To get to the Amalfi coast… we flew into Paris from New York. This was my poor planning, apparently it’s a lot cheaper and faster to go through Rome. My boyfriend of two years was coming with me. This was his first time leaving the country and I was so excited! When we boarded our flight, our seats were separated by a crooked aisle… not a great start. Not twenty minutes into the flight… the child sitting next to Nick, violently throws up on him. Worse start!
At this point I figured the trip was ruined before it started. Thankfully, Nick took this opportunity to upgrade his seat and no one stopped him. The plane was absolutely freezing! It was supposed to be warm in France so I packed a light sweater and a raincoat. I was wearing both on the plane and it was not enough at all. I had never been happier to get off a plane! From there we struggled to figure out the bus system to our hotel. First stop after dropping our stuff off at the hotel was…
How beautiful and HUGE was Notre Dame! Pictures cannot get the size right at all! The gargoyles, stained glass and intricate stonework was so impressive! Inside had tall columns, arches and statues. It was overwhelming!
My roommate had mentioned that one of her favorite places was Sainte- Chapelle. As we wandered the streets of Paris in awe of all the architecture, there was a sign and an arrow for Sainte-Chapelle in the Palais de la Cite. Having just come from Notre Dame, I couldn’t imagine this comparing. I was surprised by a tall Gothic Chapel with an almost 360 view of stained glass. All 15 windows are 15 meters high depicting intricate biblical scenes.
We caught a train into the city and managed to find our way to the Arc du Triumph. It had started to rain so part of the Arc experience was seeking shelter under it.
Nick had always been a better planner than me and the next stop was supposedly the best view of the Eiffel Tower. We went to the Trocadero, a palace site across the Seine from the Eiffel. These were my favorite Eiffel Tower pictures!
This site is also flooded with scammers selling trinket Eiffel Towers and roses. I love flowers and Nick never buys me any because he thinks it’s a waste of money. Well, a scammer gives me a rose as if it’s free and then demands payment from Nick. Much to my surprise, Nick decides to buy me the rose in front of the Eiffel Tower! As cute as it was, I decided to research these scammers. I discovered that they try to give you stuff then stalk you for payment even if you give it back… or the oddest one, ask you to sign a petition while their partner robs you. Eye opening. Still I enjoyed my rose on our way to dinner.
Our restaurant had a great view of the Eiffel Tower and we got to see it light up a few times during our meal. I tried Escargot for the first time and loved it! Nick thinks I loved the butter garlic sauce and the snails were just a transport medium.
The next day was our Louvre day and the most walking I had ever done in a museum! There were signs pointing the way to the masterpieces and we got to see most of the main ones. The sphinx took us a while because the signs were wrong.
The Mona Lisa was organized chaos. Apparently its a big pick-pocketing site because people are shoved up next to each other trying to get a good picture of her. Once you force your way to the front of the crowd, the guards open the rope divider to let the front row leave, thus keeping the swarm moving. While most of us took the best picture we could, appreciated the beauty and moved on let other people see, some horrible girl was taking her sweet time taking hundreds of selfies, bumping everyone around her and frankly, never seeing the actual masterpiece beyond the screen of her phone. Despite her obnoxiousness, I really enjoyed seeing the Mona Lisa in real life and facing the crowd was worth it. The famous stare isn’t what grabbed my attention as much as the background which is painted with so much depth it looks 3d.
After the Louvre, we ate at an incredible restaurant where I got truffle Foie Gras Ravioli. We were warned that the French would be rude to us American tourists and we researched that we should learn a little French before we go because they may not speak English. This was partially wrong. Most people spoke English, were very nice and seemed to think it was really funny or charming when we tried to speak French! Our waiter was happy to talk to us and recommend a great wine for our meal.
Our last day, we got a hop on hop off bus ticket. We got to see the Paris Opera House and then couldn’t find the next spot to hop on our bus. We were getting really frustrated when this 15 year old girl with a clipboard asks us if we speak English. Relieved, Nick starts conversation with her while I get a bad feeling in my stomach. When she says the magic word “sign my petition”, I realize we are being scammed! I yell at Nick that we need to leave NOW! I look around and another little girl appears right behind me reaching for my backpack! She has a guilty look and whips out another clipboard saying “petition?”. We ran away and when I looked back two adults joined them as they all left.
The scamming didn’t end there. We took the bus to the Eiffel Tower and there were “petitioners” everywhere. We blatantly saw these girls reaching into peoples pockets. Sometimes Nick would run and try to warn people, but there were just so many! Still, we enjoyed the Eiffel Tower as much as we could while guarding our backpack.
Paris was a great time and NEXT time we go, it has to be more than 3 days to hit up:
Palace of Versailles and Angelina’s
Watch an Opera at the Paris Opera House
See the Monet’s at the Musee D’Orsay
Take a day trip to Mont St. Michel
Here’ s more pictures:
And that’s all 🙂