February 25th, 2010 – by: jaymi123
A quick visit to the city of love with none other than.... my best friend, Laura! We arrived in Paris
in the early evening after the bus trip from Beauvais
airport, which actually doesn't take that long, and the buses are very regular, although 14 euro each way. We get the metro to Anvers station to discover that all the Christmas lights are still up, causing us to squeal in a manner resembling Laura's two Apricot Poodles. We wander down the tiny streets to find our hotel, being distracted along the way by the boutiques that were still open, this was a shopping trip after all! The hotel that we stayed in, which was generously paid for us, was the Alba Opera, situated between the glamourous Opera district, and the slightly seedy Montmatre, and it took on the best qualities of both these areas! It was beautifully decorated, with a plaque outside showing that Louis Armstrong stayed there in 1934.
I had wrote on the booking that this was a 'romantic' trip to Paris, and requested a balcony, which they obliged us with! This was a tad more luxury than we were expecting, as we had actually been booked into the St Christopher's Inn hostel. Anyway, we changed in our room, and went for drinks in the Chat Noir, which is a short walk away. However, we found that it had been renovated since the last time we were in Paris, and it has unfortunately lost much of its unique character to a shiny new interior.
The next day we were meeting my friend Stephane, so we did an 'Amelie' and met at the Sacre Coeur Carousel. He took us to an the Gothic Quarter, an area of Paris that we had never been, and despite getting lost a few times, it was beautiful. We found a tiny restaurant serving good quality food at a very reasonable price, unusual for Paris, it was 3 courses for 15 euro.
We wondered through the area in the cold wind, to find Notre Dame, which was, as ever, breathtaking. After a quick look, we found a small park behind the cathedral, and discovered that it had a very exciting round a bout, that we played on, and that was probably one of the best finds of the trip! Later, we had to say goodbye to Stephane, and quickly made our way to La Galleries Lafayette! The January sales had only started the day before we arrived, so, it was bedlam in this store! We put our fight faces on, and went in search of bargains, of which there were plenty. Sale shopping under the beautiful Tiffany dome was a wonderful experience, and if you are a shopper, you must try it!!
On our last day, we decided to be a bit more touristy. We got the metro to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, and walked into the sun to find the Arc de Triomphe, and wandered down the Champs Elysees.
After having some lunch, we had fully intended to go ice skating, but, this was the coldest day of the year, and I don't think we could have physically done it! So, instead, we went to the Musee d'Orsay for a heat. Acting on a hint from a friend, we presented our passports and student cards at the pay desk, and got in for free! It seems that this works at a few Parisienne sights, so if you do go, then you have to try it! After a few hours in there, we walked back along the river, only to spot the Eiffel Tower from a distance, the closest we got to seeing it on this trip! This was a wonderful winter break, despite the incredible cold, and is one that I hope I repeat.