First day exploring Paris

Paris Travel Blog

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Notre Dame

Last night I met a guy in my room name Grant, who is from New Zealand and a fellow lone traveller. We decided to go explore the city together as we are both Paris newbies. We hopped on the metro to Bastille and then walked along the river towards the Notre Dame (almost walking onto a movie set but I didn't see any one famous or know what it was for), had a few minutes looking at the squirrel-looking Gargoyles of the Notre Dame, then through the exteriour squares of the Louvre,seeing the pyramide, a couple parks, one of which we were sitting next to a fountain and had a mini tornado sweep through and cover us in water and dirt!, through place de la concorde, Champs d'Elysee, Arc de Triumphe, then onto another park which has a really great view of the eiffel tower.

look over there!
I had seen it from a distance but we turned a corner and *Bam* there it was in all it's metallic glory.

We then walked under it to another park and then found an International beach volleyball tournament where a bunch of ladies were playing. For Grant's sake, we situated ourselves behind the back line of the court and watched some very fit ladies jumping around and diving for the ball. I was pretty impressed and it was nice to see sand again!

I had heard about the view up on a hill in Montmarte, so we went north trying to find it. After wandering through a bunch of different areas and stumbling across the Moulin Rouge (not very impressive) and a sex shop showing films catered to Hetros, Homos and Sadoists, we quickly moved on to find the church. En route we mistakenly ended up in a cemetary complete with a black cat that came out of no where.

Kind of right on key really. Grant wanted it to look like scary but it just rolled around on the ground and scratched it back.

He wanted to walk through the cemetary but it was freakng me out so we continued towards the "butte". Once we found Montmarte, I fell in love. It's my favourite part of Paris so far. There's lots of shops, restaurants, artists doing portraits of people (who look waaaaay better in the portrait that they do in real life) and just a lot of character. We found the Sacre Coeur Basilica and sat on the hill next to it taking in the magnificent view of the city. We could see most of it except the area with the Eiffel tower due to a lot of trees. Apparently you can see a 360 degree view if you climb to the top of the Basilica.

We then found a cute, little restaurant had a meal and a bit too much wine.

look over there!
We met a couple from California who gave us a half finished bottle of their wine to drink. Since returning to France I've switched to Bordeaux (thanks for the suggestion Shane and Leigh Anne) and really like it (maybe too much). En route in search of a place to watch the France vs Italy game, we came across one of the free toilets on the sidewalk and had a fun time trying to get it to work (maybe influenced by my wine intake). We then found a small bar, had more wine and watched the football game. After the game listened to some funky disco music (yes that caught me by surprise).

Not surprisingly, we got lost on our way back and ended up walking for a half hour in the wrong direction along a canal (ok so maybe I'm not so good with a map when I'm a wee bit tipsy).

For being 1am, there were a lot of people out and about. There was a mix of couples sharing a bottle of wine, groups of people hanging out and the occasional sketchy person talking to himself. Once we realized we were no where near the hostel we caught the metro back and crashed pretty hard after 7 hours of walking around the city.

Once again I meet a really cool person I have lots in common with and then I have to part ways after a day!

PS - I'll be keeping you informed of the progress! :)

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Notre Dame
Notre Dame
look over there!
look over there!
look over there!
look over there!
YAY a Canadian flag!
YAY a Canadian flag!
bums
bums
cemetary
cemetary
freaky black cat
"freaky" black cat
Moulni rouge
Moulni rouge
drinking some vino
drinking some vino
Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur
view from Montmarte
view from Montmarte
Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur
free toilets on the sidewalk
free toilets on the sidewalk
Paris
photo by: Sweetski