Earlier this week I write a post entitled “Why I’ve Never Bought My Husband a Birthday Present” and it got me thinking about the best ‘present’ I’ve ever received from him. I didn’t have to think for long before the obvious popped into my head – Paris. It was definitely Paris – one of the most romantic cities in Europe. Mr ESLT pulled out all the stops when it came to my 30th birthday a couple (ok three) years ago. He thought long and hard about everything that I would like and merged it all into one fantastic trip.
Turning 30 wasn’t really an issue for me but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to celebrate the milestone. I simply got told to book the time off work, pack a bag and grab my passport and with that we were off…….
I’ve never made a secret of my hatred of flying, I literally sweat and shake throughout the whole journey so when I found out that we were taking the Eurostar over to France I could have jumped for joy. Having never been on the Eurostar previously I was very impressed with it and loved not stepping foot on a plane. From London to Paris in under two hours is alright in my book. The only downside was the person eating the strongest smelling curry in the world across the aisle from us, especially travelling as fast as we were, it really did turn my stomach 😦
As we pulled into Gare Du Nord in the City of Love the excitement really hit me. Having never visited Paris before I could barely control myself as I almost skipped all the way to our fabulous hotel – Le Citizen Hotel which sits on the Canal Saint-Martin and is in the 10th arrondissement. Unfortunately, I was very sick that first evening (to this day I blame the stench of that curry mixed with the speed of the Eurostar) so there were no adventures to be had that evening. I went to bed that night praying I would feel better the next morning.
Luckily I did and the fun could commence and Mr ESLT had three fun filled days planned for us:-
Eiffel Tower – If you’re like me then the Eiffel Tower is the first thing you think of when someone mentions Paris. So to see it real life was amazing and the fact that Mr ESLT had treated us to a trip to the top blew my mind. It was such a great experience, getting to see the whole of Paris from a great height especially with a glass of fizz in our hands. Something to tick of my bucket list.
Sailing the Seine – the Seine is such a prominent feature of Paris and very busy waterway. It is also a great way of getting around the city and admiring your surroundings. Therefore, we jumped on the Batobus and sailed the Seine. Our timing was perfect too as it had started raining meaning we could relax and enjoy our journey under the protection of the big glass windows.
Sacré-Coeur – the beautiful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus located in the 18th arrondissement. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to visit inside the Basilica as we were pushed for time. However, we did get the chance to admire it’s fantastic architecture from outside and hopefully when we get round to revisiting Paris we can take a tour inside.
Champs Élysée & Arc de Triomphe – The Champs Élysée is the beautiful boulevard in the 8th arrondissement which is lined with theatres, cafés and luxury shops. We took the trip down the Champs Élysée on an open top bus and because the traffic was really bad that day (most days?) we moved really slowly towards the Arc de Triomphe allowing for plenty of photos.
Moulin Rouge – I was so excited when Mr ESLT presented me with tickets for the Moulin Rouge, it was somewhere I had always wanted to visit. With red velvet walls the dimly lit room was packed to the rafters with people wanting to be amazed by the cabaret. I must admit it was a very entertaining evening which made me feel like we’d been transported back in time.
Notre-Dame – our second day in Paris started off with the sun shining high in the sky and our first port of call was Notre-Dame Cathedral. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture and is truly beautiful both outside and inside. We were also lucky enough to visit during a sermon which we listened too for a while whilst taking in the grandeur.
Ladurée – oh Ladurée…mmmm. We actually stumbled on one of the shops when we took shelter in it from the torrential downpour we got caught in. Now, Mr ESLT waxes lyrical that he doesn’t like sweet stuff. That was until he tried the A-MAZ-ING macaroons that Ladurée have on offer. It is easy to understand why they sell over 15,000 every day and have shops all over the world. YUM!
Love Lock Bridge (Pont de l’Archeveche) – I personally think the bridge looks beautiful with all the locks attached from lovers from all over the world. The stories some of them hold must be amazing. However, some people call it vandalism. I can understand that if the weight of locks is compromising the integrity of the bridge then they must be removed but I hope they are kept somewhere safe (including ours!)
The Louvre – By the time we got to the Louvre we were soaked to the bone. The weather had pulled a complete 180 and our waterproofs actually proved not to be waterproof. The streets became deserted as did the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace which meant we got it and the pyramids (almost) all to ourselves. We did not actually venture into The Louvre as I’m sure the trail of water we would have left behind us would not have been appreciated – another thing to add to the list for next time.
Disneyland Paris – on our last day in Paris Mr ESLT really surprised me with tickets to Disneyland Paris. Having been to Walt Disney World in Florida a couple of times when I was a teenager, I’d never actually been to Disneyland Paris. We had a great day in the two theme parks riding the rollercoasters, eating junk food and hanging out with Mickey and his mates. Also, as the weather was slightly rubbish and it wasn’t a school holiday we didn’t have to queue long for anything which meant we got to go on everything we wanted too, sometimes twice! Even though Mr ESLT thought it would be his idea of hell I have a sneaking suspicion he actually loved it just as much as me 🙂
We had a fantastic time in Paris and would certainly love to return one day soon. Because it was our first time in the city we hit the main touristy attractions hard. We’d love your suggestions regarding where we could visit on our next trip. We loved staying in the very chilled out 10th arrondissement but we’re always up for a change and try not to be creatures of habit. What’s your favourite arrondissement and why? We’d love to hear from you….