across the chimneys tops of Paris to Sacre Coeur.
And across to the Eiffel Tower…
After about an hour waiting to get in (even in the late afternoon), next was Versailles and the hall of mirrors, which is definitely the highlight, and well worth the wait! Although you wouldn’t know it from these photos, there were actually mountains of tourists piling through the hall of mirrors every second 🙂
After wearing ourselves out with museums, it was time to meet the honeymooners! We covered all the compulsory sights; Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, walked the Champ Elysees and climbed the Eiffel Tower in the evening.
The story with all the padlocks is that couples engrave their names on a padlock and throw the key into the river as a way of showing their life-long love for each other – quite sweet 🙂 Of course, being in Paris, there are about three bridges absolutely packed with padlocks! Becc found the below padlock of a couple who have been married for 50 years!
In the evening, we climbed up the Eiffel Tower, which was nice, but the best view is only with the Eiffel Tower in sight!
After a day of the sights, it was time for some tennis! We went to the French Open, which turned out to be a fantastic day, after a bit of bad weather at the beginning. We stocked up on lots of yummy French goodies, including some really ‘strong’ smelling cheese, which managed to completely penetrate through Nath’s bag (and worked well in ensuring no-one sat too close to us in the grandstand, for a while).
The following day we had an awesome lunch of gourmet mini burgers (not exactly French but very good all the same) at a place recommended to Becc and Nath by friends, met up with a friend of Tim’s who lives in Paris (lucky guy!) went for a wander around the Marais area, visited an fancy éclair shop, and bought up big!
To finish it off we did a very quick visit to the Louvre (very quick – 45 mins) because it was time to find a nice restaurant and settle in with a good French red for the night and say our farewells 😦
Our last day in Paris was very chilled, and I did a bit of wandering through Marais, which I think is one of my favourite areas – lots of nice shops, little laneways etc. On our last night we consulted our little map and visited another of the “cool places” near our place 🙂
After seeing all the sights and eating ALOT (all those croissants for breakfast, fresh baguettes with cheeses and prosciutto for lunch, eclairs for afternoon tea, heavy French dinners, not forgetting the great wines, repeated each day for almost a week) we well and truly lived the Parisian lifestyle. We were then homeward bound to detox on our German diet 🙂