Paris is served best with frost in the air and gray in the sky. Well, I think so anyway. There’s something about being rugged up, snuggling with your loved one, eating cheese and drinking wine. Paris was the last stop on our honeymoon, and ended our trip on a high.
We booked an AirBnb in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, and were won over by the view of the Eiffel tower, and proximity to public transport. On our first day there, we landed just after lunch, so ordered a meal at a bistro down the road and picked up some wine and cheese on the way back to the room. I don’t know what else to tell you other than that we timed every hour on the hour to watch what we now refer to as the ‘glitter show’ for the rest of the night. The Eiffel Tower is stunning, and watching it from this view was something else.
As our last stop, we were only in Paris for a few days, and we were determined to see it all (or mostly) on foot. The next morning we made our way to the Eiffel Tower and purchased a ticket to the top. The last time I went, when I was backpacking, I was determined to save some euros so insisted on walking. The difference between the two experiences is actually taking a moment when you reach the top to enjoy the views, rather than panting for breath. The photos you see of Paris are usually taken toward the Eiffel Tower, not from it, so it’s a great time to notice some of the other architectural marvels of the city, as well as the the clean grids formed by streets, to the golden details found on many buildings.
It was a good thing we went up the Eiffel Tower on the first day, because for the rest of our time in Paris, it was so foggy you could hardly see it.
Arc De Triomphe and Champs-Élysées
We decided not to climb the Arc De Triomphe after reading about the narrow staircase. So, maybe I’m a little claustrophobic! We enjoyed it from a distance instead, taking in the buzzing traffic swirling around it, before taking a stroll down Champs-Élysées. There is a lot to do and see on this strip, but nothing excited me as much as sitting down at Ladurée for a macaron and drink. The Ladurée Cafe is every bit on brand as you would imagine. The exterior: whimsical. Interior: royalty. It’s normal to have macarons in your drink and dessert, right? Only in Paris.
Le Marais and Notre Dame
The next morning we took it slower. We caught a metro to La Marais to enjoy the neighborhood. We popped in and out of various gift shops, picking up some chocolates and pastries as we went. Le Marais makes a statement as you enter, with rainbow pedestrian crossings and umbrellas lined up amongst the trees. The district is apologetically loud and proud of itself and its community. We sat down at a cafe warmed by heaters, with decorative autumn leaves in the glass-top tables and ordered a cheese board to accompany our bottle of rose. People watching is great, but people watching in such a vibrant area, with your person is even better. We drank our last drop and cleaned the last bit of honey from the cheeseboard before walking across the bridge to Notre Dame, not forgetting to stop for a crepe from a street vendor.
We debated whether to go to Notre Dame, as we weren’t in Paris for long. Considering recent events, and our experience there when we did, we have been so thankful that we did. There is an epic-ness about the building that is only amplified once you walk inside. The weight of the history of the building itself and the items inside it don’t really hit you until you’re there.
Montmartre is a dream of a district. Sitting atop a hill, it is filled with creators, artists, and delicious restaurants. Paired with the incredible Paris views, we made sure to enjoy it for a while. As we strolled around laneways and alleys, we made our way back to what appeared to be the main hub of restaurants and cafes. Sitting ourselves beside a heater, we watched on as tourists hopped on and off busses, trams pulled up and down, and artists convinced pedestrians to let them draw them. A few hours passed before we decided it was time to descend down and make our way back to the 15th to pack for the next morning.
Paris is every bit as whimsical, lovely, and rich in culture and art as you can imagine it to be. Getting to experience all this with my husband was a dream, and though it has been seven months since we’ve been, we still talk about the glitter show, street-side crepes, and cheeseboards on a regular basis.