After I wrapped up my tour of Amsterdam, I continued it on to Paris by train. That part was pretty exciting, I had never been on a train before, heck, I hadn’t even been in a train station before then. So while some people had a bet that I would become motion sick from it, I am happy to report, I had no issues. Traveling by train is an easy way to get from one place to another where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the scenery.
The train ride took about 3 and a half hours, so we finally got to Paris a little after noon. To say it was busy would be an understatement. I actually felt like I had stopped in New York when we were leaving the train station. It was so busy, and traffic was insane.
Once we dropped off our stuff at the hotel, we then took an hour and a half hike out to the Eiffel Tower. While it was a long walk, Paris is definitely a city made for walking. There are sidewalks everywhere, so you never had to worry about getting hit by a car, at least not too much, though I did see it happen (Side story: guy was crossing crosswalk when he shouldn’t and a car clipped him. He screamed then went running after it, still in the middle of the road for a good five minutes. The guy seemed fine, thankfully, but he had us all triple checking before we crossed the road.). Anyways, back to the Eiffel Tower. It is stunning. I mean, you see the pictures and you know it’s beautiful, but there’s something about being up close and standing underneath it, that is just so amazing. Since this was my first visit, I’m not sure how tight security usually is, but there was a long line to go through metal detectors and bag checks just to get inside to walk around. There was a secondary line to actually go up the Eiffel Tower, with additional security checks. While it was a long hike, it was definitely worth it. On the way back, I got the most perfect picture of the Eiffel Tower at sunset. I included it below, because it looks like a professional took it, not a 24 year old American tourist.
The next day consisted of more walking around. We went wandering just to see all the different museums, memorials, arches, etc. Paris, just like Amsterdam, has beautiful architecture, and it was something to see. We walked through a beautiful park on the way to the Louvre. It was so peaceful and relaxing, I couldn’t help but love it there. With fountains and even a maze, it was stunning. From there, we went on to find Notre Dame. I was a little disappointed with just how touristy some of the sites had become. The line to actually go into the Notre Dame wrapped around and out into the road, so we opted not to spend our day in line (If I wanted to do that, I could just go to Disney World). And all of this navigating, I want it noted, I did without the use of my cell phone. I am directionally challenged, but I figured out how to get us around Paris without getting too lost. I’ll admit, we got a little lost here and there, but I figured out how to get us not lost, and that’s a win I will gladly take. After Notre Dame, we stopped for some coffee and creme brulee, and oh my gosh, the best creme brulee I’ve ever tasted. Needless to say, I love all their desserts, and probably had waaay too much sugar on this trip.To conclude our day of wandering, we went out to the Arc de Triomphe, which just had beautiful architecture. The fact that some of these monuments are hundreds of years old is amazing, the craftsmanship is just so beautiful.
The third day we decided to take it a little bit easier since we had wandered so much the day before, so we wandered around downtown Paris for a bit shopping and just going in here and there. We found a chocolate museum, that was awesome. Then we went to this little champagne cellar for a tasting. We tried three different champagnes, and each one was absolutely delicious. The fact of being in an actual cellar was quite an experience too. Steep stairs and alcohol are not always the best mix, though thankfully I didn’t drink enough for that to be an issue. Then we ended our day heading to a hotel that was closer to the airport so we could get ready for our journey home.
Of course, each night we went out to eat, and the food was again, just so delicious. Everything was made with fresh ingredients and great. One thing that did take some adjustments to was the slower pace. Here, dinner is sit down, eat, and leave, but in France and Amsterdam, a meal can go on for about two hours. They are in no rush for you to leave, even if you’re done eating, you can just sit back and talk and enjoy the restaurant for as long as you want.
Overall, it was another fantastic trip, that I am so blessed that I was able to go on. Parts were a bit touristy, but that’s to be expected when you go to the City of Lights. I think walking around was the best, because you got to break away from some of the touristy parts, and find some places that the locals go to.