Friday, August 30, 2013

Europe Trip Travel Blog #9: Paris, France

We had three days in Paris. Paris was one of the places I most wanted to go. While I really liked it, I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. The people were pretty rude and the city was kind of smelly. However, since this was the last place we went we really splurged on food and ate very well. We got to do all the things we wanted to do, as well, so that was awesome, and I am so happy to have been there.

On our first day we ate lunch at a little cafe in Montmartre (near where we were staying) called Chez Ginette. The restaurant had a globe light, which was awesome!
We ate the best veggie burgers ever. The patties were made of chickpea and weren't entirely solid. They were very good.

Right after lunch, it was raining. This was the only rainy weather we had on our entire trip so we really lucked out. Unfortunately, the only indoor activity we had planned to do in Paris was visit the Louvre but it is closed on Tuesdays so we couldn't go our first day.

We went back to our hostel for about an hour and the rain cleared up.
I am used to the fresh-smelling prairie rains at home and while it was raining I kept opening our window up to smell the rain...only it didn't smell fresh at all. I kept forgetting and inhaling again. Woops.

Once the rain cleared up we went to Shakespeare and Company, an English bookstore in the 5th arrondisement. The original Shakespeare and Company bookstore opened in 1919 and many famous writers visited such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. The store closed in 1940 during the war. The second store opened in 1951.
It is like one of those rooms from Harry Potter - it seems small from the outside but it is big on the inside.
There is a new bookstore, a secondhand bookstore, and an upstairs library/reading room. It is a very cool place.

I bought a copy of A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. It is a collection of memoirs published posthumously, and there are stories about his time in Paris. The cover of the book is him in front of the bookstore.

Next, we went to Notre Dame because it is close. We did not go inside, we just walked around the outside.

We walked across a love lock bridge. Lovers put their initials on a padlock, lock it to the bridge, and throw the key into the water. We did not make a lock, we just took pictures of the bridge.

Then, we went to the Eiffel Tower.
The man working the till was really rude and yelled at Stephen, so that sucked. There was a sign saying the top floor was closed, so Stephen asked about it, and the man said, "I can sell you a ticket to the top." Stephen tried to clarify if the ticket would be good for that day and the guy interrupted to yell, "ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME. I CAN SELL YOU A TICKET." Super rude. Sadly that was not our first (or last) experience of a French person being rude to us when we asked for help/for them to do their job.
So...we walked up all 670 steps, as far as one can. Then we took the elevator to the very top. We had another rude experience in the line for the elevator. There was a couple standing at the edge taking a picture, about 3 feet away from the back of the line. So we joined the line and then they got all mad at us because apparently they were in the line? (they weren't.) So whatever, we let them go in front of us. Then the man explained that he wasn't really mad at us, but they'd just seen a different person cut in basically they yelled at us because somebody else did something rude. Whatever.

The top of the tower was cool. Paris is reallllly big, so I couldn't even see all of it from the top, but it was cool picking out landmarks we were planning to visit, and I am very proud to say I have climbed the Eiffel Tower.

On our second day in Paris, while walking around Montmartre, I spotted this building which looked like the produce stand from Amelie, so I took a photo of it, and it turns out it is the same building. Very cool.

We went to the Louvre after lunch. It is very big but some parts were closed off, which was kind of a relief because it automatically eliminated certain things for us, but it also sucked because we would suddenly reach a dead end and have to backtrack through things we'd already seen.

We saw the famous, over-rated Mona Lisa. We saw the Venus de Milo. I liked the Greek sculptures and the Egyptian stuff.

After the Louvre, we walked to the Champs-Elysees. It started raining so we ducked into a mall and got some macarons at a chocolatier (we got a few souvenirs for friends and family, too.)

Then we went to see the Arc de Triomphe.

On our third day we took a day trip to Versailles to see the palace. We already had our tickets and we still had to wait in line for about 40 minutes to get in because we went right after lunch.

We did not get audioguides, which I am grateful for because every single room was just jam-packed with people just standing around listening to their audioguides, and the guides didn't have headphones so everyone was just holding it up to their ear, cranked.
As a result of not having the guide, we didn't learn too much history about the rooms or the palace, but we did enjoy the extravagence.

hall of mirrors. Super fancy.

Marie Antoinette's bedroom.

My favorite part of the palace was the garden because it was not as crowded, and it was just beautiful. So many lovely flowers, hedges, was gorgeous.

On our last night in Paris, after supper, we went to see the Eiffel Tower at night, all lit up. At one point they made it twinkle/sparkle, by turning the moving/blinking lights on. It was awesome. We took lots of good photos and stayed for a while.
It was a nice way to end our time in Paris.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Paris if it's a place you'd like to see. I'm glad we had three days there because there was a lot we wanted to see and do, and we managed to fit it all in.

After Paris, we went back to Frankfurt for part of a day, so we could spend the night there and get to the airport in time for our flight back to Canada.
Although this was the last destination on our Europe trip, I am going to share one more blog with you because we didn't go straight home after our trip. We spend a few days in Ottawa with our friend, and did some cool things. So stay tuned for that post coming soon, and

check out my other Europe Trip Travel blogs:

and my packing tutorial


  1. I love the Paris city. Historical building and so much fun to have here