How can you not love Paris?
We left Spain for France to spend the last 4 days of our holiday in Paris. This was my second time visiting the city and Joe's first and it sort of felt a bit like coming home. After 2 weeks in Spain with my knowledge of Spanish limited to cerveza, por favor, sangria and gracias, it felt so nice to be somewhere I could understand people again!
(Funny enough, while in Spain, anytime someone said anything to me in Spanish I responded in French. Even simple phrases like "merci" or "où sont les toilettes?" It was really embarrassing and I tried consciously to stop it but it was like it was innate. Anyways, I digress.)
We didn't plan a lot for Paris - I knew Joe would want to see the main sites and I was fine to revisit them. Mostly, I wanted to sit in cafés, browse the shops, eat nice food and enjoy our last weekend in Europe.
We sat on the grass and people watched in the Luxembourg Gardens.
We walked the Champs Élysées right up to l'Arc de Triomphe and back again.
I ate a delicious croque monsieur and drank as many lattes as I could.
We strolled around le tour Eiffel both during the day and at night.
We stopped by the Louvre (although it was cut short by me losing my ticket...whoops.)
We admired Notre Dame but didn't catch a glimpse of the Hunchback.
But mostly, we just enjoyed each other's company and our last few days in Europe before boarding the plan back to Gabon.
-We decided to splurge a bit on our hotel in Paris as it was our last stop before returning to Gabon and decided on Hotel des Academies et des Arts in Montparnasse. We chose it because it was a small boutique hotel and away from the majority of the tourists. While the rooms were quite small (and we had an upgraded one,) they were decorated well and the space was used efficiently. We liked the personal attention and we really enjoyed the Montparnasse area.
-For our fellow Canadians, friends of ours had told us about a Canadian Bar called "The Moose" and we decided to seek it out for a taste of home. I had heard they had caesars and with it being just about a year since we've been home, I was dying for one. Unfortunately they were out of Clamato but they did have several varieties of poutine which filled the void just fine.
-We went for Indian food one night and landed at Le Palais de Raja Maharaja. The food was great and the service very friendly. When our bill took a long time to arrive, the owner dropped off an unopened bottle of vodka from the freezer and 2 glasses as an apology. While I don't typically drink vodka straight, we did have a laugh and a drink and we appreciated the gesture.
-One of the things I hadn't done while in the Paris area was visit Versailles and I was so looking forward to it. Unfortunately, when I went to book tickets online, they were all sold out on the day we had available. Again, it pays to plan ahead if you can.
-Paris is crazy with tourists - it is the number one tourist destination in the world. Long lines are found at the majority of the main sites and you can end up wasting hours waiting. Always look if you can purchase ahead of time online or at another location. (For example, we bought our tickets to the Louvre at Fnac and saved ourselves a lot of time.)