No recipe or blog post this week, but instead I wanted to share some snaps from my recent trip to Paris!
Paris has been on my bucket-list for the longest time, so on our holiday this month to Croatia it was way too convenient not to squeeze in a side trip. We ended up staying for two full days, though it really wasn’t enough time to even scratch the surface of this magical city.
We managed to tick off most of the iconic central sights, but you could very quickly see how much more Paris has to offer – it’s a vibrant hub of culture, history, fashion and food, and everything from the charming tree-lined streets, exquisite architecture, picture-perfect parks and gardens, and the best bakeries and patisseries my eyes and mouth have ever encountered, made it so very easy to fall in love with the city of love.
Wandering the streets of Paris almost has an air of familiarity about it. Given the city is so often referenced in culture, fashion and film, many of its landmarks are instantly recognisable, particularly the Eiffel tower. Seeing it for the first time was special and it does kind of stop you in your tracks.
We ventured to the top of the Arc de Triomphe which has panoramic sweeping views of Paris, extending as far as the eye can see. The arc is situated as the centrepoint of a star roundabout with 12 long straight avenues radiating out from its middle into the depths of the city. We decided to climb the Arc over the Eiffel Tower because a) it has a way smaller line to get in, and b) you get the Eiffel tower included in your view, and it ain’t no Paris skyline without the iron lady.
The Lourve museum was incredible and SO big. It’s one of the world’s largest museums, housing a diverse collection of nearly 35,000 pieces of artwork, that sees you wandering through endless corridors of ancient Egyptian and Greek artifacts, so lavishly appointed Napoleon III apartments, and priceless masterpieces from da Vinci and Michelangelo. We picked the departments we were most interested in and spent hours marvelling at the treasures until a food/rest stop was cheered all-round. The notable star attractions of the museum were crazily busy – be prepared to fight your way through the crowds to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa.
Although we didn't spend enough time to really get stuck into the French cuisine, everything I ate was delicious. The patisseries treats were out of this world, the baguettes lived up to their stereotype, and dining out wasn't just about the food, but the whole experience itself. Food is to be enjoyed - and here that goes beyond just taste.
Although Paris has an excellent above-and-below public transport system, we walked as much as possible and found it the best way to experience the city - you see and notice so much more whilst on foot. Paris is very walkable, just make sure to bring comfy shoes. I forgot to bring my Polar watch, but it probably would have imploded with the amount of steps we did. Hopefully our endless walking helped counter all of the pain au chocolat's I ate. Life is all about balance - something to remind myself of here.
The main tourist attractions in Paris are certainly worth the hype, but so much of the cities beauty lies in everyday life. It's everywhere - the buildings, the food, the energy, the atmosphere. Everything is so charming.
My anniversary with my boyfriend fell during our stay in Paris. At sunset we went to a supermarket and picked up a baguette, bubbles, plastic flutes and strawberries, and then plopped ourselves under the Eiffel tower to cheers to our time together. Experiencing the Eiffel tower at night is definitely necessary during a stay in Paris – at night it’s beautifully lit up and comes alive on the hour for five minutes with 22,000 twinkling lights. It’s bewitching/enchanting/captivating, all rolled into one.
Aside from the above we also visted the Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxonbourg (both beautiful public parks), the window-shoppers dream Champs-Élysées and jaw-dropping Notre Dame cathedral, so all-in-all we squeezed in a lot during out two days! Paris truly is beautiful - next time I'll be organising a longer stay.