Paris – The lights! The crepes! The romance! Just a 4-hour train from Maastricht, the quick trip on Thursday gave us three full nights in one of my favorite cities yet.
Since this post is late, I’m going to hit you with the highlights and do my best to spare the details:
- Eiffel tower at night. A sparkling light show happens every hour, on the hour. It was fantastic.
|Posing with a local at Montmartre|
- - Morning was spent touring the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre for a panoramic view of Paris, and a quick picture by the Moulin Rouge windmill to pay homage to the movie.
- - We made it to Notre Dame for a Friday afternoon Lent service (all in French… we didn’t think through that one), then a quick metro to Trocadéro, home of the Palais de Chaillot, a beautiful building that offers the best view of the Eiffel from its grass green hills. Dinner was a trademark French crepe, fresh off the press and complete with “poulet et fromage” – basically, a French quesadilla. We caught the even light show and walked around the Seine River and Eiffel area. It quickly became our favorite hang out in Paris.
- Breakfast at Café Angelina – “the only place to have a cup of hot chocolate,” according to Audrey Hepburn. It was decadent, to say the least.
- The Louvre – Student i.d. means free entry! We stopped by to say hi to Mona… turns out she’s the strong, silent type so we left shortly thereafter.
|Jardin des Tuileries|
- Jardin des Tuileries – my favorite part about Paris was the greenery. This central garden, leading up to the entrance of the Louvre, was full of picnickers and children pushing sailboats around its many fountains. It was beautiful, I wanted nothing more than to stop and read a book in the grass and enjoy the flowers.
|Jardin des Tuileries|
- Arc du Triomphe. The Arc marks the beginning of a walk down Champs-Elysees. The victory arc is a beautiful piece of architecture reflecting a sad bit of history for Napoleon. The highlight here was witnessing a proposal… precious.
- We walked down Champs-Elysees to the metro, our final destination being the Eiffel Tower (Round 3? Why not.)
- I’ve had a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower on my mind for as long as I can remember. Overlooking the fountains at Trocadero as the sun set on the Eiffel Tower was absolute bliss. We purchased Brie, baguettes, and fresh fruit to go along with our cheap bottle of wine from a local market.
|Another check off the bucket list|
- Climbing the Eiffel tower – SO much fun! A mere 1,665 steps brought us to the second tier of the Eiffel. From there, we took an elevator to the very top for incredible views, just as the evening lights began glimmering.
|Top of the Eiffel with our new friends... ¡Hola, Ricardo y Angel!|
- Finally, we got crepes with some friends we met on the Eiffel, stopping to enjoy the masterpiece we had just conquered. At the Palais de Challot we caught a live musician doing renditions of U2 and Adele for a crowd, the Eiffel glowing in the background. Perfect end to a perfect day.
|Front of Chateau de Versailles|
Sunday: (yes, there is more. My apologies)
VERSAILLES! Ohhhh my, what a wonderful Sunday. With spring in the air, the gardens of Versailles were blooming with golden daffodils and begging for a stroll through the carefully constructed landscape.
The property is absolutely extravagant. We were unable to tour the palace due to a time crunch and excessive crowds, but made up for it by paddle boating on the Grand Canal! The man-made lake is a central location for the tourists that come to Versailles – people were picnicking all across the lawns, bike riding through the many garden paths, and enjoying ice cream on the warm day. After our boat excursion, we had lunch on an outdoor terrace in the gardens. It was wonderful.
|Paddle boating on the Grand Canal|
All in all, the weekend in Paris exceeded expectations. Abundant sunshine made for great pictures, enjoy!