À bientôt, Paris!

We spent five days in Paris last week, and I feel like a lot of it was spent in museums – The Louvre; the Marine museum; the Orangerie; the Orsay; the Rodin Museum; the Army Museum; and the Picasso Museum, which was by far my favourite. I think it was my favourite because Picasso was an eccentric artist and I studied some of his work in high school. I wasn’t completely intrigued by what I learned at school, but it gave me a background to Picasso that I won’t forget. That made the visit to the Picasso Museum a very good one.

Margherite, a portrait artwork by Picasso
Margherite, a piece of art by Picasso

Of course, Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies murals were wonderful to see in the Orangerie, with some of his works in the Orsay Museum as well.

Myself and Nick with one of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies murals as a backdrop
In front of one of the famous Water Lilies paintings by Claude Monet

I think, though, as Nick predicted would happen by the end of our trip, we were ‘all museumed out’. So that is all I have to say about museums for now!

Myself and Nick distanced from a crowd looking at the famous Mona Lisa painting in the background
We saw the Mona Lisa – she’s small
The famous Thinker statue by Rodin
The famous Thinker statue by Rodin
A sculpture by Picasso
A sculpture by Picasso

Attractions

On our first afternoon we climbed the Montmartre steps. It was not as tiring as we thought. We also had a brief look at the red light district, seeing a lot of sex shops and the Moulin Rouge theatre. It would have been amazing to see a show there, but we didn’t have time. Not to mention it would also cost a lot of money.

The view of Montmartre from the bottom of the hill
Before climbing the Montmartre steps
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The view of Montmartre from the top of the hill
The view of Montmartre from the top of the hill
Moulin Rouge theatre entrance
Moulin Rouge district

We visited while the Euro Cup was happening. There were a lot of tourists and people from all around the world. We didn’t come specifically for the Euro Cup, but noticed that many people were watching the game on televisions in bars, and major attractions were selling football related (BTW, us backwards Australians call it ‘soccer’) merchandise. We visited the Eiffel Tower, of course, which also had a football hanging in the middle of it. I didn’t think the Eiffel Tower was super amazing but it was nice to see in person. It was very brown in colour and the entrance had a lot of security. The pretty park near the Eiffel Tower had also been fenced off, and had large screens up probably because of the large amount of people who had come to see the football.

A view from halfway up the Eiffel Tower
From the Eiffel Tower
A big inflatable football hanging from the centre of the Eiffel Tower for Euro2016
A football hanging from the centre of the Eiffel Tower for Euro2016
Paris as seen from the halfway point of the Eiffel Tower
Paris from the halfway point of the Eiffel Tower
‘Place to Kiss’ painted on the ground in various spots around the Eiffel Tower
At the Eiffel Tower they had spots marked ‘Place to Kiss’
A view of the Eiffel Tower
A view of the Eiffel Tower

We went to the Arc de Triomphe, which had amazing views. You could see the Eiffel Tower, but the busy street below was also very interesting.

Street view of lots of cars and traffic, taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe
Amazing street view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

We went to Disneyland, which I didn’t like very much. I had a horrid experience on the Space Mountain ride – I hated it so much I started to cry. I screamed so much during it, even when everything was quiet, because I wanted it to end. 😞 Everything else was a bit underwhelming and many rides were closed (I was looking forward to Big Thunder Mountain as I had been on it in Tokyo) but I have heard that Disneyland Paris is pretty shitty compared to others, so there you go.

Cinderella’s Coach at Disneyland Paris
Cinderella’s Coach at Disneyland Paris
Myself and Nick, as I am driving a car at Disneyland
Nick took this photo of us while I was driving a car on a ride

The Palace of Versailles was beautiful, as were the seemingly endless gardens. I am mentioning all these lovely places but I actually didn’t take my camera with me! I was not going to take it on the trip but share cameras with Nick as he has the same one, but changed my mind. But now that we are on holidays, I feel like my phone suffices. It doesn’t bother me, I am thankful to have a phone with a good camera.

Chandelier (photo taken from underneath) at the Palace of Versailles
A chandelier in the Palace of Versailles
Myself and Nick in front of a water fountain at the Gardens of Versailles
Myself and Nick at the Gardens of Versailles

We took a river cruise on the Seine. There was flooding in Paris shortly before we arrived but it looks like we were lucky. The weather was beautiful and the water levels had gone down.

A bridge on the River Seine
The River Seine
A huge array of locks on a bridge
All the locks that lovers put on the bridge
A bridge on the River Seine
A bridge on the River Seine
The Eiffel Tower as seen from a boat on the River Seine
A view of the Eiffel Tower in the afternoon, on a boat cruise

Food

The food in Paris was so good! It was generally quite affordable and tasted amazing. We stayed in the heart of Paris and we visited restaurants that our Airbnb host suggested. They were not full of tourists, and we were well respected. It really helped to greet and ask for a table in French, and after that most waiters and waitresses were happy to give us an English menu and serve us in English. Not sure why people think that French people are rude. They are lovely!

I think we had a lot of sweets and desserts while we were in Paris, and I had fish at almost every opportunity. I don’t think we were disappointed by the food at all.

Dough balls of different flavours, with hot chocolate and tea
This was our afternoon tea upon arriving. The caramel, chocolate and vanilla ‘choux’ balls were delicious!
Large rose flavoured macaron with fresh raspberries inside
This rose macaron was sweet but not too sweet!

‘Slow service is good service’ in France, so don’t expect to eat quickly at a restaurant. Take your time! French people really take their time to eat and enjoy their food. I found that it was a nice time to sit back and relax.

Thieves and pickpockets

We didn’t have a huge issue with thieves and pickpockets. There were signs with warnings, but we just avoided carrying anything too valuable (apart from transferring to and from the country), and kept our hands near our pockets. We learned to say ‘no’ and ‘go away’ in French so that ‘gypsies’ and scammers would go away. And surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. They hung around touristy spots but didn’t approach us. We made sure we wore clothing that didn’t stand out, walked like we knew where we were going, and didn’t spend too much time looking at maps in the middle of the street.

If you keep checking your surroundings, you will be fine. 🙂

The End

Overall I really liked Paris! I think it surprised me a little. I was not very excited about it at first because I thought it would be extremely cliche. But it is a special place indeed, and I would like to go back at some point in the future.

Nick said he will miss everyone saying ‘Bonjour’ upon entering a store or an attraction – there just isn’t really an Australian equivalent other than ‘G’day’, which, let’s face it, sounds horrid.

Au revoir.

The Seine as seen from a bridge, with a cloudy afternoon sky
The Seine was not flooded, but the water level was still high

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Comments on this post

The food was definitely my favorite part of Paris. It was amazing. Everything, even simple sandwiches, just seemed to be so delicious. (That was true in Milan as well. Yum.)

As far as I know, with the French they think it’s rude that visitors so often don’t bother learning even a little French to get through the country. I’ve heard that so long as you can drop a small bit of their language, they’ll understand the kind of person you are.

I read a few months ago that they’re getting rid of all those locks (I think they’re replacing the entire bridge so that locks can never be put on it again) because they’re actually damaging the bridge itself, and that locals actually hate the bridge right now. But don’t quote me on that! 😆

I found a Ladurée Paris in Shinjuku and was so bloody excited! Those were definitely the best macarons I’ve ever had.

Yep that is true. Nick knows quite a bit of French so we had a very enjoyable experience really.

Yeah they are getting rid of the locks because they are weighing down the bridge. It’s a bit sad but also a bit funny. You can see locks everywhere anyway, I even saw some in Zurich.

Sounds like a wonderful trip! Everything looks so beautiful! I really should take more pictures of stuff myself. 😆

Mmm, that rose macaron looks so pretty and yummy! And I love the lock bridge. So sweet.

Looks like you had lots of fun!

Paris definitely is an awesome place for museum visits! My old high school actually used to arrange yearly trips to Paris with the art teachers, it’s a fun way to experience and see all the cool modern, classic and contemporary art! 😄

Ooo, it’s so cool to see the tower with a football in the middle! My friend went there for the EuroCup, he tells me it’s mostly watching football and drinking beer 😛

I never understood why people say that the French are rude. I found them all so lovely in both occasions I visited!

It sounds like you had all sorts of fun during your trip to Paris! Looking through museums is still a good thing because you have the chance to appreciate the art of the town.

The views in Paris look amazing! I think what’s amazing is that people are able to park into tight spots on the streets. Meanwhile, I’m here panicking over 2 ft. of room on each end @___@….

Us in the U.S. call football, “soccer” as well and call some other sport, “football”. You’re not the only one’s! 😆.

The view from The Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe is amazing!!! You need to drop by Disneyland in California, it’ll be a better experience! 😉. I’m there pretty much every week 😆.

The food looks delicious! Pickpocketers are still around?! Good that none try to mess with the both of you 🙂!

Wow, you went to a lot of museums! I can see how you could get “museumed” out, haha. I really love your photos of the view in Paris and of the streets. It looks like such a lovely city, and I’d like to visit some time. I think that’s kind of funny how the Eiffel Tower had a ball hanging there. I get it’s for the Euro Cup, but it seems mismatched!

That’s too bad Disneyland was disappointing. I’ve only been to the ones in the US, so I don’t know how they compare to ones abroad. I’d like to visit Palace of Versailles! Photos I’ve seen of it look so pretty!

Yay for good food! That’s always nice when you have a local who can give recommends. I’m glad you really liked your time in Paris! 😄

It’s wonderful that you did enjoy it and that it was a positive surprise. 😄 The food looks so delicious and omg Macarons! 😄 It sounds like you did and saw so many things. Hopefully you can go back and do the things you might have missed this time. 😄

I’ve heard that the Mona Lisa is really small and most people expect it to be bigish, but then ends up being disappointed at the size. I think the Hong Kong Disneyland is the worse than the Paris one, it’s much much smaller. Theme parks are never really a thing for me though as I hate rides! They totally just freak me out.

There are signs of pick pockets in Amsterdam too and we were warned a few times by friends and families that we should be careful. It’s really easy to avoid those situations by putting things in zipped pockets, use bags with a good secure zip etc. When I travel, I normally only carry worthless stuff in my backpack and keep all my valuables in areas I can feel. I strap my camera around my neck and usually strap my phone around my arm.

What camera did you use to take all those scenery photos? I love the colour of the sky and clouds. The sky is never that blue or dreamy for me unless I edit the photo a lot. Did you edit your photos?

Haha it was small but I think I was expecting it to be so. Good to know about Hong Kong Disneyland – I don’t think I will be going there. I hate theme parks and rides too, but of course I went for Nick. 😄

I started to just not carry a bag at all and not carry anything valuable. I lock things in my suitcase in the hotel and take the key, and I do put my phone in my front pocket but usually put my hand in it too, or wear a long shirt so that if someone were to try and reach into my pockets, they would have to obviously lift my shirt.

I used my phone! iPhone 6S, so the camera quality is pretty good haha. The square ones are from Instagram so they have more deliberate editing. The rectangle ones were also taken from my phone but I didn’t do much more than make them brighter if the photo was too dark. The sky was so blue in Paris, I think we got lucky especially after the floods.

I wish I would have had more time in Paris when I visited. The only museum we visited was the Louvre, which was wonderful and amazing, but we spent way too much time there (at least I thought). I was museum’d out by the end of that day. 😆

The planning of the city is so beautiful there. All the lines of sight are absolutely perfect. I can’t remember what the name of the area that we were was called, but the view down the long street down to the Eiffel Tower was so cool.

I love love loved the food in Paris, as well! We only at a couple of nice restaurants, but even the simpler street food that we got was all so yummy. I actually learned to like tomatoes in Paris because I loved the tomatoes they put on one of my sandwiches, haha!

Paris is definitely one of my favorite places that I’ve visited, so I would want to visit again as well! Glad you had such a great experience there, Georgie!

Ooooomg. I have literally had the best tomatoes in Europe. They taste so good. I just don’t think it is that easy to find such fresh nice tomatoes back at home. 😞

We went to the Louvre in the afternoon so only had a couple of hours, but I was super tired after that too. Haha.

Loved your account of your Paris experience!! 🙂 Not much else to say! Loved all your pics and glad the food was amazing. Mum and dad loved Paris when they went as well! 🙂

Paris is one of my favourite cities even though I’ve only been there twice! There is a lot I haven’t done – I’d love to visit more museums (I’ve been to Le Louvre twice and was pretty underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa, it is small!) and the Moulin Rouge district.

Have to disagree with you though, I like Disneyland Paris! But I don’t have any comparison as I’ve not been to other Disney parks.