After a week’s stay in Paris, it is about time that I share a bit of my adventures with you all, just to update you on what has happened during my time over there. And while it has been over a year since my last visit to Paris, don’t hesitate to check out my other “An American in Paris” series’ posts here:
BUT, before I get started: you might have noticed me still commenting/liking your posts over the past week that I have been away, still being active on WordPress and whatnot. Just so that there isn’t any confusion, I want to clear things up by saying that, while I had the time to “like/comment” posts, I didn’t have as much time (or energy) to write new posts, just because the times that I wasn’t online, I was out and about exploring the city, and would return back to the apartment later in the day, too tired to do anything. I even missed 9/11 in the United States, which is a huge deal for the nation.
In any case, though, I am back to my blogging routine for the time being. I have a feeling that these posts will be quite long, and so to spare you a headache, I will be dividing these posts into two or three parts over the next few days, taking you through my day-to-day activities there.
Without further ado, here’s a taste of my stay in the City of Lights! 😀
Sunday (9/6): Arrived in Paris after a not-so-bad airplane flight (trust me, I’ve experienced worse), was picked up by our apartment’s tenant (a very pleasant woman who didn’t speak English very well, but there was never a point of miscommunication; it helped that I spoke some French with her!).
My family and I were renting an apartment within the city itself, but still quite outside from the center (known as the 1er arrondissement). We were staying around the 11ème arrondissement, actually quite close to the Cimetière du Père Lachaise (a well-known cemetery that contains buried figures of famous writers, politicians, and musicians- including Jim Morrison!). Didn’t get the opportunity to visit, although I wanted to, but we were too busy exploring other parts of the city during the week. Next time, though!
Since we were not located close to the heart of the city, the neighborhood was definitely more quiet, not as loaded with tourists and whatnot. All we did that day was get settled down, and went to the nearby metro station to purchase our Carte Navigo for the week.
Life pro tip: if you’re planning to stay in Paris for a week or more, it’s better to buy the Carte Navigo so that you will have unlimited access to the entire city via the metro. It’s better than buying a shit-ton of tickets that you have to feed through the slot each time you go through- really, it’s annoying. I pretty much swear by the metro system; I almost never take the taxi or the bus while there, just because it’s too expensive for such short of a ride and the system’s too complicated, respectively.
Since we had arrived on Sunday, almost nothing was opened that day (services in Paris, heck, the entire country of France, are closed Sundays and Mondays, which makes going out an inconvenient chore). However, we found a boulangerie (bakery) that was opened nearby, and so we bought some pain au chocolat (forever my favorite pastry) ❤ and croissants (pourquoi pas?) for breakfast the following day. Went to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner (one of the few places opened on Sunday), and that was about it for the day. Needed a long rest for the next day.
Monday (9/7): Due to jet-lag, I woke up after four hours of sleep. Spent the rest of the time just on my laptop, doing nothing in particular. Headed out with my family around 7h45 to our first main attraction in Paris: the Louvre museum. Very famous, very crowded. But considering that we were going in September, lines were much shorter, especially right at its 9h00 opening. Got in within 5-10 minutes, bought our tickets, then booked it to the room with Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Still a crowd inside, but got a decent shot of her second-time around.
Spent the next three hours wandering the Louvre. There was so much to see there; even after the second time, I still didn’t see everything! Even more so, we ended up getting a bit lost trying to find the exit out! 😛 Regardless, I found myself appreciating the museum more, even liking it better than the last time I had came. Good art, less people! *thumbs up
Headed out of the museum, bought some quick sandwiches nearby (another life-pro tip: purchase your grab-n-go meals at Éric Kayser’s boulangeries; it’s a chain store, but a good, affordable one!). Hit up the Tuileries Garden, which was right next to the Louvre. Gorgeous place, with a gorgeous view of the Louvre Palace. Headed over to Place de la Concorde (with the Luxor Obelisk) and then to Champs Élysées for some sightseeing of shopping stores, tourist-trap cafés, and many, many tourists. Stopped by Ladurée for its world-famous macarons (first time for my family- they were enchanted by the fairy-tale layout of the store). 🙂 Bought a dozen, and ate them all within two days (my favorites were especially the salted caramel and Marie Antoinette’s tea, a seasonal flavor that tasted like Earl Grey- delicious!).
It’s quite incredible that we had covered three main-attraction areas in one long swoop that day; I pat myself on the back for organizing such a smooth itinerary; it helps to have done it before! 😉 We ended up going back out again later that evening (after having gone back to the apartment to rest up for the afternoon) for dinner at a creperie that I had been to before. Delicious crêpes with a modern twist, and not too expensive. Good stuff! 😛
Well, I’ve certainly written a lot on merely two days in Paris! Stay tuned for the next post(s) on my following days in the city! À demain! 😀
— The Finicky Cynic
Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic