If you missed Part 1 of our trip, click here.
We took the Eurostar to Paris on Wednesday morning and arrived around noon. We took a taxi to our airbnb and settled in. While we were in Paris, we mostly walked or took a taxi as multiple people had advised me not to do the metro here. The first thing we went to see was the Eiffel Tower. I knew it was big but you don't realize how big until you are standing under it!
We grabbed a sandwich from a cart by the tower. We were surprised in both London and Paris how good the tourist food was and reasonably priced at the historical sites. Joe and I split prosciutto, cheese, and pesto on a fresh baguette. While we ate, we overlooked the Seine River and watched the boats float by. Our tickets for the Eiffel Tower were for 3:30pm so we got in line after eating. We took a lift to the second floor of the tower and overlooked Paris. We contemplated taking the stairs to the top of the tower but it was very crowded and we were already tired, so we were content with the second floor.
From here, we walked over to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs de Elyse.
I loved all the cafes in the middle of the sidewalk here where you could stop for crepes, or coffee, or a meal. Continuing down the Champs de Elyse, we passed all the expensive stores including an Abercrombie and Fitch with an entrance fit for a palace.
By this time we were all worn out from walking so we took a taxi to dinner. However, when we got there at 6pm, it wasn't open yet! We realized the French eat dinner much later than us. While we waited for the bistro to open, we wandered around the area and watched local kids playing a game of soccer; their field was the courtyard of a church and their goalposts were the trashcans and streetlights. These small things really made it feel like you were in Paris.
Finally making it back to the restaurant, Bistrot Victoires was our first dinner in Paris and it was AMAZING.
Being a small, French bistro we were nervous they only spoke French. Thankfully, our waitress spoke English and they even had an english menu for us.
This was my favorite meal in Paris. I got the roast chicken in au jus with creamy mashed potatoes and for dessert I had prolifertole (small creme puff shells filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce and almonds). I was in heaven.
Joe also got the chicken but he opted for the creme brûlée for dessert and loved it.
We found out this night that Versailles had a strike going on and we wouldn't be able to go the following day. We were all a little disappointed but had a lot of other things on our list to see in Paris! Instead, we started the next day at a small bakery called Maison Bastille for breakfast.
This place was adorable with floral wallpaper and a chalkboard wall.
My parents and I ordered hot chocolate and it was my favorite in Paris. They brought us a cup of steamed milk and a small bowl of dark chocolate to mix together- how cool!
I went on a chocolate overload and had a chocolate chip cookie slice with my hot chocolate.
From here, we headed to Victor Hugo's home and visited a few of the shops around it. We found a small perfume shop called Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque (I was told it was somewhere here by a friend) and immediately started talking with the shop clerk. He talked to us for a little bit and then picked out a scent specifically for each of us. The 3 scents he picked for my parents and I were spot on and would have been exactly what we would have picked ourselves. Joe didn't care for his scent much, but hey 3 out of 4 is pretty good! My parents and I picked up our scents as our Parisian souvenirs. My scent was Un Jour a Biarritz and smells like sweet flowers. This was one of our favorite experiences in Paris.
Next, we headed to the Louvre. Just seeing the outside of this was spectacular. Inside, we split up from my parents as we all wanted to see different things. Joe and I wandered the Italian paintings and found the Mona Lisa and some other work by DaVinci. We then found ourselves in the decorative section in a grand and ornate room which held jewelry, pottery, and other trinkets. Joe and I ended our time in the Egyptian part looking at the great Sphinx which weighed about 12 tons. It was already well past lunch time when we finished so we grabbed food here. Again, for tourist food, it was great!
On the way to Notre Dame, we stopped in Shakespeare and Company, an adorable little bookstore with sliding ladders and nooks and crannies full of books.
I just had to take this photo since I'm in love with Beauty and the Beast.
Notre Dame had a line wrapping around in a circle. While we waited, we smelled fresh bread wafting over from a bread festival that was going on next door. The architecture of Notre Dame was incredible and we sat down for a little bit inside taking it all in.
Saint Germain De Pres was another of our favorite areas in Paris. We walked around the shops for a little and I bought a handmade journal at a little shop.
We ate dinner in this area as well at a restaurant called Le Relais de l'Entrecote. When we arrived and found a line out the door, we knew we picked a good place.
This restaurant serves a fixed menu that is always the same. Fresh bread, salad, and steak with french fries. For a meat lover, this was the place to be. The steak came with an Au Poive sauce that we all raved about after.
They even brought you a second portion of the steak and french fries and we ate every bite! For dessert we grabbed gelato at a place called Amorino. Delicious!
We ended our second night in Paris with a Seine River Cruise. We relaxed on the top of a boat while we floated up and down the river seeing the city of lights.
For breakfast on Friday morning, we ate at Miss Manon, another small bakery closer to our flat. I had the quiche lorraine, a pain au chocolat, and a hot chocolate. I'm pretty sure every bakery in Paris is amazing.
Midnight in Paris is one of our favorite movies so we had to find some of the spots used in the filming. First stop were the steps Owen Wilson sat on as the old car pulled up to take him to the 1920's.
Next, we went to Le Polider, where his character sits and talks with Ernest Hemingway.
We were right by the wall that was in the film!
We tried to eat a mid day snack here but we had a very rude waitress who did not speak english and wouldn't let us just order cokes and a snack. We left and decided to walk through Luxembourg Gardens. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed taking in the scenery.
We hadn't eaten lunch yet so we decided to get crepes. Joe got the nutella and banana crepe and I got the plain nutella one. They were so good!
While we were sitting eating our crepes, I was talking about a shop I had heard of that I wanted to visit. We didn't have an international phone plan so we were using good old maps to figure out where to go. We walked about 2 miles to where we thought the shop was with no luck. After asking a local, they said there was one by the Arc de Triomphe. We hopped in a taxi and ended up across the street from where we had crepes. We had stared at the shop while we ate and didn't even notice! We definitely laughed about that one.
We went back to the Arc de Triomphe so that we could walk through the tunnel and stand underneath it. Joe and my mom commented how unsettling it was to stand where Hitler had stood so many years ago.
With a little more time on our hands before dinner, we walked to Galeries Lafayette. This was so crazy! It had about 7 floors with an ornate glass ceiling and everything was so expensive. People were everywhere and there was no where to sit or space to even really stand to the side.
We took a taxi to dinner at Bouillon Chartier.
We were seated at a table next to an adorable young french couple who were visiting Paris on holiday from school. They both spoke fairly good English and we enjoyed talking with them during our meal. Overall, this was our least favorite food that we had in Paris. I had the roasted chicken with french fries and my chicken was very dry and not flavorful. For dessert we had to stop at Amorino again as it was right across from our restaurant. After dinner, my parents called it a night and went back to the flat. Joe and I decided to walk by the Eiffel Tower at night and along the Seine River.
We ended up at the bridge used in Midnight in Paris and talked about our favorite things from the trip so far.
It was the perfect end to Paris.
Part 3 of our trip will be coming to the blog tomorrow!