This will be a long and winding post, so you might want to start with a little mood music…
Bienvenue à Paris!
Walked into the first boulangerie-patisserie we saw and bought a croissant. What? I’m allowed a couple of clichés, am I not?
After fueling up with buttery carbs, it was time to explore the city! Guess where we headed to first?
La Tour Eiffel, how I had waited for this moment! The weather was perfect that day, the very epitome of “il fait beau“.
It’s just you, me, and 19, 236 tourists in between. How romantic.
Tip: Pack a drink and a snack before you leave to see the Eiffel Tower, especially if you plan to be there for a while. A bottle of water costs 4 Euros! C’est trop cher, non?
Posing with our expensive bottle of water.
A beautiful arc en ciel! The spray from the fountain reached far and wide. Well, far enough to “rain” on us as we lay on the grass.
Crossing la rue.
More frolicking on the grass after dinner.
Just when I thought that it couldn’t possibly get more beautiful than this…
THIS. This insanely sparkly, glittering display. Pictures don’t do it any justice!
It went on for maybe 5 minutes, and it was the most magical moment of my life, up until the fireworks at Disneyland Paris. Two massive reasons to go back to the City of Lights, and then there’s the food…
Of course, Paris isn’t perfect. As we crossed le Jardin des Tuileries (pictured) to get to Musée de l’Orangerie, we were approached by two young women who wanted us to sign a petition for something I couldn’t quite catch. They then demanded that we make a donation, which we declined since we didn’t have small change, and I wasn’t about to donate 10 Euros to some unknown agency even if it were legit. They got angry and started shouting at us, and one of them pushed me, but we kept on walking.
As we left the museum, we saw the two of them and their friends (group of five, all young women) being rounded up by the police. However, I doubt that they were arrested and thrown in jail. My colleague encountered the same thing in the same place later that year, so it was likely to be same group, or coincidentally it could be another group running the same scam to cheat unsuspecting tourists.
We also had a close call with a pickpocket while in Rome, so the stories you hear aren’t just rumours. There really are pickpockets and scam artists, and you’ll have to exercise caution where necessary.
As a general rule, I don’t queue during a holiday. Time is doubly precious, so we didn’t queue to go up the Eiffel Tower, despite it being on my #30before30 list. Also, I recommend tours that allow you to “skip the line”.
We didn’t queue to get into the Notre Dame either, but I’d love to see the interior. Maybe next time? I’m definitely planning to travel to Paris again anyway.
You have to admit, the view from the outside isn’t all that bad.
No, not bad at all.
Les belles fleurs.
The gorgeous views as we walked back to our hotel.
Arc de Triomphe at sunset.
How to look taller: stand next to a really short traffic light.
Trop mignon! Can one even call this a car?
Bonus picture: Versailles, which is just as beautiful and demands a return trip…
Et c’est tout! After this, I’ll have one more post about Paris, and then it’s off to London, and eventually… Melbourne. Hahaha, procrastinate much? It’ll all be here in due time, please bear with me!