All posts filed under: Paris, France

Heartbreak in Paris

I haven’t written in a while. Half the time I think about writing something and I forget before I have the chance to do so  OR  I write it all down and think better of it. I’m back and forth between this blogging thing because everyday my brain whispers and shouts some thoughts on publicly sharing my writing: “no one really cares what you’re thinking” “maybe someone feels the same way you do.. how will you know if you don’t write it?” “you’re not doing this for others you’re doing it for YOU” “everyone’s a writer these days what makes you any different”  also “so WHAT if everyone’s a writer it doesn’t mean you CAN’T do it too”  “don’t be pretentious”  “but… it makes my heart happy”  So today this last little whisper was victorious. These days it rarely seems to win. And in realizing this I’ve made note that maybe I should listen to it more often… but that’s for another blog post. Today I want to write about Paris. I have written and drooled and …

Two little feet and a bunch of Parisian streets (An Amateurs’s Guide to walking the City)

I’m quickly learning that the best way to discover these European cities is on my own two feet. For this post I recommend you pack some water, a good pair of running shoes folks, and as Kelsey would call them “Emergency Granola Bars”. I went on a free walking tour throughout the city with Sandeman Walking Tours . These run 3x a day everyday and you tip your tour guide at the end rather than paying up front. Generally speaking these types of tours are better. You avoid the 70 year old guide that has recited the same information so often they can’t be bothered to care anymore. Instead you get someone in their 20s with real love for meeting people, starting conversation and providing historical and CURRENT information about the city & people that live within it.  If you’re looking to wander around the city for a bit, a good place to start is St. Michel Fountain. This is right near île de la Cité which is the 1st arrondissement  (so very central). In …

Paris Sunsets 

I’ve made it quite the mission on this trip to watch as many sunsets in as many places as I can.  There’s just really nothing that makes me happier.  Here are some of the sunsets I chased while in this beautiful city.  Montparnasse  The second tallest building in Paris save for Sacre- Coeur. Parisens all hate it, and I can see why.  It sticks out like a sore thumb and looks nothing like the beautiful limestone that makes up the rest of the city. To get to Montparnasse you need to take the metro stop that includes Montparnasse in the name. Seems obvious right? However if you put the directions into google maps it will take you elsewhere and you will walk an hour in the opposite direction direction like we did.. perhaps arriving at the sunset destination a little less excited than you were when you set off. When you see the view though you’ll realize it was all worth it. Bridges – The River Siene  Paris is covered in bridges crossing the river …

Museums on Museums 

Two museums were visited during our stay in Paris. Quite obviously the Louvre (how can you not) and Musee D’Orsay. The best advice a tour guide gave me while I was in Paris was to give yourself a time limit while at the Louvre. It would literally take you over a year to look at every single piece in the museum. Decide what you want to see most (I suggest getting the Mona Lisa out of the way first) and then just understand that you’re not going to see everything.  I personally found the Louvre overwhelming. It. Is. Just. So. So. So. Big. I had no idea where I needed to be. I had no idea WHAT I wanted to see. My family started with the Mona Lisa and then went our separate ways. I have heard from many people that the Mona Lisa is underwhelming. I will admit that she is small – you will have to push your way through probably 80 people to see her- she is the only painting on an …

Venturing through the catacombs 

One of the coolest features Paris has to offer is the Catacombs beneath the city. I had no idea that these famous tunnels rumoured to hold the bones of millions actually spread throughout the entire city. In fact every property in Paris has a “cave” assigned to it. Many shops or restaurants will use it as a cold cellar, or bars will use it for their dancing area. These catacombs are a result of the beautiful architecture that gives Paris its harmonious vibe- Limestone excavation. One of the highest paying jobs at the time… because if you were mining limestone you didn’t live very long. These tunnels bury deep into the city where you will find a black line along the ceiling and dates on the walls. These dates signify when the tunnels were originally deemed “safe” by the inspector. The black line was his Hans and Gretal way of ensuring he did not get lost in the depths of these damp halls. These dates go back hundreds and hundreds of years.  As you make …

Bienvenue au Paris 

We arrived in Paris swiftly via Chunnel. Another method of Europe’s vast transportation system that continuously blows my mind. If you are planning on heading to France from London in the future I’d highly recommend taking this train over flying. It’s also a great way to see the country side before heading into the city.  We stepped off the train and were immediately hit with 35 degree weather. Paris was in a heat wave and the temperature was a whole 10 degrees hotter than it had been in London. By the time we got to our flat for the week my family was quite tired and so we grocery shopped and I set out on my own for some sunset exploring.   I set out on foot towards Hotel de Ville, which I knew was somewhere in the general direction of Norte Dame. For those of you that don’t know me well, my sense of direction isn’t great but google maps has been my bff these past two weeks and we only get into the occasional …