As typical luck would have it, rain poured for most of the weekend we spent in Paris! Despite the weather though we had a lovely time and thought we’d share a few of the places we went to and what we saw while we were there.
The Eiffel Tower – so as you have to do while you’re in Paris we went and ooed and ahhed at the Eiffel Tower, which was to be fair very impressive and most pictures we’ve seen of it really don’t do a good enough job of describing just how f@*!ing big it is! Unfortunately the time we chose to visit was one of those times that it was apparently monsoon season in Paris so we didn’t go up the tower to the viewing platform as the clouds were low and what with the rain you wouldn’t have seen much!
The Sacre Coeur – this is another must see tourist visit and is also very impressive on the outside and inside and this time we did get to go up to the top and look out from the balcony over the whole city, which was a really beautiful view. The balcony extends all the way around the top of the building too so there was a view to be enjoyed in all directions. The climb up to the balcony was however enough to make you feel like you’d damn well earned that view! This involved the classic half-inch wide spiral staircase and practically a maze of small pathways and steps navigating the outside of the church but was definitely worth it in the end.
Monmarte – the Sacre Coeur is of course in the beautiful, quaint Monmarte and with our hotel being within walking distance of here it was a regular haunt. We found so many cute shops, art exhibitions, cafes and restaurants there, with winding cobbled streets allowing us to discover something new at each turn. The one warm day we had was spent here and it left us feeling very relaxed, sitting in the sun, eating crepes and listening to street performances.
Notre Dame – another one of the main touristy bits we did was to visit Notre Dame (the hunchback of which is incidentally one of my favourite Disney movies!), which was also pretty magnificent. We were lucky because they were celebrating the anniversary of the cathedrals completion so were letting everyone in for free! The inside was stunning and there was a service going on at the time so the atmosphere was really intense and powerful. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the inside unfortunately but took a couple outside, though annoyingly the set up for the anniversary kind of got in the way of our photo opportunities.
Lock bridge – our cheesy sides were unleashed slightly over the weekend as well and we did feel compelled to add a lock to the famous lock bridge over the river Seine. To be fair the sheer number of locks makes the bridge (or bridges, as we discovered there is at least two) quite impressive to look at in itself and we happily added ours to the thousands already there.
Moulin Rouge – we also took a little walk to see the famous Moulin Rouge which is really quite an odd building what with the windmill on top but striking nonetheless, standing out against all the other buildings in all it’s blood red grandeur.
Louvre – Now the Louvre turned out to be a very stressful experience for us! What was planned to be a day spent out of the rain looking at beautiful artworks turned out to be a trip to the Minotaur’s Labyrinth! The day started out much as planned, wandering about, lazily looking at the art, when nature called and the hunt for a toilet began. Now you would think in such a modern establishment there would be sufficient signage as to where the toilets are, right? Think again my friends! After a good half an hour search and much muttering and grumbling we found ourselves in a queue for the toilet, Hoorah! Right? Nope. It was a ‘posh’ toilet that you had to pay for (and being cheapskate students we weren’t having that!).
So off we went again on our desperate search, at one point we nearly found ourselves in what seemed to be an abandoned part of the Louvre with not a human being in sight. We were both far too grumpy and stubborn to even contemplate asking someone for directions and what signs there were appeared to lead in an endless circle leading to neither toilets or exits! We did however stumble upon the Mona Lisa whilst on our toilet quest (I know, it seems to be the wrong way around but there you go!) and that was very impressive…well what we could see of her; there were so many people crowding around that we managed the top of her head and a brief glance at that half smile, but then we were off again! Eventually we did find ourselves a toilet but after the traumatic experience we were too riled to look at art and ended up leaving. So yeah, we basically paid ten euros each to have a wee…
Marais – Having done lots of touristy stuff we fancied finding somewhere a little off the beaten path. A friend of ours recommend that we visited a place called Marais and although it was raining we’re so glad we did. After arriving on the Metro into the center of Marais we were greeted with cobbled streets and numerous quirky clothes shops. Rain is disheartening when travelling, however we made the most of it and spent a while taking cover in the clothes shops (much to Ben’s delight…Ha!). There were many beautiful dresses to be found (for Jess!), but they were way out of our price range, so once the rain had slightly subsided we ventured out and came across a courtyard.
It was here we spent the remainder of our last day, surrounded by beautiful scenery…and jumping in a sand pit…as you do!
Thanks for reading and any comments are more than welcome 🙂