Friday, July 24, 2015

Paris, France

Yay, for catching up on posts. Before I know it I'll be all caught up!
After leaving Normandy, we climbed back on the bus and headed off to Paris! It took about 2.5 hours to get from Honfleur, to Paris. (Yay Bus Trips, not)
Once up arrived in Paris we met up with our tour guide who would take us around Paris and show us all the major sites.

We started our tour off with a view of the Eiffel Tower! Seriously, you can see that thing from anywhere in Paris. The Parisians sure love it as well. I had friends who visited Paris before we did and they told me that I should be prepared to be bombarded with souvenirs of the Tower. Nothing else, just the tower. They were right. There is so much more to Paris than the Eiffel tower, but on every single turn, you would see street merchants selling little things of the tower!
Our tour guide took us to see the main highlights of Paris, from Notre Dame, Napoleon, to the Arch de Triumph (that round-a-bout is no joke!) even down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. I enjoyed hearing about the History of Paris, but I was more excited about getting to our hotel and having free time!
We stayed at the TimHotel, our hotel was included with the bus tour. It was located outside the bus center of Paris. The location was a good one. We were about 2 blocks away from the metro, and less than 8 stops away from the center of Paris. We were told to catch the "C' train. It would take us into town and back to the hotel. Easy!

Under the Eiffel Tower

The first night in Paris, we found the Eiffel Tower on our own. Honestly It's really not hard to find. It's actually harder to find a place in Paris that you can't see the tower.Instead of catching the HOHO bus like we normally do, we took advantage of the metro system. Paris is known for their pickpockets, so we had to be extra careful.
We started off our adventure at Notre Dame. The church is pretty cool. I was raised Catholic, so it's pretty interesting to see  famous Catholic Churches. 

Before heading to Paris, there were articles about how putting locks on the bridges weren't allowed anymore because they were making the bridges too heavy! Of course at the time there wasn't a rule that said you couldn't do it. So we bought a lock and wrote our name on it, and did the whole romantic things couple do when they to to Paris. We locked the lock onto another lock, and threw the key into the River.

Around the corner from Notre Dame is the cutest little bakery, that sells Macrons. Of course Paris is known for their Macrons, but this bakery was adorable and priced reasonably well. It was the cheapest macrons we saw in Paris. They were fresh too! The baker said we should wait about 30 minutes before eating them because they just came out of the oven. We didn't of course, we made it about 10 minutes and ate those suckers up.

After leaving Notre Dam we wanted to find the Lourve. It was a bit of a walk, but you get to walk along the La Havre river and it's a beautiful walk.

The Lourve is pretty interesting. We didn't get to go inside because the lines were crazy and we had tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower. 

See that line? It goes around the outside 2 more times!
Since we were going to Paris, I knew we HAD to go up the Eiffel Tower. Everything I've read says that you should buy your tickets in advance so you don't have to wait in line. That is exactly what I did. I was on the website every day until we left. There were only tickets available night times. I really wanted to go up during the day. A couple days before we left, AM tickets opened up! I've heard that more tickets open up the closer it gets. It's actually true.
Going up the Eiffel Tower, wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. I'm not a fan of heights, so the car ride up, with the wheels clinking together and all different types of noises happening, I stared at the ground. You have the option to go to "the top" of the tower or just to stay on the 2nd floor. We chose to go to the top. The tickets you buy in advance only lets you get in front of the people on the ground floor. Once on the second floor, you have to wait in line with everyone else. Sad thing is that their are signs all over the place warning people to watch our for pickpockets. Pickpockets in Paris have only gotten worse. I'm glad when we went we only had one first hand experience with pickpockets, but thankfully they didn't get anything. So we waited until we got to the elevator to get to the top, and the top was pretty disappointing. Maybe it's because there were a lot of people there. I think that's my problem with tourist attractions, way too many people! For the most part I'm glad we went to the top, if you're in Paris you should do it because when will you ever be back? Unless you live in Paris, then you're uber lucky!

At the top of the Eiffel Tower


From the Eiffel Tower we headed off to meet some friends at the Arch Di Triumph.  It was a bit of a hike, but we made it. Any one ever hear about the massive traffic jam that is around the Arch? It's actually world famous. So Drew and I are trying to get some pictures, when we realize we have no idea how we're supposed to get to the Arch. So you know what Drew does? He grabs my hand and decides we're going to run in traffic, to the center. I'm honestly surprised we didn't die. Funny thing was, that if we just walked across the street, there is an underground passageway that leads you to the Arch SAFELY!! But it's something I can laugh about now.

We explored a lot of Paris on foot, walking down the famous Champs-Élysées, which is one of the nicest parts of Paris, I think it has more to do with the expensive stores!

After walking around for a bit we decided to grab dinner and head back to the hotel. It was a crazy couple of days starting off in Normandy, then heading to Paris. But it was such a great trip. Even considering it was a bus tour. Paris was one of the "Must See's" on my list. For the most part I loved it. I wish we could've seen Versailles too, but Paris is known as the City of Love for a reason.  ;)