It’s been on my bucket list ever since I can remember.
Along with climbing the pyramids in Egypt, swimming in the Greek islands, living in Italy, and various other things, I’ve always put Paris on my bucket list.
But unlike all those other things that I’ve somehow been lucky enough to tick off my bucket list, I’d never been to Paris.
It was just a quick visit, a stopover on our way back home from going to England for Xmas but it was everything I thought it would be (minus the first freezing day!!).
Of course, our first stop was the Eiffel Tower and it didn’t disappoint. The funny thing is that anytime there was any hint of images of the Eiffel Tower either in mags, on TV, on posters or ANYWHERE, I would always cover my eyes until I was told it was safe to look again and any views of the Eiffel Tower were gone.
I just didn’t want to ruin my surprise of seeing it for real! Weird, I know, but true.
So I had no idea the Eiffel Tower was so HUGE!! It’s amazingly massive! Standing underneath it, trying to fathom this huge structure, it felt like it reached up into the clouds. I also never imagined it to be the beautiful colour that it is.
When I was in my early 30s I backpacked around the world on my own and I went to many places but whenever the opportunity arose to go to Paris I always declined it. Most of my friends thought I was nuts for not going there but I had a dream for Paris.
The dream was that I wanted to see Paris with ‘the love of my life!’. If was to be as good as it’s made out to be, I wanted to share it with someone special.
So my first visit to Paris, was, in fact, with the love of my life Tim, with the added bonus of being there with my other 2 loves, Sienna and Mackenzie!
We spent the first day doing an overall visit to decide where we wanted to go on our 2nd day. We jumped on a hop on hop off boat along the Seine that really worked for us as it kept us out of the bitter cold so we could thaw out in-between visiting the sites and hop off whenever we wanted.
We decided day 2 would included a hop on hop off bus rather than the boat to get to the places we wanted to see.
We started the day with breakfast in a local bar with deliciously typical croissants before a long walk through the city back to that beautiful Eiffel tower.
And yes, I got to sit at a swanky Parisienne cafe in St Germaine (bucket list tick) and Paris-people watch and don’t even get me started on all those wonderful french patisseries we walked by!
The Musee D’Orsay was our choice of museums given the limited time frame. It’s in a majestic old building that used to be the train station and I found it pretty fascinating. Seeing some of the world famous works of Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh right in front of us was pretty special.
I’m no art expert but these paintings just drew me in and I kept imagining what it must be like to paint like that! I have to say they were magnificent.
We had a quick visit to the Notre Dame which was impressive but having lived in Italy for so long and at the risk of sounding disrespectful to Paris, I feel it’s hard to beat those incredible Italian cathedrals!
The highlight for me was spending the afternoon climbing the Arc de Triomphe and then the early evening stroll down the Champse Ellysees…I loved it. The triumphal arch was completed in 1836 and is an honour to those who fought for France, mainly during the Napoleonic Wars.
Firstly, I had no idea the arch was that big nor did I know that it was such a central monument with 12 roads leading off it.
To find out that we could climb to the top of it made me feel like a kid in a lolly shop…I was so excited!
The view from the top was fantastic with the Eiffel Tower in the distance, stretching up so far above anything else on the skyline.
The stroll down the Champs Elysees was fun. We were all pretty hungry by then so it was time for yet another croissant and the obligatory hot chocolates with chantilly cream…so delish! Plus we were pretty cold and needed some heat from within! Once the sun went down it was just an assault on our senses of xmas lights hanging all the way down the avenue, loads of beautiful shops and cafes, a mix of typical tourists and local parisiennes and funky buskers dancing to entertain us.
It was time to search for dinner so we hopped back on the bus and sat up on the open top deck of course, and Paris by night was just so impressive and so romantic. Some buildings were so creatively lit up it made them appear even more impressive. Being so high up on the top deck I got to invade the privacy of some Parisiennes by peering into their living rooms as we went by!
We walked home via the tower yet again… couldn’t keep away !!! I had one of those ‘memorable’ moments standing across from the Eiffel Tower when, at 8pm she lit up and sparkled all over for 10 minutes. It was pretty magical and reminded me why I so wanted to see Paris
To get to see Paris with the love of my life really was worth waiting for, especially when it was a surprise trip that Tim had secretly organised for me! He always was good at scoring brownie points.
As beautiful as I thought Paris was, I can’t help wondering how much more beautiful it must be when seen on a bright day in spring?
Tim, that’s not a hint, honestly!!