I’m currently sat on the sofa, half sleeping, having just submitted an assignment for uni, and wishing I was still in Paris. I don’t even know where to begin, but I should probably start by saying how incredible the weekend away was, it was a birthday to remember, you’re only 21 once after all! I’m just going to give a step by step account of my trip away, without making this an absolute novel (it’ll be hard not to though because whenever I talk about it I get overly excited and completely carried away).
After a standard Frankie and Benny’s breakfast at the airport, which was washed down by a Mimosa, tad early for alcohol I know, but that’s just the way all holidays start, we boarded the flight to Charles de Gaulle. I’m not kidding when I say I felt like we had just took off, and then all of a sudden we were descending into Paris, I had to wolf down my “croque monsieur” the flight was that quick. Once we arrived the driver for our private transfer was waiting with his iPad in hand displaying our name, ready to whisk us off to our hotel, which was situated half way between Paris and Disneyland.
After arriving at the hotel and quickly organising ourselves, we headed straight into the city as we booked the Eiffel Tower for that night. One thing I couldn’t get my head around was the RER train, it was basically like a double decker bus on a train track, with upstairs and downstairs. I’m also still slightly traumatised after almost getting trapped in the train door and David having to pull me on before it squashed me any further. Anyway, despite the stress of that, as soon as we walked out of the metro station, all of the drama was forgotten when I looked up and made eye contact with the Eiffel Tower, it was massive, and looked unreal. I thought the Blackpool tower was a sight, but this was double the size and even more intricate. We grabbed dinner at a little outdoor cafe on the promenade of the River Sienne with the tower in the background, a setting I never imagined to be part of. After dinner we got crepes from a street stand, filled with nutella and strawberries, and oh my goodness I haven’t stopped thinking about them since (that’s the foodie within me coming out). At 7.30pm we went up the Eiffel Tower, and if the 2nd floor wasn’t high enough for us, we went to the summit, and I’ve never seen a view quite like it, especially at night when the city was lit up like one big giant airport runway. My favourite part was that for the first 5 minutes of every hour, the illuminations of the tower sparkled leaving you in awe at the sight of it. It’s no wonder the tower is named “The Iron Lady“, because she truly is beautiful…tremendous work Mr. Eiffel, even though you only paid for it to be built and named after you.
The following day was my birthday, the big 21, and to wake up in Paris was the perfect way to spend the first day of “adulthood“. We got up bright and early and headed back into the city as we had loads planned, and wanted to make sure everything got ticked off on our to-do list. First stop was the Louvre, and me being me half expected it to be a little museum with the pyramid shaped glass outside, but no it was a literal maze, and took us the remainder of our time there to actually find the Mona Lisa. 1) The Mona Lisa was not the size I expected it to be, it was smaller and, 2) You can’t get anywhere near it; it’s protected by glass, has a barrier around it, and its own security watching your every move. It was lovely to visit the museum and see all its beauty held within, as museums aren’t something I’m typically into.
After the Louvre we headed to the famous Pont Des Arts, because you can’t go to Paris with your boyfriend and not visit what was once and still is known as the lovelock bridge, despite there being no padlocks on the actual bridge. On our walk across the river to the new location for the padlocks, couples were stood on the barrier of the bridge securing their padlocks to the lampposts (oh the things we do for love). When we got to the stairway, we found a little gap and David attached the personalised padlock he got made for us and that was it, we left a little reminder of our relationship in Paris – that was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. For years I’ve wanted to put my very own padlock on the bridge and I not only got to do that with my boyfriend, but my best friend too. It was lovely seeing all the padlocks, of all different shapes and sizes, some engraved, some simply written on with a Sharpie pen, all holding their own little love story. Simple but meaningful.
The Arc de Triomphe was next on our to-do list. This is another one of the things I love about Paris, you simply step out of a metro station and the attraction is right in front of your very own eyes, you feel like your walking straight into a postcard. The Arc was enormous, right in the middle of what appeared to be the busiest roundabout in Paris, with cars cutting out from left, right and centre, thankfully we had to go through an underpass to get over to it rather than attempting to cross the road. Once through security, we climbed what felt like 10,000 spiral stairs to the top and were met with blue skies and blinding sunshine. It was such a gorgeous day, which made it 10x better because you could see every part of the city so clearly, stretching for miles.
After the Arc de Triomphe, we got on what was probably the 5th train of the day and headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for my birthday meal. I’ve never been to the Hard Rock Cafe so this was another first for me, and they knew it was my birthday when we arrived as David had contacted them to let them know. We ordered some cocktails, I chose the Mixed Berry Rita, and David the Electric Blues, along with a bottle of rose to share (celebratory times call for celebratory measures). For starters I got chicken tenderloins, and for my main I got twisted mac and cheese. I definitely recommend trying this place as the food is great, as well as the service, especially Homeboy our waiter (that really was his name). After dinner we went to the Montparnasee Tower, it reminded me of what I imagine New York skyscrapers to look like, giant offices stretching up into the clouds, making you slightly dizzy if you look straight up at it for too long. We got the lift to the 56th floor and then took the stairs to the roof terrace. The sun was just setting so it was picture perfect as you can see in the picture below. I took so many pictures because with a view like that it was difficult not to. After sitting and soaking in the city from above we headed back down to reality.
The last stop for the day was an illuminations river cruise on the Sienne. I highly recommend this for anyone going to Paris, not only is it cheap, but it’s nice to see Paris at night when it’s all lit up, it’s completely different in contrast to Paris during the day. The cruise lasted an hour, and you see the likes of Notre Dame, sail under the Pont Des Arts bridge, whilst seeing the beams of the Eiffel Tower circle the city. It was freezing, but perfect for snuggling up and enjoying the Parisien vibes.
A final favourite memory of the trip was experiencing Ladurée. Having read many blog posts on people’s trips to Paris, this place and Angelina’s sprung up on the majority of the posts I read. I aimed to visit both during my trip, but with so much to do in so little time, I successfully visited 1 of the 2. After assistance from google maps we finally found Ladurée Champs Elysées, and my face was a picture when I looked to the other side of the road and spotted it on the corner of the street. The queue inside was unbelievably long so we were unable to buy anything, but thankfully they had a stand at the airport selling every macaroon possible. It was a bittersweet moment sat in the middle of the airport about to board my flight back home eating these well talked about macaroons. I think I’ve developed an obsession with them, they’re so petite and pretty.
I had the most incredible birthday in Paris, and done more than I ever imagined, it was the best surprise ever. I can’t wait to go back one day, and for now I’m currently thinking of where to go on my next trip away as I want to see more of the world and continue ticking off places from my list of dream destinations. My next post in a couple of days will be on my day at Disneyland as I intentionally missed it out due to wanting to dedicate a single post to it. I hope you’s all have a lovely week, and that I didn’t bore you to death with this.