June 13, 2014

12 Hours in Paris

A few weeks ago, I took another ODR trip… this time to Paris! I love adding a new country to my growing list, and I especially love crossing stuff off my bucket list. I'm planning to take my mum and one of my siblings there later this summer, so this was also a great chance to scout things out.

I know everyone wants to see the same thing when they visit Paris… the Eiffel Tower. So, here's a shot of it before I get to anything else:

And here I be in front of it! Proof, I was so there.

Of course, my day didn't start at the Eiffel Tower. My pal Michelle and I took the ODR bus together, along with her daughter. After sleeping overnight on the ride to the city, we were dropped off at Place de la Concorde. During the French Revolution, a guillotine was set up in this square. It was here that King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed.

We planned to meet my other pal, Becky in the early afternoon at the Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa. To fill some time, we wandered the Tuileries Garden which backs up to the Louvre. The gardens are very beautiful, and include playgrounds, carousels, fountains, and even restaurants. We stopped for a quick cappuccino at the garden entrance, happy to sip our way down the many paths.

At the opposite end of the garden, we walked under the Arc du Carrousel to reach the famous "invisible" entryway to the Louvre.

Because this was a quick trip, we didn't take the time to enter the Louvre itself, though we did wander the outside grounds. When I return in July, I plan to take my mum and sis there, so I'll tell you all about it then, kay?

Lunch was the first thing on our list after meeting up with Becky, especially since we were taking the Sandeman's free walking tour at 1 PM. We were in a bit of a hurry, but luckily found a great little cafe on the way to our tour. I loved my petite canard burger… fresh duck with balsamic onions, roasted mushrooms, and a dijon sauce. If I lived in Paris, I'm sure I'd gain 100 pounds in the first year!

After lunch, we were ready to walk off all those delicious calories. I highly recommend the Sandeman's walking tours. I've taken them in several major cities, and they are always quite good. Our guide this time was no exception! Smart and humorous, with lots of insightful stories at each of the major attractions were passed. Here's a look at some of the things we saw:

At the end of our walking tour, we braved the Paris metro to see the Eiffel Tower. The Paris metro system is very similar to London's Underground, if you've ever ridden that one. Once you have an idea of how it works, the process is pretty simple. Keep in mind that many stations do not have cashier windows, so you must purchase tickets from a machine. A lot of these machines will take coin money only, so keep some extra small euros on you for this. Or if you're spending several days in Paris, try out the Visite Pass.

After the Eiffel Tower, there was just enough time for some shopping and some snacking before the bus came back to get us. I found some great art prints, and happily munched on macaroons as we wandered. If you've yet to have a macaroon, they are so delicious! Get your first one from Angelina's, you won't regret it.

I absolutely loved my day in Paris, and I can't wait to go back again later this summer. I'm also planning a visit near Christmas with one of my other siblings. I wonder how different the city will look under a crisp winter sky?

Until next time my friends, happy travels!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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