The travel diaries continue! After spending a few fun-filled days in London, we took the EuroStar from London to Paris!
As soon as we arrived, we checked into our super cute, super Parisian hotel, Hotel du Champs de Mars. This was a recommendation from Rick Steves' book, and we really enjoyed it. This quaint little hotel on the Rue Cler was within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, cute restaurants and shopping, and was also close to a Metro stop, which is always an added bonus!
After settling in, we grabbed lunch across the street at Cafe du Marche, and hit the town. Yep, don't judge the burger and salad, we were in need of a sense of home! The FRENCH fries count for something, right?!
That afternoon, we visited the Orsay Museum, Notre Dame, ate some delicious gelato, strolled the Champs Elysees, climbed the Arc de Triomphe, and enjoyed dinner with the best view!
My favorite piece at the Orsay Museum is Small Dancer by Degas. I took dance my entire childhood, so this piece of art especially spoke to me and reminded me of my ballerina days.
One of the most beautiful things about the Orsay if you ask me is the building itself! Just look at this view! The building was formally a rail station, and the views from the clock on the fifth floor are stunning.
We enjoyed strolling the streets of Paris taking in all that the city has to offer. We stopped by Notre Dame and enjoyed some delicious gelato at a shop around the corner. Along the river, we (mainly I) loved looking at the street vendor booths. I collect a silver spoon and a painting from every city I travel to, so we always spend way too much time on the search for just the right pieces to add to the collection.
Next, we headed for Sainte-Chapelle- what an amazing chapel! The stained glass pans the room showing scenes from both the Old and New Testament.
We strolled along the Champs Elysees, and I ooed and ahed at all the shops. We left with only the essentials, Laduree, of course!
Afterwards, as if we hadn't already gotten enough exercise, we took the journey to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Let me tell you, it's a trek! The views are worth it and we are glad that we journeyed to the top, but it was not a piece of cake after already walking nearly 20,000 steps that day!
After a jam packed day, we sat at a quaint litle cafe for hours watching the sun set and the Eiffel Tower light up the sky!
The next day, we headed straight to Versailles, which was absolutely stunning. On my last visit to Paris, I was unable to visit Versailles, so this was new for me too! The Hall of Mirrors was especially breathtaking. It's crazy to think that the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I was signed in that very room! As we walked though each room, it became more and more evident that this place was built to impress!
After touring Versailles, we strolled through Luxembourg Gardens and had a picnic lunch. We enjoyed relaxing in the gardens for a break from the miles and miles of walking. As I've mentioned many times, Les Miserables is one of my all time favorite plays and movies, and the Luxembourg Gardens is where Marius and Cosette met!
Afterwards, we visited the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa! The Louvre is an absolutely beautiful museum. Mona Lisa is a sight to see, but as terrible as it sounds, it's almost underwhelming if you ask me. After all the hype, the anticipation of seeing the painting is huge. Mona is actually a lot smaller than I imagined and you are sure to fight at least 500 selfie stick obsessed tourists to get the perfect picture! It's an experience for sure!
There she is, Mona Lisa!
A trip to the Louvre isn't complete without a few goofy pictures outside, right?
That afternoon, we went to O'Chateau for a wine tasting, and we had so much fun! I am not a wine lover, but I do love to learn about it and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We did the Tour de France of Wine Tasting, which included 1 champagne and 5 wines. We learned how champagne is made, proper tasting techniques, and regions and grapes of France. You can call us sommelier's - HA!
After the wine tasting, we had to stop by the Trocadero to snag a picture. That night, we took a Siene River Cruise and it was such a great, inexpensive, and unique way to see the city!
Our final day in Paris, we visited Montemarte. While touristy, it is still a fun place to visit and provides unique views of the city. I was able to grab one last croque madame at Cafe Central before leaving Paris, and off to Germany we went!
Paris is an amazing city. Andrew especially loved the architecture. I think we both agreed that our top highlights of the city were the wine tasting at O'Chateau and the Siene River Cruise! I also have to throw in the croque madame's (pictured above) when speaking of highlights. This is one of my all time favorite foods, and Paris really knows how to deliver on the deliciousness!
Thanks for reading! Be on the lookout for more travel posts (and of course jewelry updates, as well) very soon!