Paris Travel Blog› entry 7 of 22 › view all entries
My first sight in Paris after walking down the ramp was Tiff waiting on the other side of the glass. I tried communicating via gestures through the glass wall, and learned very quickly why no one ever wanted me on their charades team. I did manage to successfully convey “nice jacket” though. Baby steps.
After getting my luggage and waltzing right through security, we hopped on the train and headed towards her apartment to drop off my luggage. I must say, the scenery of Paris’s outskirts is very lacking. We transferred onto the metro at Gare du Nord, and only when we came up from the metro did I get my first true look at Paris. You can immediately tell that you are in Europe by the narrow streets, skinning buildings, and the general architecture and atmosphere.
The way to the apartment from the metro station was fraught with patisseries, cafes, and brasseries. The smell of fresh pastry and croissants was a constant lure the entire trip up.
After dropping off the luggage, we grabbed the Paris guidebook and went off exploring. Our first stop was Sacre Coeur, a large church built at the highest point in Paris. Standing in front of the church, you got a full panoramic view of the entire city. It was quite a breathtaking scene, and from that vantage point, you can see everything from the Louvre to Notre Dame.
After making our way down the hill and through the mobs of tourists, we hopped on the metro and headed for Chatelet. We eventually ended up in St. Michel, a very trendy area of town filled with boutique stores and cafes.
The architecture was amazing in Paris. There seemed to be a monolithic masterpiece at every street corner. At first I kept asking what each building was, thinking that it must be something pretty renowned to deserve the special architecture. However, eventually I learned to stop asking after every response ended up being “a church.” After that, we set out to find the most famous church, Notre Dame.
It took a few twists and turns, but eventually we found it. It is definitely one building that is much more impressive in person than on postcards. After a tour inside and numerous pictures, we sat ourselves down at a sidewalk café over a latte, watching the fellow dole out nutella crepes one after another.
After Notre Dame, we went off hunting for the Louvre. By the time we got there, it was fairly late in the day and we decided to postpone visiting the inside for another day. Continuing down the street, we came across the Egyptian monolith, and walked on down the Champs d’Elysee. Hoping for a night cruise along the Seine, we decided to follow the guidebook and headed to a beer restaurant for supper to wait for it to get dark. It was here that I learned that the French are definitely not in a hurry when they eat. I almost swore the waiter was purposefully ignoring us, taking forever to take our orders. Later on, I learned that a typically French supper lasts several hours at the shortest.
So by the time we actually finished eating and got our bill, it was already too late for the boat cruise. We then decided to just walk over the bridge and go up the Eiffel Tower. The tower was stunning at night when it’s all lit up. Every hour, the tower also sparkles with additional white flashing lights. Hyped as it is, this is definitely one place in Paris that is worth a visit up close. It was fascinating to see the construction of such a vast tower right from below it. However, by the time we arrived, the lifts were no longer working, so we were forced to postpone going up the tower to another day as well.In the end, we hopped on the metro and made our way back to the apartment for the night. All in all, a fabulous day where I actually started to get my bearings in the city. We hit pretty much all the important sites in one day, all walking. We were both pretty exhausted from all the walking and made a brilliant pact to sleep in the following morning.