Let’s go back in time a little bit. Three weeks to be exact…..
It’s the 7th of April and it’s our last day in Holland already. After a day of packing and some final goodbyes to the family mum drives us to the bus stop in Amsterdam. As you know from my previous experiences with transportation (think Napier airport), finding the bus doesn’t happen without the necessary stress. Thanks to Tom Tom lady, who sends us to the other part of the city we make it to the bus stop with 10 minutes to spare. Again, almost as a blessing in disguise there’s no time for teary goodbyes as Lance and I rush onto the bus ready for the next part of our adventure: PARIS!
It’s still dark when we arrive and start looking for the metro station. With extremely awkward suitcase to pull in one hand and laptop bag on stomach we set off. This is going to be a mission. I have to rest every few minutes or so, because dragging 31 kg behind you while it hits your ankles every step you take isn’t the nicest feeling in the world. And those damn cute cobble stones don’t seem to help much either. Good times! But I keep smiling! I’m in frickin’ Paris!! What should have been a 5 minute walk takes us over an hour! Whoever thought it would be a great idea to have stairs going up and down to the metro surely wasn’t taking my suitcase into consideration! The last 600 meters we feel might be slightly more comfortable by taxi 🙂
The hotel is all that I had wished for and more. It’s the cutest looking building. So typical French and in the middle of Paris. Although we had booked a room with views on the Eiffel tower and are given a different one, we are way too happy to be able to check in straight away, so we can have a shower and relax for a bit before we head into town.
After checking in we set off to find a boulangerie (French bakery) to have some breakfast. I love being back in France. The language and the smell of fresh baked bread and pastries brings back great memories. I am so grateful I am here! It’s quite funny that when we moved to New Zealand 8 years ago, I never missed Holland one single bit, but I’ve always missed France.
Once we finish our breakfast we go on the hunt for the Eiffel Tower. We don’t have to walk very far. After a few hundred meters we turn the corner and a gigantic structure towers above everything else. For some reason I hadn’t remembered it to be so big. It’s breathtaking!
Palais de Chaillot
We walk around the Eiffel Tower for a while, taking way to many photos and I convince Lance we have to go to the top, so we queue for about an hour and cram into the elevator with another 30 people or so who all had the same idea. The view really is amazing and totally worth the wait.
It’s about 11.30 AM and I realize we’ve only seen the Eiffel Tower at this stage and have been going for about 3,5 hours already, so we have some lunch (which btw is the most amazing crepe with chocolate and banana I have EVER had in my life and completely worth the â‚¬10!) and move on to see the Hotel des Invalides
Hotel des invalides
Much to Lances “delight” I have planned all the sights I wanted to see and obviously didn’t tell him it would be at least 20 km’s of walking 😉
While we walk through the streets of Paris I photograph and video the characteristic buildings. I love the outskirts of Paris, because there are not as many tourists here and it feels so much more authentic. I could have taken hundreds of photos of the cobble stone roads and old houses. I really love this photo because it portrays France so well. Just before we reach the Seine (river), we walk though the small narrow alleyways full of shops and little restaurants before heading to the Notre Dame.
Lance casually chilling with a dove while I take photos 🙂
The last time I was in Paris was about 10 years ago. I went with my high school on a school trip and I can still remember how impressed I was with the enormity of the Notre Dame, so I knew I had to come back here to take photos. Now, I am not quite a church person, but this place really gives me goosebumps. The enormity and the details throughout the entire place are just beautiful.
We cross the Seine towards Musee Du Louvre.
Awkward photos in front of the Louvre 🙂
From Musee Du Louvre it’s one straight walk to the Arc De Triomphe walking past the most expensive shops down Avenue Des Champs Eysees.
With blisters on our feet, but determined to get to the Sacre Coeur we take the metro to the last place I really want to see. This place is full of pickpocketers and we have to really watch each others back. We get followed a few times and literally have to slap some of them off us, however I’m glad we made it here.
It’s almost 6 o’clock and after an 8 hour bus ride through the night, without sleep and 12 hours of walking, we decide to get dinner and head back to the hotel. It’s been an absolutely amazing day. I got to see everything I had wanted to and am ready for the next leg of our journey: Madagascar!