Thursday, July 5, 2012

From Paris with Love

Here is the final part of my trip to France this past June.

So after a quick weekend in Paris, four days in the French Riviera, it was time to round out the trip by finishing it off with a few days in La Belle Paris.

From our late night train into the city, we found our hotel, very quickly fell asleep, and got up nice and early to see the sites. Since the free tour was a quick overview of most things, we went and hit some of the highlights. Be warned, this day was jammed packed full, and gave most of us sore feet.  It is possible to do all of these activities in one day, but you may pass out at the end!

First we went to the Arc de Triomph. It is way bigger than I imagined it. (Tip..if you don't bother going to the top, it is free and no line!)

 Next we strolled down the Champs d'Elysees

 Next the Effiel Tower! (I forgot to mention in the first post that we had been in Paris for about 24 hrs before seeing the Eiffel tower.) It is one of my favorite structures so I was pretty pumped to see it!

 Tip: If you walk up to the second level it is cheaper and there is way way way less of a line. We waited maybe 20 minutes to go through security.
Line for the elevator..suckkaas

It was a bit of a hike to the 2nd level but the view was great! We didn't bother going all the way to the top because it would have been a good view, but we had other plans! I also learned that I am slightly afraid of heights. I think the openess of the ironwork scared me. 

Next we stopped by Notre-Dame, but there was a big event going on a huge line up. So we planned to return the next day. We got some nice photos of the outside though. The building is amazing.

So instead of wasting time and money to go to the top of the Effiel tower, we went out to Montparnesse tower...super modern "ugly" tower...

but it has an amazing view.

By this point it was getting late in the day, so we headed back to hotel, barely made it to supper, ate the worlds largest crepe for dessert and came home to bed. We had full intentions of being normal 20some year olds and going out..but I for one just couldn't handle it. Site seeing trumps partying in my book...does that make me old??

The next day was our last day in France!! Noooo! Mike and I let the girls recover for our Amazing Race style of taking trips and ventured out to the Louvre. Now this day was kind of all over the place. We first tried to go the Louvre for a scheduled tour, but the one in the morning was booked. The good thing was we went early so we got our ticket when the line wasn't big. TIP: Go into the Louvre from the Metro, where the line is tiny! So instead of the Lourve in the morning we chose Plan B and went out to Montparnesse to the Catacombs tour..but that had the world's biggest line up. So instead we did Plan C and we went back close to the Eiffel tower and went on a...wait for it...

Yes I am a super nerd, and thanks to Mike being a good sport I got so see some cool sewer stuff.. unfortunately smell some sewer stuff too. 

On our way back to the Louvre we had some delicious crepes!

We made it back to the Louvre, and had a great (quick tour) it was more expensive, but totally worth it, got to see the highlights and get some history..our tour guide was kind of crazy though, and the whole thing felt a little rushed. 

Everyone says the Mona Lisa is disappointing, so I guess I was expecting worse, but it was actually pretty cool. The Louvre itself is an amazing building (like Versailles) so the works of art are surrounded by a beautiful building. 

After the Louvre, we went to the Pont des Arts to do something a little romantic. There are tons of locks on this bridge, and couples lock the lock and then throw the key in the Seyne. 

The older couple who took our picture kind of laughed at us...but still it was a very nice moment!

Right before going to supper we went for another fly by visit of Notre Dame. There was actually a mass going on, so it was really powerful to see the church in action, not just as a tourist attraction.

After a wonderful supper with Brittany and Trish (and Brittany's France roomie, her roomie's brother, and her roomie's brother's friend) we had one last thing to do to call the trip complete....

See the Effiel Tower Sparkle!!!

On Sunday we sadly had to go back home. We came home feeling full, content, exhausted, and happy. I ended up seeing the Eiffel tower and the CN tower in a span of 24 hours, and sorry Toronto, you just can't compete with Paris!

The trip may have been very fast, but it was amazing for every second. I am so happy I got to spend my first trip to Europe with two of my best friends, and my wonderful boyfriend (how is that for sappy). 

Anyone else craving Macaroons?

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