Monday, 12 January 2015

Paris, Day Two

Day two of our little weekend away in Paris (you can see day one here)! After being my typical non-morning self, we got up a bit later than originally planned and headed downstairs for a large and varied buffet for breakfast, before setting off out for our day of Paris adventures! First stop: the top of the Eiffel Tower!

We had originally planned to get to the Eiffel Tower early in the morning to avoid the queues, but as mentioned before, my dislike of early mornings altered our routine a bit. We arrived at about 11 to a surprisingly short queue, probably due to the heavy rain, and after about an hour we were climbing the stairs to the first floor!

After lots and lots of steps we finally made it to the first stage! Already the view was amazing, and we weren't even half way there yet! There was a little ice skating rink set up in the centre specially for Christmas which was a nice surprise, as I originally thought it was placed underneath the tower rather than actually on it. There were also some glass tiles to stand on and peer down at the ant-like crowds below - definitely not for those scared of heights! As you can probably tell from the photo, I didn't make the best choice of footwear with my suede fluffy ankle boots; they were already soaked through before we even started climbing!

After powering on up another flight of stairs we made it to the second floor! Definitely getting a lot chillier up here! The views, once again, were amazing though, giving a different panoramic view at every angle of Paris. After a quick treat of hot chocolates and a shared waffle with nutella, we bought our tickets for the last ride up in the escalator. The top was in sight!

We finally made it up into the clouds! I can't even describe to you how cold it was up there what with the wind and the rain - it physically hurt to be outside for too long! But the view was well worth it (once the clouds had moved out the way). What struck me the most was the layout of the buildings, I absolutely loved the symmetrical star-like pattern. With numb fingers and toes, but smiles on our faces, we headed back down again. That's one thing ticked off the bucket list!
Finally at the bottom again we crossed over the road so I could get a closer look at the carousel next to the bridge. With small sparrows hopping around a beautiful Victorian-style carousel with a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, this was the Paris I had imagined!
After a quick stop back at the hotel to change out of my sopping shoes and into something a bit drier, we set off to the Arc de Triomphe. Once again, it was beautiful, although I was slightly distracted by the tourists taking their lives into their own hands and standing in the middle of the busy road with an onslaught of oncoming traffic just for a good selfie - crazy! We discussed going back later when it got a bit darker to climb to the top of it, but unfortunately we ran out of time - one to put on the list for next time!

We then battled down the busy sidewalk of Champs Elysees, with me dragging Mr R into all the expensive jewellery and perfume shops to ogle at everything we couldn't afford. How amazing are these stairs at Swarovski?? I want them for my future house!

At the bottom of the Champs Elysees there was a Christmas market, but it being the festive season, it was ridiculously busy, so after a little look at some of the stalls, we decided to go off route and walk round the back roads to avoid the crowds. Next stop: the Louvre!

The walk through the wooded grounds to the Louvre was probably one of my favourite parts of Paris. It was so quiet and peaceful out of the crowds. I caught sight of this lonely carousel through the trees, glowing in the dark with eerie child-choir music playing in the background - creepy but magical!
We only saw the outside of the Louvre, but fortunately I've never been too fussed about going inside, and the sheer size of it would definitely make it a day job to get round it all! The architecture of the building is beautiful though, especially combined with the modern glass pyramid lit up in the centre of the courtyard. We were lucky enough to witness a beautiful bride and groom posing for their wedding photos - of course like some lurking paparazzi I had to take a photo! Isn't her dress gorgeous?
We walked on to the Pont des Arts, where it has become tradition for couples to hang locks with their initials written on them to symbolise the everlasting nature of their love in that moment of time. Unfortunately with the increasing amount of locks being secured onto the rails, the bridge has begun to be physically weighed down, so wooden boards have been used to cover up the majority of the edges, with only a couple of metres of locks left revealed. It's a real shame to see such a romantic symbol covered up, particularly after the boards have been graffiti-ed over, but I guess that's what tourism does... 

Across the bridge and down along the river to the Notre Dame! Lit up against the darkness, it really is a majestic building. It's incredible to see up close the amount of intricate detail and imagine the time and effort dedicated to create it all by hand. We were lucky enough to go inside, where the Gothic architecture is just as impressive as the outside, with huge stone arched ceilings, hanging chandeliers and the biggest, and loudest, organ I've ever seen. It's definitely a dramatic building! And yes, that is me standing outside pretending to be the hunchback.

Dinner time! We crossed back over the bridge and wondered around the maze of back roads, walking past some adorable little restaurants. We eventually settled on a restaurant with a Moulin Rouge style interior. Here, we braved the escargots for starters (top of our Paris to do list). I've only ever tried snails once when I was very young, and remembered them primarily tasting of garlic - seems my memory hasn't deceived me! Despite their somewhat unappetising nature, they are actually surprisingly nice! For my main I decided to order duck, which was very yummy, while Mr R went for steak with dauphinois - it was definitely a sizeable chunk of meat! For dessert Mr R went for traditional creme brulee, while I chose crepes with bananas - maybe a bit much after quite a big meal!

After our meal we walked back to the Notre Dame, where we caught a little tuc-tuc to take us on a tour down the Champs Elysees back to the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good quality photo of the lights lining the sides of the Champs Elysees, but I feel I captured well how busy it was! We were able to have a quick stop in front of the Arc de Triomphe, and then back on to the Eiffel Tower. It was definitely a fun alternative way to explore Paris, plus we were given a fluffy blanket to keep us warm which was a huge plus!

Finally reaching the end of our adventures, we finished the night in front of the Eiffel Tower, waiting until the hour to witness the magical display of the glittering lights. Prize for the most cliche Paris photo goes to the one with the red rose!
Sadly that marked the end of our short weekend in Paris. We were hoping to have a explore round the Sacre Coeur the next morning, but of course I overslept again so we had to go straight to the station to bid farewell to Paris and catch the train home.

I can't even thank Mr R enough for making my dream of going to Paris come true. It was the most amazing weekend, short but sweet, and I can't think of a better way I could have celebrated my 21st!

Until next time Paris...

Love, Beth xxx


  1. Looks like you had a lovely time and also you got some amazing photos. I'm also in love with your coat.

    Tabitha x /

    1. It was so lovely :) Aw thanks, Primark all the way! xxx

  2. Photos are really great!!!!!! And i love your babu pink coat and cute hat)))!!!!!!!!!!!!