#6 – A weekend in Paris
There’s nothing quite like meeting Paris for the first time. Or being there when your friends do, which was the case for half our party on this recent adventure. Yes, it’s touristy and such. But it’s also beautiful and truly romantic and steeped in so much history that you can hardly breathe.
My favorite moments in Paris this time around were the moments, not the big scenes. We didn’t go into the Louvre or Notre Dame (though I kind of regret it). Instead, we walked down small streets and into old courtyards. We hunted down the best chocolate shops. Katie and I arrived and immediately ate one of the best three-course meals of my life, from the salad to the boeuf bourguignon to the crème brûlée (parfait!). We walked by the Seine, even getting to a place where we saw more than a few rats and realized we should probably turn back…. but couldn’t find a staircase to exit the embankment. (Don’t worry mom, there were a few other people around!) We picked “our cafe” and ate breakfast there multiple days. We navigated ourselves around our neighborhood based on our proximity to an iPhone 6 sign posted on the side of the police headquarters.
My friends did indulge my touristy side a bit by agreeing to go on the Sandeman New Paris walking tour with me – I love this company and have been on their tours in Berlin and Amsterdam too. I think it’s a great way to see a small slice of the city within a set structure – no one needs to worry about watching the time or holding the map (though we did get totally separated at the end and almost have to just go home without each other…).
It took us all over the city, to the monuments and bridges and parks. We learned about the kings and queens and the French government’s attempt to keep their culture intact through actions like trying to come up with a French alternative to “selfie” (good luck!). We also visited the Pont des Arts, which was made famous by Carrie and Big’s kiss in the final scene of Sex and the City and which has essentially been destroyed by tourists since then. The idea is to add a lock to the bridge to symbolize your eternal love for your sweetheart and throw the key in the river (dozens of vendors sell locks nearby in case you didn’t plan ahead) – but our guide pointed out all the combination locks, which he said were from coy French lovers who make promises to women, then come back and collect their lock again the next day to re-use it on their next date.
It was a whirlwind trip – I think I could stay in Paris for at least six months and not get tired of it, even though our Airbnb was the size of a small camper. The bubbling fountains and historic buildings – the late dinners and uneven streets – the artists and bookshops and museums galore – and these friends by my side, at sunset at the Eiffel Tower.
What’s your favorite part of Paris? I’ve still never been to Sacre Coeur and could spend an entire week in the Musee d’Orsay, which I’ll aim to do on my next trip back!
Katie and I also took a detour to Versailles – read about it here!
The #6 is brought to you from the street of our Airbnb in Paris.
All photos are my own unless otherwise stated.