Arriving into Paris was much more of a breeze than both of us had expected… short flight… easy to maneuver around the domestic terminal and last minute decided to take a taxi into the city instead of training it in. Which was a HUGE blessing as our taxi driver was really friendly… spoke great English and gave us tons of advice of what to do other than the ‘typical’ touristic things. We once again rented an apartment through Air B&B (which we have loved and will continue to use in the future) for our time in Paris, which was located 10 mins from the Louvre, 20 mins from the Notre Dame… right next to the seine river and centrally located to restaurants, super markets, boulangeries (bakeries where we bought a baguette every day) and anything else we needed.
It is always fun first arriving to wander the streets and see what is around us… make sure we know our way around before we do anything else! I really wanted to make sure we went to a great rating Boulangerie to try out the infamous macaroons… which Cordie had never eaten before… and HE LOVED THEM! I love that in Europe you can walk so many places and see so many different famous or non-famous things around you… love that there are little cafes you can stop at and quickly have an espresso or just sit at and people watch for hours..read a book… or sit and journal without a ‘worry’ in the world. Ending our evening early…setting up a noise maker app on our phones to drown out the loud talking beneath us (small downside of the apartment) that no matter what night of the week it was it was always loud from 5pm-the wee hours in the morning.
The following day we headed to the Louvre and had a wonderful time! If you read about ‘spending’ time inside most places recommended a minimum of three hours… We spent well over 4 hours within the museum and LOVED every minute of it. It was nice to see some similar things that we had come across in Spain and Italy but also a lot of fun to see French Paintings, Napoleon’s apartments that were once within the walls and many many other things. (of course the Mona Lisa also)
From there we walked to the Notre Dame church, which had just recently celebrated their 850th Anniversary. It is free to enter the famous church, but hold a treasury with certain ‘believed’ items from the time of Christ, clothing that belonged to certain Popes’ from the past, sparkling jewels and other very very old artifacts- that one has to pay to enter in and see it. We went in and spent quite a bit of time looking/reading over everything-it was pretty cool to see.
The next day we walked A LOT..More than five miles actually… it was freezing out but we were both stubborn and did not want to take any transport places so that we could see MORE of Paris rather than just jumping on the subway… being underground an then arriving at a ‘tourist’ location. Our two main stops were the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. The pictures below are random from our walk there and back… enjoying the ‘free’ entertainment the city provides along side the Seine River.
One of the things we did on our way back was attach a lock to one of the three lock bridges in Paris… It was fun. We wrote our name, the date, the date we got married, then each had a separate key that came with the lock to throw over… You can research online the ‘lovers tradition’ and the different controversies over it.
After our day of walking we decided to rent BIKES!! I had been waiting to find a city in which it was reasonable to rent for a day and convenient for us as well. We started our 10+ mile biking day by going to Jardin de Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden) and enjoyed coffee, crepes, seating around lovely flowers and a fountain. It was still chilly but comfortable.
From there we biked over to Bastille an arrondissement (or neighborhood) formally known as Bastille Saint-Antoine and had coffee and cakes with a couple and their kids. We met the wife in Valencia, Spain and her 4 year old daughter name is Catherine and they have a 2 yr old little boy Benjamin who was just the sweetest thing.
After a couple of lovely hours with them we headed back towards the Eiffel Tower to see it lite up and then every hour on the hour for about 5 mins it SPARKLES!!! It truly is amazing and nice to sit a park close by and wait and watch the monument light up the sky! As you can see below we also biked to Pont de Arcs (another one of the three lock bridges) and left another lock with our names on it.
Our last day was rainy and wet but still enjoyable. We met up in the morning with a friend of mine from YWAM for coffee and a looong overdue chat for a couple hours! She has been living in Paris for the past three years and it was so nice to hear all that she is doing with YWAM Paris and hear heart for the young and thriving city.
From there we walked along the Seine River reminiscing about our favorites of the trip… reflecting on whats ahead and trying not to ‘plan’ to much of where we will be when.
We are so thankful we were able to spend time in some amazing cities and places over the past couple of weeks, and are so ready to get back to Florida and continue to keep moving forward!
Once we get the rest of our pictures organized, resized and sorted they will be in the gallery! So keep an eye out!