So first of all apologies for my radio silence we have had a lot going on over the last few months, then Christmas rolled around and a house move in between meant I lost my writing mojo and haven’t really found the time for it. However I found myself missing writing my blog (even if it doesn’t get read by many!)
Albeit a bit late I thought I would get back into it with a post about my amazing 30th Birthday trip to the city of romance Paris, all thanks to Mr Tapp for arranging it! I took too many pretty pictures on my new camera (be kind I’m only just learning how to use it!) not to write a post about it.
We flew from Exeter airport to Charles de Gaulle taking a whole 1hr and 25mins, oh how I love short flights, as soon as I’d got into a chapter of my book we were landing – hoorah!
We arrived at lunch time so after a Metro ride nearly as long as our flight we dropped off our bags at our hotel and went in search of a bite to eat, there was a little shop next to our hotel so we grabbed a couple of baguettes (well we were in Paris) and a few nibbles and went back to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the La Clef Tour Eiffel it was a gorgeous 5 star hotel located just round the corner from the Eiffel Tower, I would highly recommend if you do take a trip to the City. On checking in we were told we had been upgraded to a bigger and better room (it pays to put the reason for your stay in the little comments box when booking!) I only hoped that we had a view of the Eiffel Tower from our room and it was the first thing I checked once our key card let us in the room, amazingly we did, you did have to crane you neck a bit to see it but it was still there so I was very happy with that! We dropped off our luggage and went back out to make the most of our time – we were only there for a long weekend so wanted to make the most of it. Before we left for Paris I had pre-booked tickets to go up the Arc de Triomphe, it wasn’t something I knew you could do until I saw a post on Instagram, the tickets were fairly inexpensive and I’m glad we pre-booked them as it meant we avoided all the queuing. I had hoped to go up the Eiffel Tower but left it too late to book so the Arc de Triomphe was second choice, I am so glad we did it though, it was an amazing experience.
We climbed the iron spiral staircase that takes you to the top. We stepped out through the little doorway and the view was just amazing! You could see for miles and miles, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. We spent a good amount of time up there taking in all of the sites and planning where we wanted to go next from our real life roof top map.
We descended back down the beautiful stair case and out on to the Parisian streets wondering what to do next. We walked back towards where we were staying to have a look at what was around us and where we could go for dinner. We ended up at the top of the steps looking out at the Eiffel Tower and walked along the park for a little while until our rumbling stomachs had us searching for dinner.
We made our way back up the steps and walked back down the road where our hotel was, across the road was a bar called Frog. They had happy hour on beer and cocktails so that enticed us in. We ordered drinks and food and that was pretty much the end of day 1 in Paris!
Day 2 – We woke from a good snooze in our lovely hotel, got showered dressed and went out in search of Breakfast, we came across a nice little cafe, ordered some pastries and coffee and made a plan for our day. We had decided to see as much of Paris as we could by foot so we didn’t miss anything, I think we walked around 11 miles that day! We walked back up to the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Élysées, through parks, past the Louvre Palace, on to the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
We then decided to go a little bit further and caught the Metro from Norte Dame to visit the Moulin Rouge building and the Sacré-Cœur. We weren’t very impressed by Moulin Rouge so stopped for a pit stop in a cafe for lunch and then carried on up the little cobbled streets that climbed up to the Sacré-Cœur.
When we got to the top there were lots of people leaning over railings, craning their necks to see over the edge, when we got to the top we realised why, they were looking out at the stunning view of Paris from the top of the hill. The Sacré-Cœur is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church perched up on the hill, it seemed to be very popular with tourists as there were huge queues to get in the building, we decided against it and just sat on the steps taking in the view. We descended back down the hill choosing a different route this time, you could take the funicular – which is really just a steep cable car or take the steps that lead you back down the hill – we chose the steps!
We caught the Metro back to the Eiffel Tour and went for a drink before heading back to our hotel to get changed for dinner. Both of us are terrible at choosing somewhere to eat so we ended up walking a lot further that evening than we probably needed to. It was a blessing in disguise though as we saw a few things that we weren’t expecting that evening, being so close to the Eiffel Tower we decided to head down that way in search of a restaurant, I had my head down in my bag looking for something and when I looked up the Eiffel Tower was lit up with twinkly little lights sparkling away in the early evening dusk, it was beautiful (hard to catch in a picture). The sparkling lights are superimposed over the golden lighting. Made up of 20,000 light bulbs (5,000 per side), they bring the monument to life for 5 minutes every hour on the hour once the Tower has been lit up until 1am, something you definitely have to go and see.
Once we’d finished gawping and the lights we carried on walking, our rumbling tummies guiding us, we walked and walked but didn’t really get anywhere, remembering we’d seen a sign for a pizza restaurant near to our hotel we made our way back there. As we climbed the steps back up towards the restaurant we noticed there were lots of people sat waiting for something, this caught our attention so we stopped too. Soon enough a group of men came out dressed in bright coloured T-Shirts and started to dance, I have totally forgotten what they were called but they were brilliant, a mixture of street dance, break dancing and comedy all rolled into one! They really got the crowd involved and we left feeling glad we’d stumbled across them. We stopped in the restaurant for pizza and a couple of drinks and then made our weary way back to the hotel, having walked so far that day we were knackered!
Day 3 – We didn’t have much time to do anything on the Sunday as we new it would take us a little while to get back to the airport. We packed up our bags and left the hotel in search of breakfast and found a lovely little cafe called Carette. We ordered a coffee and a pain au chocolat each and devoured every crumb. Our hardest decision of the day was going to be choosing what we would takeaway with us, there was so much to choose from! In the end we went with an Eclair… it cost a small fortune but was so worth it, it was the best pastry we’ve ever had even if we did share it!
That was the last of our time in Paris before we made our way back to the airport. We had a lovely time and it was just what we needed. Thank you Dave for my amazing Birthday treat <3
I’ll leave you with some more pics of the Eiffel Tower, they’re too pretty not to share!