We finally arrived in the the city of love, after the ordeal that was Amsterdam we sure were ready to bask in all of the delights that Paris had to offer, and boy did we give it a red hot go.
We arrived late Monday evening and after a little head scratching trying to figure out the tickets for the Metro we had a relatively trouble free train journey from Gaur De Nord to Republique where after more head scratching and bickering about which direction our street was we finally arrived at our hotel.
Once we had settled into our room and admired the surreal view from our balcony we set out to explore our home for the next two nights. We soon realised we made a fantastic decision to stay in the Marais (Jewish Quarter). Not really knowing what to expect we found ourselves confronted by a very difficult decision, which of these fantastic restaurants should we dine in. That decision was made quite easily when we came across a bustling little restaurant with a menu in English BOOM!!
After mingling with the staff (aka finding out which one of them speaks English) and enjoying the amazing food and a regular sized bottle of wine we moved on again to a quaint bar a short stroll down the street which was still abuzz with life and light in the late hours of Monday night, a characteristic of this city which we took full advantage of in our short stay. We also enjoyed receiving regular sized beers that were anything but!!!
Rising slightly later than we had wished to we set out for what was sure to be a busy day ahead, not knowing just how busy it would be we headed to the Metro for a second crack at what had been a challenging experience for two simple but determined travelers. Note to anyone looking to travel to Paris do not expect to be treated with your typical customer service in this city. In Paris you will enjoy attendants who have an uncanny ability to multitask in the most interesting ways; for example you can expect to be served by a woman who is talking on her mobile phone whilst chewing gum and pretending to read her computer monitor, all of this whilst also ignoring you and never making eye contact with you, it is truly a site to behold and is very impressive.
Despite the lack of customer service in the public transport system and at certain landmarks, the people of Paris are surprisingly helpful if not a bit crazy at times. A very friendly woman decided to take it on board to get us a 2 day metro pass, confronted with the customer service she is surely used to we found ourselves in the middle of an argument we did not understand except for some heavy fist pounding and pointing between our protagonist and the metro attendant, long story short we got our tickets.
The Eiffel Tower done!!! The Louvre? So what if you’re not open on Tuesdays? Done. Climbing the Arch de Triomphe, done!!! Notre Dame, done (despite missing out on climbing that one too by about 20 seconds, which tends to be a theme on this holiday), walking the Champs Elysess twice in a day, yes we did that as well.
We came across a lovely pastry store called Laduree where we found the most stunning pastries filled with the most delightful fillings and toppings that melted in our mouth when we ate them under the Eiffel Tower
On one of our many romantic strolls through the city of love, we stumbled across a lovely bridge where lovers attach a lock to the fence and write their names upon it signifying their attachment to each other forever. Alas we had no such lock but we dreamt that we did and we would return one day to look upon it and high five each other BOOM!!!
The highlight of a very long day was our trek to Montematre in the city’s north, a short walk from some touristy photos of the Moulin Rouge we headed up the hill for the most breathtaking view you will ever lay your eyes on, photos simply do not do it justice. Sitting upon the steps of an old monastery we sat nestled within a vibrant group of parisians and tourists alike, drinking beer and appreciating a visual feast. While admiring the view as the sun was setting we were entertained by a Ghanaian busker juggling a football whilst hanging from a street light doing acrobatics, I know insane right, but it happened I have the video to prove it. A Mexican also entertained the crowd with some mellow tunes and some lame jokes whilst we were hassled to buy more beers from a family of entrepreneurs who became increasingly annoying after asking if we would like another beer for the 50th time, somewhat dampening what was otherwise a perfect way to finish our day out in Paris.
The food, oh what can we say about the food??? It truly was a sight to behold in its own, then we ate it as well!!! Pastries, macaroons, omellettes, crepes and so much more food. You name a French food and we probably ate it all in one day, luckily we walked the length of Paris twice in order to burn off the calories that were consumed. We fell in love with the restaurants all tightly packed in with cramped seats on the footpaths where we found ourselves very intimately eating (when our elbows allowed us to do so) with our fellow patrons all speaking in there lovely accents that sounded even more beautiful when in such close proximity to our very humble Australian accents. Note I didn’t use the word bogan but at times it may have seemed an accurate description.
All in all we had a lovely day, sometimes romantic, sometimes funny (like when Glenn dropped a fart on the Metro) but mostly enchanting, the city really is so beautiful, they have put so much into making it simply amazing to look at and it is a true joy to behold, we could not sing its praises enough, our only complaint was that we did not have more time to enjoy it as we have now moved onto Barcelona.
Alicia and Glenn aka Glennicia