Bonne journée mes amis! Welcome to day 2 of our Paris trip! Today is a jam packed day full of places to see and it all starts with a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower at 9:30am sharp!
You know when you are looking forward to something and it ends up exceeding any and all expectations and is even better than you ever could have imagined? Picture those feelings when I stood on the top level of the Tour Eiffel today. The ride up in the elevator is so cool and the weather was so perfect for the day we picked. Some important information for you if you are going to book a ticket to go up the tower…book ahead online!! I can’t begin to explain how easy it was and we walked past hundreds of people waiting in line as we walked right onto the elevator to bring us to the top. It was SO beautiful up there and we loved seeing the Seine River and the different monuments and museums from above. I went up the tower in Vegas at the Paris hotel and this was NOTHING in comparison, obviously. We took tons of pictures at the top, I bought some little souvenirs at the gift shop and we descended the elevator back down.
Amazing!!! Our next stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral which was so much bigger than I was expecting! The line to get in was SO long (probably because the entrance was free today). We had so much to do on our list today so we decided to come back on our last day which we kept open for anything we missed this week. It was so nice when we walked up to it, though… the bells were ringing and I think it was perfect timing to see it!
We walked along the Seine to a lesser known cathedral called Sainte-Chapelle and this one is famous for the collection of stained glass windows. We got in for free due to the Heritage Day and walked around admiring the beautiful windows. We had a delicious lunch right across the street and had our first Croque Monsieurs!
We continued walking and our next stop was to tackle the Louvre! This is the biggest museum in the world and I cannot comprehend the size of it. Its overwhelming. We walked across the Seine on the Pont des Arts and there was a violin player playing French music then when we walked up to the Louvre someone else was playing the flute…so Français! The pyramid of the Louvre is unreal. We took the classic tourist pictures and then waited in line to go see everything for free! …Yeah right. Easier said than done. We were told the Louvre was not included in the Heritage Day promotion even though it was mentioned on the website we had looked at and the guy at the airport had told us it was free. If we had purchased the 4 day pass instead of just the 2 day one we could have used it but we thought everything would be free today so we saved some money. We rallied and discussed our new game plan and decided to come back on Tuesday when we had time to visit. We didn’t want to pay extra on top of our museum pass for entrance today. We were a little upset with the gentleman at the airport for talking us into the 2 day pass but we figured maybe he didn’t know the Louvre was not included.
Onto the next museum, Musée D’Orsay! We got there and found out this one was not free as well!! L’Orangerie was not either! What the heck Paris! We recovered quickly and stayed optimistic and took the metro to the Palais Garnier- the Opera House that I am obsessed with due to my love of the Phantom of the Opera. Apparently it was not included as well! Okay now we were a little pissed off. We just spent so much time walking and riding the metro around and so far we had only gotten into Sainte-Chapelle! We took some pictures of the outside of Palais Garnier and rode back to the Place de la Concorde which is the beginning of the Champs Élyssés. We walked along the famous road past the many shops and stopped for some rosé and drank away our sorrows. We are in Paris! No time to be upset about anything! Side note: one of the things I love most about travelling with Katie and Steph is that together our brains work like clockwork. If something happens we all contribute to solve the problem and it never results in an argument or disagreement. We all work together to solve the problem and we all end up happy. If one of us is upset about something the other two are optimistic and change the mood to a happier one. It’s the best dynamic and that’s why we travel so well together and have such a good time. Wine does help as well LOL!
Champs Élyssés was honestly not as exciting as we thought it would be. It was cool to walk past Louis Vuitton and such stores and also to see l’Arc de Triomphe in the distance waiting for us, but it wasn’t all it’s hyped up to be. The highlight of course was a visit to Ladurée, a place famous for the best macarons in the world! We waited in line and did a macaron cheers in the streets! Unreal. Go here if you come to Paris.
We completed our stroll down the Champs and behold- l’Arc de Triomphe! Way bigger than I thought it would be. There were police everywhere when we got to this point and they were all holding huge machine guns- a little odd. (Later that night we found out that there was a bomb threat today which ended up closing off the entire street. It must have opened up right before we got there.) We went down the tunnel to go under the roundabout which surround the Arc. Finally we get another free entry! But the lift was not working so we had to climb the 300 stairs. It was so worth it. We climbed the spiral staircase and felt the burn in our calves (also from the 300 steps last night at Sacré Cœur). We were faced with a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower when we reached the top and a nice cool breeze as well!
So pretty!!! We were absolutely exhausted at this point from all of the walking and stairs so we headed back to our AirBNB to freshen up for dinner. The area we were staying in is surrounded by so many little cafés and restaurants so we walked along the street and decided on a busy place that had a nice looking menu. It ended up being our least favourite meal of the whole trip. Such bad luck today!! I had French onion soup which was pretty good but the rest of our meals were not great unfortunately. Our charcuterie plate was tiny, Stephanie’s salad was covered in potatoes!?, Katie’s beef boullion was super tough to eat and the shrimp I ordered was from a can. We opted out of dessert and instead we walked back to our fave place from last night- la Marmite and enjoyed a night cap and some crème brulée!
Much better! We toasted to our difficult but excellent day and made our game plan for the next day for our day trip to Normandy. When it comes down to it, even with the hiccups today… we are in f#&%ing Paris and we are going to enjoy every minute with each other and soak it all in. We just keep saying over and over how happy we are and how much we love each other and that we can’t believe we are here.
Stay tuned for post 3 of 5… our beach day in Étretât!