Je suis Paris

Hello everybody!

Two weekends ago Amanda and I were able to travel to Paris, France, or as Amanda kept reminding me, the city of love! Unfortunately, as you may have realized, Paris was just one week removed from a brutal terrorist attack and the city was on high alert (as were Amanda and myself). Fortunately, the city and all it has to offer was just as amazing and beautiful.

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The Louvre

We arrived in France on Friday night and ate dinner at the hostel bar because we were very hungry. All fueled up from dinner we decided to check out the most visited paid tourist attraction in the world. And let me tell you, the Eiffel tower has most definitely earned that title. I recommend taking the metro to Trocadero (lines M6/M9) to see the tower at a distance. I imagine on any night this view is incredible, but while we were visiting Paris, the Eiffel tower was lit up in the colors of the French flag. Usually at night tourists are able to see the hourly light show put on by the tower. However, I believe that it was much more powerful to see the tower lit up in blue, white and red as a symbol of french patriotism. Luckily this was not the only time during our trip we were able to admire the Eiffel tower.

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View of Eiffel Tower from Trocadero

After an early start and a solid hostel breakfast to fuel us, on Saturday morning we headed out for a packed, fun filled day of tourism. Although it looked like we were in for some nasty weather, we escaped the rain our entire time visiting the Palace of Versailles. This was extremely lucky and to top it all off, we got in for free. Please read our previous post for details of our excursion to Versailles!

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Versailles

Unfortunately, immediately after finishing up at the Palace of Versailles it began to rain. Although this did put a bit off a damper on the day we were still able to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Louvre before turning in for dinner at the hostel. The only casualty of the day was my umbrella that was unable to withstand the wind in line outside of Notre Dame.

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We may have been a little wet but we were able to go inside the cathedral and it was beautiful. The stained glass windows, the Pieta, and the gothic architecture, to name a few things, were stunning and to top it all off we left with a poster autographed by Quasimodo! After a rainy walk to check out the Louvre, we decided we had had enough and we needed to head back to hostel for food and warmth.

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The Rose Window
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Inside Notre Dame Cathedral

However, after some dinner and drinks, the weather began to clear up and the spark for adventure ignited in us once again. Another place we advise people to visit in Paris is the Arc de Triomphe. This magnificent arc stands at the end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and if you are interested in luxury shopping after seeing the arc you are in the right place. In english the name Arc de Triomphe translates to the Arc of Triumph.

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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (under the Arc de Triomphe)

Its construction was ordered by Emperor Napoleon and was intended to be a rallying point for the French Army. French troops would march under the arc after successful military campaigns. One of the best parts of the Arc is the view from the top, where you can see the entire Paris skyline.
In my opinion everybody should take the time to see this amazing view. However, if you ask Amanda she may not say the same thing as she barely made it half way up the stairs before she was out of breathe… I think it’s time to hit the gym!

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View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

We had seen the Eiffel tower from far away the first night and thought it was time to check it out up close and personal. I’m glad we did because Amanda captured quite possibly my favorite picture ever.

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My favorite picture of the weekend at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

Also, at the base of the Eiffel Tower we got to experience a french crepe and had hot chocolate to go with it. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a french crepe is essentially a really thin pancake folded and stuffed with food (in our case: Nutella and strawberries). We were also lucky enough to meet two friends while we enjoyed our crepe. Two enormous rats were keen to have a piece of our dessert and Amanda was terrified! You should have seen the look on her face as the rats came up to us. Not that I was thrilled or anything, but her reaction was priceless. After a run in with two Splinter look-a-likes (TMNT reference) we had enough and turned in to the hostel.

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Our view while we enjoyed crepes & sipped hot chocolate

We wrapped up the weekend in Paris by doing a couple last minute things we were unable to do in the previous day and a half. We had yet to see the Eiffel Tower during the day and we thought what better time to see the tower than during sunrise. With assistance from a stranger we were able to capture probably my second favorite picture of all time.

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Sunrise at the Eiffel Tower

Also, what is a trip to Paris without getting a picture holding the glass pyramid at the Louvre! Although we had no time to venture inside the museum we enjoyed it grandeur from the outside.

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Shortly after that, we went back to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame in order to take some nice pictures. The day before was far too rainy and windy and we wanted to snap a few shots before leaving. The original plan was to get a day shot of the Paris skyline from the top of the Cathedral, however, we mutually agreed to forgo this in order to get the airport in enough time and decided that we will have to come back in order to see the parts of Paris we missed out on.

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View of Notre Dame over the Seine River

Until next time Paris! Au revoir,

Mark

Make sure to check out our video blog of Paris! Next stop: Germany, to see the christmas markets of Dusseldorf and Cologne!

 

 


2 thoughts on “Je suis Paris

  1. ¡Qué hermoso fin de semana, Mark! Gracias a tu resumen y descripción de lo que vieron e hicieron en París tú y Amanda, y de estas fotos espectaculares, yo pude re-visitar esa bellísima ciudad romántica y única! 🙂

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