First afternoon in Paris
While Mel is off living it up in Central America, I have just arrived in Europe. This is how it worked out when we started dating. Totally travelling with her next time.
I finally made it to Paris after almost 20 hrs of travel (bleh)
In the midst of my cloudy and foggy brain, I decided it would be easier if I jumped in a taxi from the airport to my hostel.
Now this was a major fu&* up on my behalf. I’m hoping that I’ve got the major mistake out of the way early (fingers crossed)
I won’t say how much the taxi cost.. Because it is both outrageous and embarassing. Wow. Never again.
Nonetheless after a hefty 15 min cab ride. I made to my hostel in Belleville. Pretty nice hostel, friendly staff and clean. Has everything I needed.
Despite being pretty sleep deprived and making dumb decisions, I decided to push through and go out walking.. The hostel staff were helpful with directions.
I decided to go to Sacre Decour Basilica (only about 12 mins away)
This is when I discovered the easy to use METRO (which could’ve saved me some euros earlier). Any who, I decided to leave the taxi debacle behind me and push on to the Sacre Decour.
As you can see, it is a magnificent and beautifully built basilica.
I went inside which was stunning but you’re aren’t meant to take pictures in there.
And you can go to the top for a pretty cool view of the city (about 6€, was happy to pay)
Here is me at the top and a view of Paris
It was about 6pm after I’d gone wandering around Montmartre.
Then once I was done wandering I decided to head back to Belleville.
I thought it would be nice to check out the local area. Wowsers was I wrong. I went walking around and didn’t feel very comfortable. I got a little lost, the streets aren’t parallel at all and I lost bearings.Thank god Mel introduced me to Maps.me app. It allows you to download city maps so you don’t need wifi. This came in handy and saved my jet lagged arse!
I kept walking, found my way and went looking for a bite to eat. Impossible to find anything half decent. When I did, it was pretty average and took seriously 30 mins to get my takeaway meal. Expensive too. Won’t be spending much time around there other than at the hostel, which is nice.
Yeah, decided I’d call it a night after that.
Woke up pretty early and decided to go out running in Belleville. Ran 30 mins and did some push-ups and the like. I am actually feeling pretty good and settled.
I came back to the hostel, got ready, had breakfast and off I went to the walking tour at Saint Michel.
Went in a group of 20 people. The tour guide was really good, gave us a lot of history! Some fun facts…
We Started at Fontaine Saint Michel, you can see the Saint kicking in the demon the statue.
Fun fact #1 – during the 98 soccer World Cup final between France and Brazil, the French lit up the angel, red blue and white and lit up the devil green and gold (Brazil).
After an intro, off we went to check out some amazing places.
We went to quite a few places so I’m hoping I don’t forget any.
Walking through the Latin quarter we made our way to:
Notre Dame du Paris
Fun fact #2 – It took nearly 200 years to build and it collapsed 5 times when they constructed it.
This is where Napolean I is said to have claimed himself to the throne as the first French Emperor.
The New Bridge (pont neuf )
Where King Henry II at the time claimed that their needed to be a ‘new bridge’. Funnily enough, this is now the oldest bridge in Paris.
This is one of the highlights so far me. It is just an incredible piece of history.
(Fun fact 3: took over 700 years to build and I believe they are still adding to it)
It is where Leonardo Davinci’s Mona Lisa painting remains. I was going to go check out the museum until I saw the line. I’m really not that keen on spending time in lines on this trip. No doubt there is some stunning art in there. I only have 3 days here so don’t really want to spend too much time in lines.
After the louvre, we kept walking…
The bridge with love locks and Henry IV
Around the King Henry IV statue is a section of love locks.
Totally left one for me and Mel. Coz I am super corny 😉
Small little fun fact: this is King Henry IV who was murdered because he was the first Protestant King. This is symbolised in the statue. If all the horses feet are on the floor it means he died of natural causes. If one leg is raised, it means the person was murdered (Didn’t know that, there you go).
Final part of walking tour
A final thing I learnt from the walking tour was the reason why Paris maintained all its all historical monuments despite being occupied by Germans in world war 2. Hitler actually ordered his General Cholitz to destroy Paris. However, the general had an appreciation for the history, and disobeyed. Paris was reclaimed by Charles De Gaude’s French resistance and his troops marched on Paris. I’m sure there is a lot more to this, but that’s my understanding.
After the tour ended, I wandered around and got nice coffee and went back to my hostel to freshen up. Awesome day.
I decided to grab some food and head to Arche de triomphe. Definitely a historical landmark.
Then I saw the Eiffel Tower.. Despite being very touristy, It had to be done. Spectacular end to a spectacular day!
Woke up pretty early again, got my run and mini workout in.
Breakfast and then I was off to see the Palace of Versais.
It was about an hour trip from my hostel so I’d allocated at least half a day to it.
Once I got there, I realised it would take more than that. There were people everywhere. I never realised how packed it would be.
So I went to the famous gardens of Versailles. Insane, it was a massive and beautifully kept area. I’ve got a few pictures below.
And the palace, well it is incredible too. Wow.
I actually decided not to go in. The lines were absolutely ridiculous.. Didn’t realise. The tour guide yesterday said that the lines would be long. But I was meh, it’ll be fine. I recommend you jump on a walking tour there. It’s not too pricey and it covers your all day ticket in the metro.
Since I got back from Versailles, I’ve just been relaxing, having espressos and exploring down near St. Paul. Found the best falafels ever at a place called Chez Hanna (54 rue des Rosiers) and they were only like 6€.?
Anyway, early night because I’ve got an early flight to Rome tomorrow.
Totally happy with how much I’ve seen in Paris in less than 3 days! Awesome city, I’ll be back.
Key takeaways if you’re going to Paris
– Don’t hop in a taxi from the airport or anywhere. Seriously, just don’t. The metro is awesome and really easy to get around on.
– A walking tour is a great way to see the city. It’s free too and you have the option of tipping the tour guide. (The company I went with was Sandemans)
– If you’re going to a famous landmark, Pre book your tickets. I didn’t take this advice and the lines can be ridiculous. I didn’t even bother lining up at the Versailles Palace, I’ve never seen a line like that. Your hostel/hotel should be able to help you out.