I recently went to Paris for a couple of days, it was my first time there and I loved it. My friend and I booked last minute plane tickets and stayed in an air bnb studio.
We managed to accomplish quite a lot, here is a list of the fabulous things we saw and did:
- Went to Balzac’s house and saw how complicated the family trees in his books were
- Walked underneath the Eiffel tower and looked upwards
- Went to the famous Notre Dame de Paris and saw some of French mass, and blessed ourselves with Holy Water
- Walked around the Latin Quartier and through some beautiful jardins and posed in front of the Sorbonne
- Got the bus, and saw the Parisian school pick-up (all the kids do actually carry those huge but really cute French rucksack/wheeley schoolbags)
- Walked up the Champs Elysée and saw the Arch de Triomphe– we wanted to pretend that we were an army and go underneath and come out the other side singing La Marseilleise, but unfortunately the subway which would have allowed us to do this was closed.
- Went to the Musée d’Orsay and viewed some interesting statues, Van Gogh’s self-portrait and Monet’s water lillies
- Got the metro, where I promise I saw Parisians young and old carrying baguettes
- Went to Sacré Coeur, where we blessed ourselves with Holy Water again, lit a candle, saw some nuns singing and got an amazing view. We also got annoyed with some tourists (less sophisticated ones shall we say) but were calmer once we were inside the Church
- I bought French exercise books and wine, Anshel bought wine and cheese
- We met up with a friend of Anshel’s who will be studying the violin at a Parisian conservatoire and went for a ‘demi’ of beer (mine was un demi de Pitchfork) , then went for dinner where we shared a ’bouteille de vin rouge’ and ate snails (which mostly taste of delicious garlic butter)
- Went to the boulangerie a couple of times, where we realised that staying in to eat is much more expensive! However we had delicious café au laît and my baguette was great, so was Anshel’s croissant
- Got the train through ‘les banlieues’ on the way to the airport. We saw that unlike the centre of Paris the suburbs are a grim sight, a mass of ugly tower blocks
I must say that I absolutely loved Paris and that my first impressions have made me want to live there. I love the fact that it is still bustling but everything is closer together and a bit smaller than London. I also like the fact that being out is not that much of a big deal, lots of people of all ages seemed really happy to relax in bars drinking and chatting. The café culture is a plus in my book, call me boring but I don’t like jumping up and down to music I don’t like underneath headache inducing neon lights. Also I am sorry, but in Paris the majority of people are stylish and most people are not tacky. You find less people in unflattering outfits, in any case.
Ok, I know, I shouldn’t judge too quickly, I was only there for two days, but it seemed much more ‘Scarlettian’ than London.