charles de gaulle

Paris 2016

PARIS, France –

September 2016 my boyfriend and I went overseas on a 9-day vacation. The sole purpose of traveling abroad was so we could go see Above & Beyond ABGT200 in Amsterdam. We ended up deciding to make a vacation out of the trip and explored France, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Spain. Originally it was supposed to be just my mother and I traveling, but she broke both of her legs so plans changed a bit.
Our first stop was Paris, France. We arrived in Paris around 8 a.m. and grabbed our luggage. We then hopped onto the Le Bus Direct and got off at the Eiffel Tower stop. I had booked an Airbnb that was in the neighborhood of the tower, so it worked out well to take the bus (save some money on transportation). We got to our Airbnb and dropped off our luggage and went to explore the city.

First: Eiffel Tower. We took our obligatory pictures in front of the magnificent tower. I had been to Paris once before, but I forgot just how tall and beautiful it truly was. We bought our tickets and went up to the second floor observation deck. There you are able to fully take in the city. From up above you are able to see Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe.

We chose to walk down the flights to the 1st floor where you can walk on the transparent floor. While walking down the flights I admit my fear of falling almost paralyzed me. Here my boyfriend is practically sprinting down each flight of stairs and I’m gripping onto the railing as if I will be blown away. We took a break from going down the steps and got some lunch. Sat on some benches eating our baguettes and then departed.

Notre Dame de Paris

Second: Notre Dame de Paris. We took a cab from the Tower to the Cathedral and our cab driver was a really nice Parisian. He made sure we were careful with pick-pocketers and gave us some pointers on what to see when we got there. The church is breathtaking. We went inside and admired the stained glass. People were touring, looking and praying. Once we toured around, we went outside to the backyard gardens. We begun talking to a woman who was sitting on the bench with her dog. Funny enough.. she was from the Northeast but was living in Paris for the last few years. We parted ways and walked along la Seine.
We found ourselves at the Tour Saint-Jacques, a very small park with a large statue. There were a lot of people out laying in the grass reading and/or picnicking. We begin to wander around until we found ourselves in a large square. I began to wonder if we were close to the Louvre because I vaguely remembered there being a large square near it. Sure enough I open my maps in my phone and we just had to walk through the doors to get to the Pyramide du Louvre.

Louvre Museum

Third: Louvre Museum. I guess you could say we visited the museum, however, we didn’t go inside. We walked around the entrance since it is open and you can view inside. Neither of us were really that interested in going, and I had already seen the Mona Lisa (and my boyfriend really didn’t care). We hung around the Pyramide and took pictures. In the distance from the Pyramide you are able to see the Arc de Triomphe.

Four: Arc de Triomphe. We got out of our cab on the Champs-Élysées and walked towards the Arc. I think secretly this was my boyfriends favorite landmark we saw.
 1. It honors those who fought for France. He also loved seeing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1 were the flame burns.
 2. This was our last stop before we made it back to our Airbnb.. which meant he had to just finish touring this and then he got to take a nap (HA!)
We bought our tickets and began to climb up the 284 steps to reach the top of the Arc. After a full day of walking around, this climb was hard. We were exhausted from traveling and touring. My Fitbit sure was happy with me! Climbing the steps up to the top was difficult at times because its tight corridors. I am 5’1 and my boyfriend is 6’4, and I was the one who felt claustrophobic. Once at the top you are given another priceless view of Paris. Up there showed us how far we had traveled throughout the day. It was getting late in the afternoon and when we saw how far away the Eiffel Tower it was time for us to make our descend.

Back at our Airbnb my boyfriend took a cat nap (he wasn’t used to walking that much). I was too busy looking out our window and watching the sun set.

View of the Eiffel Tower from our window

One night in Paris: Once we woke up from our naps we went out to eat. Got some delicious food with some much needed wine. We met a couple from South Carolina at the restaurant we chose to eat at. After dinner we got some champagne (cliché) and went to watch the light show at the Eiffel Tower.

Believe it or not, we only spent one night in Paris. We flew in, explored, slept, and then caught a 7a flight to Prague. The trip to France was short. It would have been nice to spend a few extra days to explore more of the city and venture out of the city.

This just means we will have to go back! Au revoir.