A weekend in Paris

The travel bug has hit hard recently and I can’t seem to keep myself sat in one place too long. Last weekend I went to Paris with one of my best friends and I’ve not laughed so much in a very, very long time. Without further a do…here’s what we got up to:

FRIDAY

–> Leave Utrecht at 22.20 (Every adventure starts with a nighttime journey-we know that by now!)

SATURDAY

–>Arrive in Paris 6.30am

Bright eyed and bushy tailed…or not….First stop was finding our hostel, getting to grips with the Parisian metro system and a not-so-classy quick bathroom change of clothes and turn around. Ready to tackle the day we left our hostel and headed off in the quest of a Parisian breaky. It’s safe to say we found what we were looking for!

After some much needed food we headed to Montmartre, a beautiful district of Paris not too far from where we were staying. It’s safe to say that the weather was most definitely not on our side on Saturday but we were in high spirits and determined to make the best of it! Along the way we stumbled across an amazing chocolate shop which sold vegan macarons, of course we did a taste test and I can report back that lemon is the best flavour.

At Montmartre we climbed the stairs up to the Sacré-Cœur Basillica. Even though the weather wasn’t perfect we still tried to get some pictures, see for yourself how that went:

From there, we walked around Montmartre, took some snazzy pictures, peaked in some pretty shops and art spaces, saw the cobbled, winding streets and soaked up our first bit of Paris. We also stood, for a good 20mins, looking for the Eiffel Tower in the wrong direction.

By this point we were freezing! Our squeaky, brand new, white trainers were taking a beating and we could barely feel our hands, we took some shelter from the rain and tried to work out our next steps.

Our next steps, worked out over pizza, took us to the Notre Dame. (Surprisingly intact from the front actually. 😂) Obviously we could only see it from a distance so we went and visited the nearby Sainte-Chapelle. We got in free for being students and although impressive, we were happy to just be out of the rain for a little while!

Then, knowing that the weather was probably in for the whole day, we started looking for indoor evening activities and quickly decided we wanted to go and see a show. Out of everything that was on we went all out and booked last minute tickets to see Chicago.

…And it was actually the highlight of my whole trip. We saw the show in French with English subtitles and felt very fancy. The show was incredible and the fact that it was in French gave it even more sass! A lovely usher even got us some better seats than the ones we’d been given originally.

SUNDAY

Up, up and out! No messing around, by 9am we were at the Louvre to see Mona and friends. Slightly distracted by the backdrop of Beyonce’s music video we zoomed around, felt cultured and walked until our feet couldn’t take it anymore!

Then we spent the afternoon visiting the sights and being typical tourists. The Champs-Élysées was longer than I expected, the Arc de Triomphe taller than I’d thought it would be and the Eiffel Tower- a little more grey and underwhelming the closer you got to it! Haha.

Nevertheless, we took the chance to get the typical ‘girl goes to Paris’ pictures and some more fun ones messing around- which are actually my favourite pictures of the whole trip!

Posh pastries were on the menu in the afternoon as well as a boat tour to avoid the, still inevitable, odd shower. We went for dinner (veggie food was hard to find!) and then went home, laughed at all of the photos, assessed the blister damage and went to bed.

MONDAY

After realising that Versailles wasn’t actually open🤦‍♀️we started creating plan B. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we were shattered from the past 2 days and we had a long day ahead of us before travelling back to Utrecht. We took the morning pretty easy, got our fill of any last minute pastries that needed ticking off the list and then headed to Bastille.

My A-level history all started coming back to me as we were walking around the beautiful cobbled streets and saw Place de la Bastille.

At this point, Meg decided she wanted to really do the full French experience and try snails. I did not know how vegetarian I had become until I was sat opposite and witnessing the spectacle. Props to her for making a lot less of a fuss than I did!

Our feet were crying! So some calm afternoon activities were in order. We ticked off a visit to Le Village Royal to see the umbrellas and to Galerie Lafayette for the view of Paris from the top. (It sounds so fancy that we drank wine at the top, but for transparency there was a mouse running around the restaurant- you win some you loose some!😂)

After some very good asian food, we headed back to the hostel to pick up our bags but still had one last thing on our list to do before we headed home. We couldn’t leave without seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. It was the perfect ending to our trip- it really does look a lot better at night, but just beware of the mice running around!

–> Leave Paris 12.30am

The trip wasn’t all smooth sailing, Paris kept us on our toes and the area we stayed in could definitely be described as ‘lively’ and tested us! However, it was a weekend full of laughs, so much food and explaining often: ‘Oui j’ai un nom français … non je ne parle pas français …’ (Got that from Google: feel free to correct me.) This trip really made me want to start learning French, I’m trying to remind myself I probably have enough to do right now without adding that too…we’ll see.

Quick top tips for Paris:

-You’ll use public transport more than you think!

-Versailles is not open on Mondays!

-Bring some good shoes!

A huge thank you goes to my little Australian partner in crime for joining me on this trip, putting up with me when I was hangry and for being the best photographer. Je t’aime

-Aimée

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