Europe Trip Part 3: Paris

Thanks for joining me again for Part 3 of my European vacation series.  I meant to put this up on Monday but I was so busy this week that I didn’t get the chance to finish it. But I am finally done uploading the pictures so today I am going to talk about our trip to Paris. In case you missed the other two parts of our European vacation, you can click below to catch up: 
So I must admit that I had a love/hate relationship with Paris. Yes it was gorgeous and romantic and everything that I thought it would be but for some reason I didn’t love it. I know, I am weird. I think it was just coming off of such an amazing week in Dublin and London and then headed to Paris into a city that I didn’t know the language was quite intimidating to me.  I was nervous and a little scared . My husband could wing it THANK GOODNESS. Otherwise we would have been screwed.  
From the moment we arrived I was a nervous wreck.  Joey navigated us to a cab and we found our hotel, the Villa Pantheon.  Our hotel was pretty nice and was in the French Quarter section of the city. It was a small little room with lots of dark greens and plaids.  It was perfect for us for a week.

After unpacking and relaxing for a bit we headed out for a bite to eat.  This was my first time speaking in French and I attempted to order on my own, but I know that the waitress spit on my frites!  Thank goodness their frites are very good because I lived on them for a week. Well not just frites, I also consumed a massive amount of wine and banana, nutella crepes.
The week that we were there the University students were protesting because of tuition increases, so of course I was a little anxious over that. They actually closed all of the museums down one day because of the protests.  But thankfully our trip wasn’t disrupted too much {but I will get into that one in a bit}
Our first major stop after walking around for a bit was the Arc de Triomphe.  We went up to the top of it and let me tell you, the views were absolutely stunning. When you walk around Paris everything seems to be wild and crazy but up here the streets look so uniform and calm.  
Sorry for the blurry pictures. Our camera was on it’s last leg this trip!

We visited so many buildings over the week that I lost track of some of their names. But here are a few pictures that we took… 
We hit up all of the wonderful {and expensive} shops. I can see why everyone wants to shop in Paris.  Louis Vuitton was amazing! If only I could get another bag.

 

I spent a lot of time sitting while in Paris!

Don’t worry, we just walked by the McDonalds, we didn’t eat there!

We took a long walk along the Seine River.  What a gorgeous river running right through Paris.  I loved looking at all of the street vendors lined up all down the river as well. Some interesting art and tons of touristy stuff too.  

One of the many stands set up along the river. 

We of course stopped by the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  The outside of it is gorgeous and where it’s situated  in Paris couldn’t be more magnificent.  Then you walk inside and it’s even more stunning.

I think we spent a few hours touring the church and sitting outside in front of it. Just admiring the beauty of it. The pictures don’t do it justice!  Just look at this place…. amazing.

One day we too the Metro out to the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur.  Traveling to see this amazing church is not an easy task.  All I remember after getting off the train is taking the stairs up to the town.  We figured that we would skip the elevator {since the line was about 20 minutes long}. I mean we were living in NYC and walked the subway steps all day long. But little did we know that we would have to walk up at least 1,000,000 steps all in a curved subway like staircase. When we finally got to the top we just collapsed on a bench for at least 15 minutes trying to catch our breath.  When we finally got moving, we realized we still had to hike up through the town to get to the Basilica. But let me tell you, once we FINALLY reach the top, it was AMAZING. The views over Paris were stunning.  We just sat on the steps for an hour or so {I know that I was still trying to recover from the stairs}. 
The town was pretty amazing too.  It had a center square where you could buy art, food, etc. It was a gorgeous little area {despite all those hills and steps}

 Just look at these views!

Such a gorgeous Roman Catholic Church

Like everyone else that visits Paris, we made our way over to the Eiffel Tower. After much conversation we agreed to go to the second stop of the Tower. Neither one of us liked the looks of that “elevator” and agreed to skip the top! I know something we will probably regret but at least we got on the elevator. Have you ever been on that thing? You are crammed in there with 700 other smelly tourists and you are leaning sideways as it slowly cranks its way up the side of the tower. Not my idea of fun. I was thrilled when we were able to get off and walk around.  Despite only being a part of the way up, the views were still pretty amazing! You definitely have to see it at night when it’s all sparkly and shining.  Again I wished that we had a better camera at the time but oh well….and I know that I have pictures of when we were up on the Eiffel Tower but I don’t think that they are on my computer! GRRRR.
Of course we took some time to hit up all of the Museums.  We went to the Louve as well as the Musee d’Orsay.  I think that I saw the Mona Lisa. It’s amazing how many people crowd around that painting.  I think it was about 50 people deep when we were trying to catch our glimpse. Plus they rope off around it and I am super short. But I am pretty sure that was the painting that I was staring at.  It was still impressive from that far away.  No pictures of the Mona Lisa since they are not allowed but I did snap a few others from the different museums.

The entrance to the Louve

 

After a few days in Paris we did take a day trip to Brussels, Belgium on the Eurostar.  The main part of the town was the center square. Everything from our guide book was in one easy spot.  Our first stop though was for breakfast. We had to get some waffles.   Then we hit up some of the historic sites before walking outside the square to explore a bit more.  We also found a little restaurant where we could try some beers!  I was happy to sit there for a bit to relax! The 2 weeks of walking was really starting to take it’s toll on me!

I can’t hide my emotions! You can tell that I am a nervous wreck here. 

Joey didn’t care, he was in HEAVEN!!!  
 

The way home from this trip was a little eventful. After a day of walking around Belgium and a few beers, I was exhausted. I just wanted to get back to our hotel and get a good nights sleep. Well as we were headed into Paris, the train stopped for a bit. After a few minutes they finally started to make an announcement over the intercom.  Of course English was last on the list and the pre-recorded announcement was “Sorry for the delay but the train has tipped over”. Ummm what? Yeah I started to have a panic attack. Joey had to calm me down telling me that we were still upright. Um yeah that’s true. I guess we didn’t tip.  What happened was some of the students were on the tracks protesting. Lovely! After about an hour delay we finally got back into the station. What a relief. I didn’t want these students causing me any more stress! 
The next day we decided to take the Metro out to the Palace of Versailles.  What another amazing place. I think that I was meant to live in that Palace. It was HUGE! 

I wish that we went a little later in the season, the gardens are amazing but they weren’t in bloom yet. 
Home Sweet Home!
After a long but fun week in Paris, it was time to pack up all of our bags and head back home to New York City.  It was an amazing two weeks and something that I will always look back on and smile. I know that I was a nervous wreck traveling to so many foreign countries but I was so far outside of my comfort zone. But I can say that I did it and thank goodness I went with my husband. He is the only one that could keep me sane {especially in Paris}.

Thanks for checking out my European Vacation posts. I hope that you enjoyed reading them. Share with me some of your fun vacation spots. Europe? South America? Asia? What are some of the best places that you have traveled too. I love hearing your comments. 

Happy Wednesday!

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  1. […] London and Paris and we did that back in 2006 {you can view all of the pictures here, here and here}.  I would like to see Greece one day.  It looks so freaking gorgeous in pictures!  The only […]

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