Paris is one of those places every girl dreams of visiting one day. And for me? It became a reality. My three best friends and I visited the City of Lights for a week-long vacation. A last hoopla before we all go our separate ways for college.
Paris fell nothing short of my expectations. I fell in love with the city’s architecture, cobblestone streets, boulangeries, patisseries and cafes lining every street. I learned how to navigate the area and check out other neighborhoods or “arrondissements” via Metro. Most of all I enjoyed the people, the accents, the cute guys, and the atmosphere in general.
Our days were jam-packed with things to do. Time seemed to bleed together. We often had to ask ourselves “Did we visit that place earlier today or was it yesterday?” There were plenty of times when I just felt like taking a nap or a break to rest my feet… we were very “Go, Go, Go” in an attempt to absorb all that we could in the short amount of time we had there. I don’t regret it though. We made the most of our week and had the chance to experience a lot of what Paris has to offer.
By the time we got to our hotel after getting off the plane, it was midday in Paris. We decided to unpack our clothes, get settled in, change and get ready to go exploring. The way our trip was structured was that two of our seven days we would have guided tours provided by an agency we hired. This way, we weren’t completely lost in a brand new city, but would also have a substantial amount of free time. Before heading out we met with our tour guide to go over the plans for the week, etc. She gave us a lot of great ideas about what to do and where to visit.
Our first guided tour was the morning after our first day in Paris. We took a bus tour and saw places like the Opera, the Louvre, Champs Elysées, Latin Quarter, Les Invalides and Arc de Triomphe– making note of what we wanted to come back to. Our last stop as part of the tour was to Fragonard, the perfume equivalent to Chanel or any other house hold designer name. The store itself can only be found in France. We briefly learned the history of the brand, where certain scents are originally from on a global scale. Did you know there are only 50 people in the world who have the job of creating perfumes? They’re called “Noses.” To become a Nose, you have to go to school for 11 years and can’t eat spicy foods (it could damage your ability to smell). Despite all of that, it’s a very high paying job.
After the perfumery we got lunch at a boulangerie and ate our food picnic style at a populated grassy area a block away. Whilst planning the trip we bought tickets to tour the Louvre. After lunch we took the metro to the glass pyramid to take pictures and meet up with our tour guide and the rest of the group. I prefer modern paintings to the classic artworks found in the museum, but I did enjoy the mural ceilings, marble and stone interiors, etc. It was also fun to see what people were wearing. There were some pretty interesting outfits happening. Haha.
Our final stop of the day was the lovelock bridge. The tradition is for you and your soulmate to put a lock on the bridge and throw the key in the Seine river.
It was time for some much-needed rest. After the bridge we were all ready go back to the hotel and wind down before our evening out. On the way back we found Ladurée, a shop that sells delicious macaroons.
We went to a fancy Italian place for dinner and then headed to the Eiffel Tower again, this time to see it at night.
It was time for a much-needed sleep after such a long day. We verified our plans for the next day, set our alarms accordingly and drifted off into dreamland.
The next morning, we took the metro to Montmartre to see Sacre Couer, “the highest point.” I was taken aback by the basilica. Such a beautiful building! The view from the top was incredible. The bajillions of stairs it took to get up there was so worth it! Montmartre is the name of the area the church is in, so we explored the rest of that area. Artists were all set up with their paints and easels side by side ready to sell their creations, or create you if you wanted it! I loved the artsy atmosphere.
After Montmarte we ate lunch and headed back towards the hotel for some shopping. We popped into H&M, Zara, Mango, and Promod. And then something happened that would change the course of the rest of the trip… we found gelato!
It was by accident. Surya had looked up nearest ice-cream places and the directions took us to a place that sold gelato. One bite and all four of us were stuck like glue. Everyday after that we found a way to make sure gelato got in our tummy’s (as well as macaroons).
For dinner we went to the Indian restaurant right next to our hotel. It was FANTASTIC. So good in fact, that Surya and I ate super light dinners the following two days so when we got back to the hotel we could “sneak out” and have their food again.
I’ve just realized this post is really long and I’m only on day 3. Sooooooo Click HERE For Part 2!