12 Hours In Paris

June 8, 2016

Joke: We should totally go to Paris for the day, I mean we are already so close it would be a sin not to right?

Debbie: Totally

We had a plan, we were already going to be in London for a week, why not take a day trip to Paris. It was simple, we would take the first train out in the morning, and return on the last train back to London. I checked the tickets a few months in advance, and they were about 30 Pounds each way. I remember thinking we totally need to get our tickets before we get to London… except we never did. Fast-forward, we get to London on Tuesday, look up train tickets and they are about 140 Pounds each way, and there were no return tickets for the day we planned to go. I mean surely the universe was trying to mess with us. We checked every other day that week and the prices were just as crazy……

Debbie came up with this great idea of us checking for flights, I mean they can’t be that bad… right? Long story short a few days later, a few rearrangements in our London plans and 95 pounds later each we found ourselves boarding a Sunday morning 7:25am flight to Paris, with a returning flight at 9pm back to London. We had an idea of the places we wanted to see but again had no clue the best way to go about seeing it all given the amount of time we had, but we decided to wing it.

Note to Self: Book Eurostar tickets at least a month in advance.

(Meanwhile European airlines are totally amazing it was barely a 2 hour flight and yet we got a lovely breakfast croissant, with juice and tea or coffee. I’m going to need the US airlines to step their game up… anyway I digress)

 

Joke and Debbie Take on Paris…

After enjoying our delicious breakfast, we landed, got through  customs in about 30 mins (we only had our purses on) and head to the nearest tourist information desk. We told the super helpful agent the places we wanted to see, she circled them on a handy map (which had train lines), and told us our best options given the time we had and the proximity of the places we wanted to see. The agent was super helpful and even helped us map the routes and trains we needed to take from point to point, and how to get back to the airport. We bought a 1 day train pass that allowed us unlimited train rides, and then we were off.

  1. Notre Dame de Paris: Cost (Free on Sunday due to worship) From CDG airport, we took the B line into the city and our first stop was at St. Michel Notre-Dame train station. We hopped off at the train station, and made our way over to the Cathedral, and luckily for us it was Sunday which means entry was free. We got in line, which moved pretty quickly and soon found ourselves in the middle of a service but with access to walk all around the cathedral. Mass was being said as tourists quietly made their way around the Nave taking pictures and marveling at chapel, you could light candles and say a pray which was really cool. I kept thinking of how much my dad would have loved being there, the architecture was mad cool. We decided not to climb the tower given our time constraints, and after viewing the Cathedral we headed out. There was a bread festival of some sort going on outside so we stopped to walk around for a bit, watched the bread makers at work, and learned a little about bread making. We walked around a couple of blocks in search of Saint-Chappelle. We found it but since it wasn’t free and we were not sure how much other things were going to cost, we decided to skip it. We walked a few blocks and found this cute little crepe shop where we got some huge ham and cheese crepes.
  2. Eiffel Tower: Cost- 11 Euros to 2nd floor, and extra 7 Euros to the 3rd floor) we took the 1 line from Notre Dame to the Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel stop. We got out, and there it was, the Eiffel tower in all her glory. We ignored the rain, and happily skipped our way to get in line to get tickets to go up. It was a long line, about 30 mins standing and moving but once we got up we knew we made the right choice. We barely noticed the rain as we took in the amazing view. I  kept marveling at how beautiful the city looked from the sky, and I think its safe to say I fell in love with Paris right there and then. We spent about 30 mins just walking around, taking pictures, pointing out landmarks, and using our very limited French words haha. Eventually we stopped at the souvenir shop to get some gifts for friends, and then made our way back down, after deicing not to go up to the next level since we still wanted to visit other places.
  3. Arc De Triomphe (6 line): By the time we got here, it was raining bullets. Debbie and I being the champs we were waited out the rain a bit, then immediately ran into the rain and started taking pictures. We ended up not crossing the crazy busy street to walk under the Arc because, well rain and did I mention the crazy traffic. Hahahahahah it was hilarious but we had zero cares about the rain, and eventually other tourists joined us in taking their pictures. I just remember feeling so excited to be in Paris, in the rain with one of my best friends.
  4. Champ Elysees: After taking pictures to our hearts content we then walked the streets, admiring all the shops. We made a brief detour to Mc Donald’s for Wi-Fi and to wait out the rain. We decided shopping wasn’t really a priority we just wanted to enjoy being there and the city.
  5. Louvre (1 line): Next we took the 1 train to the Louvre. We got there right as they were closing so we were unable to get in. However we were able to take pictures outside and enjoy the architecture of the surrounding building. We totally could have made it there if we weren’t ducking the rain, and our search for Wi-Fi but we weren’t too bombed out by it because we both realized this would be the first of many visits to Paris so nothing lost.

After walking around the streets some more, exploring a few souvenirs shops, a bakery and procuring ourselves some treats, we boarded the 1 train back to the airport and spent the entire train ride relishing our trips, munching on delicious French pastries and just reminiscing on what an amazing unbelievable day we had.

Some of the other places we didn’t get to visit include: Père Llachaise Cemetery, Bastille, Saint Chapelle, Jardin Du Luxembourg, Paris Catacombs, and visiting the hosts of museums.

Paris was amazing and I am so glad I got the opportunity to share the trip with my friend. I cannot wait to go back to Paris, and France in general with at least 2 weeks to visit. I’ll be back with more time to spend and explore…. until then …

 

PS: During this day of adventure we walked over 30,000 steps!!!!! I already feel Parisian, now I just need to brush up on my French, Oui.

 

Enjoy the pictures

 

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