Way back in February (it’s been such a travel-heavy twelve months I’m going to be writing up our trips for a good long while – get comfy ;)), Matthew and I decided to take a quick daytrip somewhere. With his schedule being so busy and so much time already booked off for our trips to Italy and Northern Europe, we knew we could onloy really squeeze in a day.
We had a good long think, and several destinations were considered, from Winchester, to York, to Brum, until we popped onto the Eurostar site and before we know it, return tickets to Paris were in our possession. Because Paris is always a good idea! (Thanks, Audrey)
As soon as we arrived we hopped onto the metro and in a matter of minutes we were emerging to the sight of the Arc de Triomphe. There were tonnes of school kids exploring it, so we took our snaps and headed off for a stroll along the Champs-Elysees, a cafe au lait, and some window shopping.
As we continued walking we headed south, towards the Seine and before long we were rewarded with a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I’m aware it’s considered cool by some to be snobbish about the tower, but seeing it always makes my heart sing.
As demonstrated below.
“You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.”
We spent a couple of hours taking a boat trip along the Seine, which is a marvellous way to see the city. Even though I’ve been to Paris several times, I always feel like I’m spotting something new!
“…the whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music…it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in Everything.”
After our boat tour we strolled along the Left Bank and went to the Musee D’Orsay, one of my favourite museums in the capital. That gorgeous ceiling above? Is in the cafe! We stopped there for delicious food, glasses of crisp white wine and a break.
“What an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!”
We continued walking along, pausing often to take pictures, marvel over details, or peruse the displays in the charming little shops which dot the riverside.
“Paris is the only city where you can step out of a railway station —and see, the Seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, the beginning of the Champs Elysees—what other city offers as much as you leave a train?”
No trip to Paris is complete without a look around Shakespeare and Company. I can find a bookshop anywhere, but in Paris I always love to stop by the store and its fabled bench.
As the evening began to draw in, we headed up towards Gare du Nord for our journey home. I’d booked us into Terminus Nord, not really knowing what to expect, but we were rewarded by this decision with rich, succulent steaks; delicious, dainty desserts and a cracking bottle of red. Sat to our left was a charming older French lady who I instantly knew was goals when she ordered herself a glass of excellent champagne and that big old pile of seafood! I can’t eat seafood but if I could I’d definitely try it at this restaurant – the platters were amazing to behold.
With full bellies and happy hearts we popped over to the station and awaited our train home. We’ll definetely be doing Paris in a day another time – such an easy trip from London!