I now understand why people talk about Paris with such affection. Paris truly stole my heart and never ceased to amaze me with its beautiful buildings, its great fashion, its delicious cuisine and baked goods, and its friendly and welcoming residents. We began our first day there where I think most tourists do: with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. We were pleasantly surprised by the short lines and quickly got through security and began our climb up the Eiffel Tower. And I do mean quite literally climb as we chose to take the stairs up the first two levels until the final ascent to the peak. The views of the city skyline were stunning and I would have never known just how vast Paris was until I was at the top and seeing rooftops span endlessly in all directions. We could see the Statue of Liberty, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Sacre Coeur (the Basilica of the Sacred Heart) from our view above. It was utterly incredible. Afterwards we wandered through the streets, stopping for a delicious Nutella crepe because why not and chose to get lost in Paris and see where we end up. As we passed streets with beautiful tall buildings, with flowers in the balconies, we ended up in Jardin de Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden). Once we had enjoyed the perfectly groomed gardens, we strolled along the river back to our place and finished the night with a delicious meal at La Bouteille Sur la Table and of course a bottle of French wine because how could we not?
The following day we caught a train out to Versailles to see the Palace where Marie Antoinette had lived. To say the grounds and the palace were stunning and extravagant would not even begin to cover it. Golden gates surrounded the entrance to the palace and its gardens and grounds spread back covering over 6500 hectares of land. You know just your typical summer cottage, no big deal. The apartment rooms inside were so over the top and gaudy and yet done in a way that was absolutely beautiful and of which I would love to have in my own house. The Hall of Mirrors was my favourite room with so many gorgeous chandeliers and a trippy mirror at the end which made the room seem endless. The gardens were true to French standard and were immaculately kept. Unfortunately the fountains weren’t running which was a tad disappointing but was still stunning nonetheless. We sat on a bench and took it all in while enjoying what was the first of our French macaroons we tasted in Paris from Laduree. We finished the day with an evening stroll, passing by the Moulin Rouge on our way back from a delicious meal of Bo Bun. What can I say, I really miss my Asian food.
Our final day in Paris was jam-packed. Three days truly wasn’t enough time in Paris. I could spend weeks there and still be amazed by it all and not have enough time to take it all in. We started off the morning with croissants from Eric Kaiser bakery because I was in France and couldn’t not. Afterwards we wandered to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Perched on top of a hill, with steep steps leading up to it, it truly was a sight to behold. Inside of the church did not disappoint and incredible stained glass windows, paintings, and altars were all inside. From there we headed to the Notre Dame and took in the more gothic architecture and slightly darker interior. It was stunning nevertheless and its dark interior and richly coloured stained glass had a quieting effect on you, making you feel small in comparison to its grandness and imposing size. Before heading to the Louvre we may have fuelled my sugar addiction and stopped at L’eclaire de Genie for delicious éclairs (I had a salted caramel butter one) and for macaroons from Pierre Hermes. With its creative flavour combinations and perfect softness with still a slight crunch, it definitely won the title of the best macaroons I had in Paris! The Louvre was massive, you would have needed a week I think to see it all the way through. We obviously did not have that much time so we had to make a plan and choose what we really wanted to see. Of course the Mona Lisa made the list and the statue of Venus de Milo. We also walked through the Greek, Asian, and Egyption exhibits which were incredible. Having never seen a sarcophagus before it was truly amazing. We finished the night with a glass of champagne and French onion soup before heading to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up. Although I think the flashing bits were a tad over the top, it was beautiful lit up against the dark sky. It was the perfect way to finish our time in Paris and I cannot wait to come back again!