Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Travel Tuesday: Oui, oui, Paris.

You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden. -Allen Ginsberg

Be prepared for pictures galore. I didn't want to put any into collages because then they're tiny and not as special! Get ready to experience our 4 days in Paris, France!

In case you missed it:
Bump Around the World
Traveling while Pregnant
Eating in Europe
London, England

Day 1
We took the train from London to Paris and had a very easy time traveling from London all the way to our hotel in Paris! Once we were checked in and situated, it was about 3:30pm and we were ready to squeeze in as much as we could before bedtime. The Champs de Elysees was within walking distance from our hotel, so that's where our Parisian adventure began!

  • We walked over to the Champs de Elysees for some window shopping. And maybe a little actual shopping. Luckily for JP, my growing belly doesn't make it easy to fit into most clothes, so he saved quite a bit of money. I did however, get a small bag from the Longchamp Paris store!
  • The Arc de Triumph is at the other end of the Champs de Elysees, so we window shopped all the way to this amazing landmark. It's usually a roughly 600 step climb to the top, but since I'm pregnant, we got to hop on the elevator! They wouldn't let me take the stairs even if I wanted to. I'll let you what, I didn't want to. The top of the Arc showed stunning views of the city and was prefect for our first day!
  • By the time we made it down, it was time for an Italian dinner {Chloe was craving pasta!} followed by macaroons from Laduree!







Day 2
  • We started the morning visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral. Gorgeous gothic architecture, history dating back to the 1100's, and a stunning site to visit.
  • We walked from Notre Dame along the famous lock bridge, through the street shops and eventually made it to the Luxembourg Gardens. Since it was a perfect sunny day with not a cloud in the sky, there were tons of people out and about sun bathing, playing with their kids, reading by the fountains and more. 
  • After a brief walk in the gardens, we hopped on the subway to go see the Sacre Coeur Basilica. The church itself is a beautiful sight, but the view of the city is also one to behold! It sits atop one of the highest points of the city and it is surrounded by little shops, tents and restaurants. If you're there on a nice day, I recommend making the climb to the top by foot and getting a baguette, ice cream cone or another snack of choice, sit on the steps and just enjoy the view and atmosphere.
  • We went back to our hotel for a few hours to rest and recharge before going to see the Eiffel tower by day and night! We had dinner in between so we could see it with the sun, sunset and a night sky!




















Day 3
  • We were up early to hop on a train to Versailles. You can use public transportation to easily get from the city out to Versailles. All you have to do is purchase your tickets in the subway and find your way to the station where the trains out of town go! I promise it was very easy and a nice 20 minute ride!
  • Tips for Versailles:
    • Be sure to plan your trip so you have a majority of the day at the Palace of Versailles! 
    • Wear comfortable shoes. Y'all this place is huge and I wasn't prepared for just how much walking was involved.
    • Be prepared to walk. A lot. It was a very warm day and this pregnant lady needed quite a few rest breaks. I may have even had a mini meltdown.
    • If you're planning to visit Marie Antoinette's palace, know that it is roughly 2 miles away from the main palace. We walked it, but I wish I would have taken advantage of the train that takes you over there!
    • Take lots of pictures but really take in each room as you go.
    • If you're interested in learning more, get the audio tour guide. We didn't have one and I wish that we would have!
  • Dinner at Les Foules de Lille back over by Notre Dame
  • We decided to hop off the subway an exit earlier than our hotel to get a view of the Louvre by night! I'm so glad that we stopped to take pictures because it is so much cooler at night than by day!

Main Palace












The Gardens






Marie Antoinette's Palace








Day 4
  • We spent a full day exploring masterpieces and learning about history at the Louvre Museum!
  • Tips for exploring the Louvre:
    • This museum is huge. Plan a full day or at least a solid chunk of your day for exploring the exhibits.
    • Get an audio guide! They have Nintendo 3DS systems that not only guide you along your way, but they are GPS enabled, so they help you get to where you want to go. Including the bathrooms :)
    • Do the masterpieces tour. It takes 45 minutes and you get to hit some of the most cherished and prized possessions of the Louvre. 
    • Explore the other preset tour options. We did another one that was just over an hour before we started exploring on our own.
    • When exploring on your own, you can use the feature that explains more about the art you are looking at. Sometimes, it's hard to fully understand what you're seeing and I loved having the guide explaining some of the art.
    • You can leave and come back without paying again. This includes your audio guides! All you have to do is return it and say you'll be back later. They let you pick it up and continue using it all day.
  • We decided to wrap up the trip where it began on the Champs de Elysees.






















Whew. Did you actually make it through that entire post? If so, I'm super impressed! It took me forever to get all the pictures edited and to sort through which ones I actually wanted to share!

Let me know if you have any questions about traveling in Paris! 

Next up, Salzburg, Austria!

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