Europe

2 days in Paris

We made a trip to Paris in the middle of last year, we had gone as a child with our families, just like visiting Rome, I realized that it is not the same to enter a museum with 10 years than now, you appreciate a little more everything around you. It was a getaway leaving on a Friday afternoon (which became night due to a delay with the flight) and returning on a Sunday afternoon.

We arrived on Friday late at night and decided to ask for an Uber to pick us up from the airport and take us to the hotel. This was our first adventure in Paris: just after booking the Uber, the driver called me on the phone to agree on a meeting point, the problem is that we have no idea of speaking in French and he spoke a mixture of French and Arabic. But I replied to him in a mixture of Spanish, Catalan, English and German, and somehow we understood each other. Today I don’t know how we met but everything went well.

We stayed at the Generator Hostel Paris. A modern and comfortable accommodation. Coincided that we went on St Patrik’s Day: it was full of young people and there was a party room next door, so there was a good fuss organized around the area.

To move around the city our idea was to go by bike since we had read very good reviews about it. The problem was that on Saturday morning it began to drizzle and we prefered to go by subway. While we looked at the subway ticket offices, thinking which ticket would be the most appropriate, a very nice man helped us get a discounted ticket for youths under 26. Clicking here you will find more information. On Saturday we took the 3 area pass and on Sunday we took the 5 area pass, thinking that we would arrive at the airport by public transport (and no, it didn’t work that way).

On Saturday morning, we began our visit through the centre of Paris, seeing the town hall (on the outside, I don’t know if they open at any time) and just in front of it I had carousel mounted, as seen in the photo, neither more nor less. When we got there it was very early, it had to be 7:30 on a Saturday so there was practically no one down the street. But it was perfect to take some pictures, we did not entertain too much because we had many things to see, so we continued.

After taking a picture, we headed towards the Notre Dame Cathedral. But we hadn’t had breakfast yet and we were attentive to any bar or bakery we found, we discovered a bakery that smelled great from the street (maybe it was because of the hunger I had). We ordered some blueberry and apple pastries with a coffee. And we continued to the doors of the cathedral, having breakfast along the way.

We watched the exterior of the cathedral until we could enter, we knew that they did not open to the public until after 8:00. It is a spectacular Gothic cathedral with huge stained glass windows that let a faint light of colours pass through. Now I don’t know if the windows will be left or if they will be able to redo them. We didn’t go up to the tower because the access opened at 10: 00h, and I thought that I would be back to climb it more calmly …

After visiting Notre Dame we headed towards the Louvre Museum. There we took some photos outside and as we approached the entrance we saw that there was a long line of people so we decided to postpone the entrance to the museum for another time.

We walked along the walkway of the Tuileries until we reached the Concorde’s Place, where we started our particular race against the clock with the fog, it began to cover the summits of the buildings of the city, and we wanted a photo of the Eiffel Tower before the buildings were covered in fog.

I have to admit that Google Maps saved us several times telling us where we were going, which bus were we taking and how many stops to reach our destinations. So with the help of Google Maps, we approach the Eiffel Tower. Just upon arrival, we discovered that it was starting to rain again but this time with greater intensity. We looked for some umbrellas (and a raincoat that lasted less than 2 minutes of a piece) worthy of tourists and we set out to try to take a picture. Visiting the tower was absurd with the amount of fog that was approaching.

When the rain began to seep our shoes we went to breakfast again in another bar, nothing from the other world, a piece of pizza and we continued. We went to the Orsay museum, there we queued up at the entrance but hence we were under 26 we skipped the ticket purchase (you only have to show your ID to prove that you are under 26). In the Orsay Museum, you can enjoy some works of art by Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin and Monet, among many others, it is one of my favourite museums.

After walking through the museum we went to have lunch at a restaurant called Trei3e where they made Brunch, it was the first thing we found in the area of the Orsay Museum with good reviews and rated as relatively cheap on Google. The food was quite abundant and good, they sat us at a huge round table where people sat as they arrived, making the atmosphere informal and unique.

With a full belly, we decided to go to the Montmartre neighbourhood and to our surprise, when leaving the subway, it was snowing. We walked up to the Sacré Coeur basilica, it was full of people due to the sudden snow but the truth is that inside isn’t impressing. However, on the outside it is. I took pictures with the mobile, for fear that the camera would break when exposed to snow, and it turns out that the mobile also gets damaged if you expose it to continuous snow …

We went down from the Basilica to the famous Moulin Rouge, on foot, and between the falling snow-water and the puddles that I was treading, I no longer felt the feet due to cold that had. We went to a decathlon just next to the Moulin Rouge to look for shoes that were not as breathable as the ones I was wearing. The Moulin Rouge is on a street full of Sex Shops, and I was surprised to see tourists taking pictures at the entrance of the shops, what should they do with those photos? I imagine the situation here and I find it a bit surreal.

With the cold that we had, we thought about entering somewhere closed, so we headed back to the Louvre. We entered the facilities, passed the security checkpoint, left the backpacks at the box office and went to the cafeteria to have a hot chocolate to get a little warm. When we finished the chocolate and headed towards the entrance we heard over the PA system that they were about to close the museum. Awful, not looking at schedules or the clock causes situations like that.

As it was not too late, we decided to go to the Triumph Arch. There we took a couple of photos and went back into the subway to head back to Montmartre’s neighbourhood for dinner.

We found a traditional French restaurant in which there seemed to be not too many tourists, the place was set with rustic decorations and some awkward wooden benches. We ordered a fondue with fries because fondue is very French and we thought it would be very good. It looked good but it was a disappointment, the fondue had three phases: one of cheese, another of milk and another of oil. Quite horrible but with the amount of money that cost we left nothing in the pot, nothing advisable so I will not put the link of the site.

On Sunday the first thing we did was go to the Eiffel Tower, after not being able to see it at the previous day, we were left with the bug of seeing it in its full splendour. We went to the Trocadéro Square, where there are very good views of the Tower. The day was not too clear so we did not climb the Tower, it is pending for the next occasion in Paris.

Then we went to the Louvre museum, and although we made some queue to enter, this time we visited it. It also came out for free thanks to being under 26 years old. The Egyptian area of the museum is fascinating, they also have sculptures such as the Victory of Samothrace and of course, La Gioconda (always surrounded by a crowd).

Having seen the museum we went to the Sainte Chapelle, which also came free. Absolutely recommended, it is a jewel of the Gothic. Its 1113 scenes of the Old and New Testaments embodied in 15 stained glass 15 meters high tells the story of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris. After seeing the Sainte Chapelle we headed towards the airport.

During Sunday we travelled with a 5-area ticket, which we thought was necessary to reach the airport. But it turned out that a special Paris-Airport ticket is needed. When we arrived at the airport station, we watched as people began to pass through the automatic ticket control machines and gave us an error message. There were no controllers, guards or anyone who worked there, and luckily a woman who saw us with a scary face helped us pass through the doors with her.

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