We dream of Paree, each and every one of us. From the first Chanel jacket we see, to the antics of Pepe Le Peu and his quest for love while we were petits enfants watching “Looney Tunes”. While I didn’t see EVERYTHING there is to see and do (because it’s a never-ending list) I did do a fair amount of things that has me heart thumping to jump on a plane back to this stunning city tout suite!
1. Tour Eiffel.
Go big or go home right? What I love the most about The Eiffel Tower, is that you can see it from almost everywhere. I caught my first glimpse when I was wandering through the Tuileries Gardens and it was like a gravitational pull beckoning me towards it. I think what took my surprise the most was how huge it actually is, I mean all of the photos you see online are of a beautiful city skyline with the prominent Tower sticking out and you always just assume it fits inside a photograph, but actually being there, standing underneath, cranking your neck so far back to fully take it all in, it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’m sure its fame and representation of Paris brings about the amazing feeling you get, as well as the magnitude, but it truly is an amazing sight AND moment to hold on to.
2. Pont Des Arts.
The romance of this is what truly got me. The bridge itself is boarded up except for tiny gaps by the lamp posts to stop more people from locking their love locks and weighing the bridge down. For those who don’t know, they had to cut a lot of locks off due to the bridge beginning to cave in. The side walls before you walk on the bridge offer a glimpse into what the entire bridge looked like which are still available to lock, but I wasn’t happy just settling for the side and went and found one of those tiny gaps by the lamp posts, right smack bang in the middle of the bridge and locked our love nice and tight and threw away the key in the water below. Not that you can put a “price on love” but the locks are much cheaper to buy closer to Notre-Dame Cathedral than from the stallholders by the bridge, ya know, savvy travellers 😉 lol! After you throw away the key the locks come with two other keys and you and your partner each keep one. We put ours on chains like a necklace, but I lost mine at a spa in Rome – when in Rome! Now RJ refuses to buy me jewellery because I’m “not responsible” pssshhhh…
It’s a Blair Warldof thing. First of all, macaroons themselves are to die for. But once you’ve had your one (or four) the other delights just keep STARING at you, it’s the weirdest thing, it’s like they WANT you to eat them. I mean, who am I to say no when in Paris right, in fear of them kicking me out, I wilfully obliged and consumed enough treats to last me a lifetime, which in Paris years is barely a day, woops!
4. Tuileries Gardens.
These gardens, among many others in Paris are simply over the top stunning. It’s like a Palace of Versailles and you are Marie Antoinette. I mean where else in the world do you find a city that creates such magnificent beauty just for the inhabitants to wander through, to relax, read a book, stare into the fountains, have a nice view as they walk to work or if you’re like me, attempt a jumping shot as your jeans are falling down, classic Nat!
5. Château de Versailles.
Speaking of Marie Antoinette, although this is not technically IN Paris, it is still worth the 35minute train ride out to it. I would highly recommend watching the movie beforehand too, to be honest it was so random how I got there. My bestie had made it clear it was not to be missed and so I was trying to figure out timing of when to go. I was standing in the rain at the Louvre waiting in the world’s LONGEST line when I just thought, stuff it, I’m going NOW. I walked to the nearest station and bought my ticket and off I went. I got completely rained on in the gardens, got told several times in French that my GoPro couldn’t be on the “stick” which I nodded and then ignored (it wasn’t til later a guard spoke in English to me that I figured that’s what they were saying) and to top it all off, I got in for free! To which I have good ol Starbucks to thank! Woaahhhh, what? Répéter s’il vous plait! Wellllllll, I had just gotten off the train, freezing and wet, I went and got Starbucks predominantly to use the wifi to google map my directions while also warming up. So I get to the Palace, I’m in line and I see everyone presenting these tickets (which were bought from a separate line) as I get shuffled closer the ticket lady tells me I can’t bring my Starbucks inside but I can stand to the side and finish it. So I do. Then she lets me through. Forgetting she never saw my ticket. I didn’t know at this point that I HAD gotten through for free, so I was lining up inside the palace for what I thought was my ticket but then figured out it was for a headset for the audio tours, THAT’S when I realised….I’m in like Flynn! Everything’s better when it’s free right? It’s definitely busy inside but don’t feel pressured to be rushed by the crowds! It comes in waves, so when it feels like you’re being pushed to exit just find a little area to stand out of the way and before you know it you have Marie Antoinette’s bedroom chamber all to yourself (and the guards) to stare at and take uninterrupted pictures of. Also, since the gardens are SO huge you can virtually be by yourself getting lost, skipping through the mud and rain, even singing like no one can hear you and dancing around, imagining life as French royalty!
The next day, I DID go back to the Louvre and did my time in the line! I feel like you literally need an entire day to see everything. After about 3 hours, I was spent. I saw the main attractions like Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace, but after being shoved and crammed to take pictures, I resorted to the quiet areas (like a Museum should be) of the Ancient Egyptian areas to marvel at the hieroglyphics and try to think of how pictures represented words and language and the way art was a form of communication. I am SO interested by the evolution of words, so it was cool to walk around and see all of the different collections from over the centuries.
7. All of the sights!
I could name every attraction I went to stand in front of, or you can just google “things to do in Paris” and see all of the POI’s you wish to go to. “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” soooo true. I walked right past Place de la Concorde staring at the Arc de Triomphe, thinking THAT was the Concorde, to realise I was standing along Champs-Élysées and then the Art vs. Science “Parles-Vous Francais?” song would just NOT leave my head haha “the Champs- Élysées is a busy street, we gettin down with every one we meet…” then I tried heading towards the Eiffel Tower but ended up across the Pont Alexandre 3 bridge and called it a day. The next day was the same, RJ and I went from Les Invalids to Notre-Dame to find our way to Pont Des Arts and all of the little streets, cafes, people, gardens, bridges, art and so much more that you literally fall upon along the way was what had me head over heels far more than going and getting my picture of an attraction that although is impressive and historical and you definitely HAVE to see it, the journey getting to each of them, truly getting lost along the way, was what I fell in love with.
8. City of Light at Night.
It’s true what they said. It really is a city of night. It’s completely different, it sparkles, it comes alive, the whole demeanour of the city changes. It’s still romantic like during the day with the sunshine over the historic walls, but the walls then turn to dazzling lights that you just didn’t even know were ON the wall and it lights up and dares you to explore, it dares you to not sleep and see more of it, and you do. Dinner for two? Don’t mind if we do!
It might be known as the City of Light. But it’s sparkle wouldn’t be half as bright without the mass amounts of jaw-dropping, mouth-watering, please-let-me-have-it-all FASHION!!! I mean every street you walk down will have a shop, and that shop will have something you simply MUST have, and you will have to board the plane with TWO suitcases, and you won’t regret a thing. Well I stumbled down streets, I stared down shoes in windows and I even fake-shopped trying on $10000 dresses that I knew I couldn’t afford just to feel lavish, but there is a motherland you can go (if you dare) where it is limitless and all in one area…..La Fayette. Now La Fayette has not one but two shopping centres, one is the food side and one is the fashion. But the ceiling. That’s what draws the tourists in, I mean, they simply can’t help themselves that you won’t want to leave after you’ve seen it now can they?
My favourite F word. Family is everything and my most favourite thing I did throughout my entire time in Paris, the dreamiest, most romantic, full of love and life city….was spend time with my Aunty, who I only get to see maybe once a year if I happen to be in Australia at the same time when she journeys from Paris, since she is lucky enough to live there! Walking around the city, meeting up for lunch dates, sipping tea and trying on all her lovely Paris clothes she is getting rid of (to me) and by trying on I mean all at once to see how much I could pack ON me on the plane without overflowing my suitcase! I cannot express how different my trip to Paris would’ve been without her, she truly made it for me. Laughing, exploring, eating, getting closer, seeing her city with her and having a bit of home with me in Paree.
So there you have it! The 10 ways I fell completely head over heels with Paris, itching to go back and see what it tells me the next time around, as they say, the best affairs never really end.