Friday morning my alarm went off at 5am, the sun was already up and shinning, even though I might not have been. After packing my last minute items, we were out the door and too the tube station. We arrived at Kings Cross Station, no I did not get a chance to see platform 9 3/4, but that is on the todo list. We checked into the Eurostar and got settled in for our ride to Paris.
This is the view from my window seat of the country side. It was a very pretty trip over, the Chunnel was very anticlimactic, but I don't really know what I was expecting. When we arrived in Paris we took the Metro (a lamer version of the Tube, though effective) to our Hotel, which was a magnificent sight, I have never been more excited to stay at a Holiday Inn Express in my Life. The beds where amazingly comfortable and featured two pillows! After a brief break to get settled in we headed back to the Metro and to the Notre Dame.
The Church was amazing, between the flying buttresses and the five bells (who all have names) it is a complete work of art. We walked through the inside of the church while a service was going on and admired the paintings and statues. To cool down from the extremely hot weather we grabed some ice cream from a candy shop down the street and then did some browsing through the little stores around the area. One of the places we wondered into was Shakespeare and Company. It is and old bookstore that authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and James Joyce use to hang around. After the shopping we headed for dinner in the Latin Quarter, which is a small area of a bunch of streets jam packed with restaurants. One of the strangest parts of eating in Paris is that the waiter of the restaurants come out onto the streets and almost solicit you to come and eat at their establishment.
After picking a place to eat, we ordered fondue and a three corse meal! One of the features was the escargot, which tastes pretty much like clams. Very tasty! After dinner we headed back to the hotel and slept in the glorious beds in preparation for our extremely busy Saturday!
We woke up and enjoyed our continental breakfast of croissants and yogurt and then headed to the Louvre. We spent four hours there and barely scratched the surface. We saw all the main highlights, like the Mona Lisa and Aphrodite but you could have easily spent days in the museum.
Our next stop was the Arch De triumph. We had lunch and shopped around the area, which featured stores like Loius Vuitton and Cartier. Both of these stores had lines of people wrapped around the building waiting to get in.
We then made it over to the Eiffel Tower, but just passed by it in order to get to our boat tour. The boat took us up and down the River Seine, pointing out the highlighted areas of Paris. It was a great way to see all of the buildings in a quick amount of time. And since we had such limited time in Paris, it worked perfectly.
After the boat tour, we made our way back to the Eiffel Tower. Our tour guide, somehow finagled a way for us to cut the line to the elevator up to the top of the tower. The view from the top is amazing. You can see every single part of Paris.
It was starting to slightly rain at the top of the tower, but we walked around for a while and got the view from all angles. We made our way to dinner and then for dessert we stopped at a Crepe cart. I had a delicious Banana, Nutella, Strawberry crepe and watched the light show on the Eiffel Tower, which i have to say is so much more impressive at night.
On Sunday we had a slightly more relaxed day. We went to the Musee d'Orsay, which is home to a number of Monet and Van Gogh paintings. While much smaller than the Louvre, I really enjoyed this museum. We then went to Montmartre, which is the home of the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. It is also where artists and musicians share their work.
We wandered around the booths and admired some good art and some really bad art. We walked through the church and saw the view from its steps, which looks out on all of Paris. It was a great way to end the weekend and we headed back to London on the Eurostar later that night. Though Paris was a gorgeous city, I have to say I am glad to be back in London!