Paris is beautiful.
We had February weather (lower 40’s) and it was surprisingly full of tourists, but we loved every second we were there. We rented a small, but really cute apartment near the Louvre and we walked all day, everyday. Everywhere we turned there were gorgeous details of historic architecture, colorful cafes and delicious options for food and wine on every corner. The Eiffel Tower seemed to keep an eye on us everywhere we went, peeking through the buildings and trees. We loved it.
The metro (train) is very easy to navigate and if our destination was far away or if it was rainy, we hopped on. There was no need to cab it anywhere and due to the language barrier, I don’t think we were ready to tackle that on this trip anyway. Good walking shoes are key in Paris.
We toured the Louvre, the Musée d’ Orsay, the Musée de l’Orangerie, Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle. My favorite was Musée d’ Orsay, which is a gorgeous art gallery built within an old train station that was built around 1900. It stores original art from Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley and several others who I have only read about in books. Even though there were lines of tourists, a highlight was eating Nutella and banana crepes on the street while we waited to get in. Not too shabby at all.
The restaurants were amazing. We referred to Paris By Mouth a lot for ideas and recommendations and we were never disappointed. Most of the restaurants are very small and intimate and since we “tried” to speak French, the locals were incredibly helpful in walking us through the menus. Mike actually tackled the language really well and even got a couple compliments on his accent from locals while we were there. This allowed me to stay strong with bonjour and trés bien!
We did a Taste of the Marais food tour which was a huge highlight on the trip. We had a local, english speaking guide (Claire) walk us around the Marais neighborhood and we stopped into different specialty markets to get bread, meats, cheeses and chocolates. The chocolate shops remind me of really fancy jewelry stores. She later took us to a cute wine bar where we got to sit down with wine pairings to sip with all of our delicacies. Délicieux!
It’s bitter-sweet to be back. We love traveling and getting to visit Paris together for the first time felt really special. I had no idea how completely stunning the city would be and I am full of memories and stories from the trip that Mike and I can share together. I’ll miss walking down the street with our pick of cafes to choose from and randomly encountering a jazz band playing next to the Saint Germain church that has a bell tower over 1000 years old. We stood together watching and listening. Although the museums were gorgeous, those unplanned moments are what I will miss the most. There is so much to do and so much to see. A lot of the stories that come from your trip to Paris aren’t something you can plan or make a reservation for… That’s the magic of Paris.
Au revoir, Paris y Merci.
All images © Regan Baroni 2015.