Have you also looked back at pictures of your last vacation (abroad) before the Corona virus hit? I find myself looking back at them regularly, wishing I’d enjoyed this little trip even more, because it may have been the last careless travel for a long time. Let me take you on a little digital holiday to Paris…
The weekend of 7-9 February, my best friends Silke and Tina took me on a little trip to Paris. Fun fact: it was a birthday present that they gave me 3-4 years ago but never happened. But this year it did!
We booked the Paris Bruxelles hotel in the district Le Marais, on Place de la République. Nothing fancy, just a little 2-star Tourist hotel (Paris is expensive!) but it was fine for the weekend. The fact that they put us in a room next to the old elevator, and we could hear every movement of it left aside 😉 Be mindful when you book a hotel in Paris of the area you are in. List the things you want to see, because Paris is huuuge!
We arrived Friday evening around 6PM in our hotel. After settling in, we hit the road as soon as possible to explore our area. Excited like little kids in a candy store.
One of the things I absolutely love about Paris, are the many bridges the city has. Somehow I am drawn to cities that have this. There is something soothing about standing/sitting by a bridge and enjoying the panorama.
From our hotel, we were at walking distance from the Notre Dame (or what remained of it, after the big fire on 15 April 2019). It made me sad to see it like this. They are still restoring it, so unfortunately we couldn’t get very near because of the fences.
It made an impression on me, to stand there and see the Notre Dame like this. I still remember when I went to Paris for the first time, 15 years ago and was inside it. Also only now I realized and felt the impact the fire must have had on the Parisians, because this cathedral is in the middle of a residential area.
After our first sight-seeing of the weekend, our stomachs announced it was time for some vin et fromage! As we were walking around, we started scouting for a place to eat. We didn’t make reservations, and it was Friday evening at 8:15 PM. Fuck. I thought we were screwed. We walked past a little Italian place called Big Mamma, and the menu triggered us, so we checked if they still had a table. At first, it seemed we had bad luck, but then we got appointed a table next to the door. Perfect!
Oh. My. God. We still think back at this restaurant with a huge smile on our faces. Yes, I know it’s blasphemy to go to an Italian restaurant when you are in Paris. But after you go there, you will agree with me.
The cocktails were so good we went for 2 rounds. Silke and Tina went for the truffle pasta and I chose fresh ravioli. Again: oh. my. god. The pasta was amazing. Although, it was a bit little for being a main dish. The perfect excuse to also take a dessert. This piece was so enormous that I struggled to finish it. I would 100% come back here if I have the chance.
After this, we rolled back to our hotel to get some sleep for the next day.
Bonjour! After slowly getting ready, we hit the streets again to get some breakfast. I’m a breakfast lover, and when you are in Paris, you need to have a croissant, right? Or two…
We ended up in a cute place called O/HP/E, where they baked their own pastries.
After this, we were ready for our 1st stop: Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur. The weather was a bit grey, but luckily it didn’t rain.
On the stairs going up to the Sacré-Cœur, you have an amazing panoramic view. It’s funny now to look at my pictures and see how crowded it was. Today it’s probably empty.
From there, we wandered around in the Montmartre area. This is considered the “art” district of Paris. I remembered it a bit differently. There were a lot of artists there who clung to everyone, asking to draw their portrait.
I started talking to an artist there, who made little paintings of the Eiffel Tower, and he gave me this little painting for free:
The little streets and paved streets really gave a romantic touch to this area. It was nice to just stroll around a bit. Tina took us to the next landmark, this iconic building:
From one iconic place to the other – it was time to visit the most well-known icon of Paris: the Eiffel tower! I’ve been there several times in the past 15 years, however I also remembered it differently. I think because of terrorism threats they changed the set-up and protected it better, but it looks quite ugly now:
We’d all been to Paris already several times, so we didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower. It was nice to be there again, though.
We went for a drink shortly after this, because it was time to give our feet a little rest 😉 After refuelling ourselves, we continued our path to another landmark:
At this point, it started drizzling a bit and we started to get a bit tired. We walked a bit down the Champs-Elysées (hello high-end stores like Hermès and Louis Vuitton!) but didn’t buy anything. We were tempted to buy macarons at some point, but the excessive prices of €2/piece withheld us from that. We decided to call it a day and go back to our hotel and rest a bit before dinner.
That evening, we didn’t feel like walking far to get dinner. We found a place that looked nice close by to our hotel, but we had to wait 1h to get a table. At that point we decided to get some food at the local supermarket, together with a bottle of red wine and go back to our hotel. Chill evening with just some girltalk – perfect!
Rise and shine, darlings! It was our last day in Paris and we didn’t want to waste time. Unfortunately, it was a bit cold and VERY windy that day. We took the metro to get to the Louvre museum, and took some pictures of the architecture there. We didn’t go inside the Louvre itself.
I still remember it got quite windy by then, so bad that they even closed some parks. We decided to just walk around a bit more, and explore less known areas of Paris.
It brought us to the Church of Saint-Sulpice, with a massive fountain in front of it:
This was already the last picture of our trip! We went for a late lunch after this, and then went back to the hotel to collect our bags. Tina and Silke had the train back around 6.45 PM and I took a train to the airport.
Au revoir Paris, see you next time!
Fun fact: at some point, I started taking pictures of Tina taking pictures of other stuff. It resulted in a separate photoshoot: