Pete and I had a wonderful weekend in Paris. He arrived late on Friday night, as expected he almost missed his train. Saturday we began our exploring. I had sent Pete a list of places I wanted to visit – well just four places. As it turns out three of the four were within a few blocks of each other!
Paris fabric district. What an amazing, overwhelming experience. Think lots of small stores packed floor to ceiling with fabric – everything you can imagine and lots of it. I had a blast going into each store and looking at their stock. I have to admit I didn’t buy too much. But it was a great experience. Read @ Only a Stitch Away. Pete did buy me a piece of Paris themed fabric that I plan to make a bag out of. I have yet to make a bag so it could be interesting. We spent a couple of hours visiting all the stores. Pete was very patient and let me take my time.
Le Mur des Je T’aime & Montmartre . This is a wall were I love you is written in over 300 languages! Very neat to see all that I love you in a small space. Definitely Valentine’s Day appropriate. The Montmartre is a church that sits on a hill and looks over the city of Paris. It was a bit cloudy but the views were still beautiful. Did I mention we had great weather on Saturday? Friday was gorgeous – sunny in the low 60’s but I was in a class all day so it was a bit hard to enjoy.
Louvre & Obelisk. After making a quick stop for a picture at Moulin Rouge we headed to the Concord area for a late lunch and to do a bit of exploring. It was nice to just walk around, enjoy the weather and see the site. We have both been to Paris (Pete many, many times) so we weren’t rushing around squeezing all the sites into a 48-hour visit.
Pete made reservations at a wonderful restaurant for a lovely Valentine’s dinner near Notre Dame. He’s very cute and, as he would put it, “a hopeless romantic”. It was delicious! I went with the set menu even though it was in French and I had no idea what I was ordering. Turned out to be VERY good. Dessert was grapefruit with a caramel drizzle. Yum! We were really feeling the city and went out to see the sights at night. I, due to poor planning, was wearing high heels – not the best choice for walking around. Easy solution buy slipper from a souvenir shop to wear around. HA!
We saw the Notre Dame Cathedral and took tons of pictures. I’m still getting used to our new camera so it took us a bit to get the right setting. Pete was even getting into it. I think some of these night photos came out great – remember we’re beginners AND we didn’t have a tripod. At the Eiffel Tower Pete was resting the on any available surface (including my head) and I was holding the lenses in hopes of getting a good picture. The shutter speed is sooo slow with that little light and any movement blurs the pictures. I need to dig out the little tripod I have. We did manage to get a few good shots.
Pete wanted to bring me to his “secret” crepe stop near the Eifel Tower. I assure you that this place was NOT secret as it was almost directly under the tower. My Nutella crepe was delicious!! We caught one street vendor on his way home and got Nevaeh a light up Eifel Tower. The best thing about the purchase was we were able to say to all the other street vendors “already got one” and they immediately stopped harassing us.
Sunday we slept in a little and then made our way to the Arch de Triumph. Then back to the Concord to grab lunch before we had to go back to the hotel to grab our luggage and head to the train station. I think it was the pizza place we were at that gave me food poisoning – at least I think that’s what I had. Woof.
I was happy to arrive back in London. Paris is a fabulous city however I could do without ALL the beggars and the stench of the underground. Literally there are beggars EVERYWHERE…especially at the tourist attractions and on the metro. They aren’t shy either, they boldly approach you and are quite demanding (at least this is how I perceived it – I don’t speak French so I don’t know exactly what they were saying, just reading body language). That aspect, mostly like combined with the language barrier, made me feel a bit unsafe. The underground also seems (may be perceived because of the awful smell of urine) very dirty. It made me extremely grateful to live in a city and area where I feel very safe, all the time. And that, while it doesn’t smell like roses, the tube doesn’t reek.
All and all we had a wonderful trip! Pete is a very good trip planner and tour guide when he knows the city. We are excited, hopefully, to take another weekend trip in March to…Zurich! Neither of us has been to Switzerland so it should be a fun adventure!