Paris, a whirlwind visit

**WARNING** Long post, you might want to make a cup of tea first!

The first half of our honeymoon, as previously stated, was spent in Paris, France.  My cousin lives there and was kind enough to give us his keys at the wedding so we had somewhere free to stay.  We landed on Tuesday morning and made our way to his apartment for a nap & shower, because despite my claim that I can sleep ANYWHERE, on an airplane was not one of those places.

Sidenote: Scott upgraded our tickets so we flew Executive First Class, now that is the way to travel! Champagne as soon as you get to your seat, a bed that lies down flat, 4 course dinner and a little care package with socks & a sleep mask?  Yes please!!

We later headed back into the city to see some of the sights, mainly the Tour Eiffel and Arc de Triomphe, got a little lost, which is to be expected when jet lagged and being in a new city.  Thankfully I read our tour guide-book when we got to the Arc de Triomphe and we found the tunnel to the island, instead of attempting to cross the 6 lanes of traffic!

Arc de Triomphe

Wednesday was yet another full day of touristy stuff, with a LOT of walking.  If you plan on going to Paris, pack comfortable walking shoes, you won’t regret it!  First stop, Notre Dame.

It was windy everywhere we went!

Very impressive!

Being inside Notre Dame was a little overwhelming.  I mean, construction began on this church in 1163, it was immortalized and essentially saved by Victor Hugo in ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ and who has not seen the Disney version of this film?  The architecture and the history hit you all at once, and I almost could not believe that I was standing in a spot I had wanted to visit my whole life.  And then you get inside and you see this:

The Rose Window

Just awesome.  We were standing in line to walk up the stairs to the top of Notre Dame, when we realized it was going to take a minimum of 2 hours to get to the front of that line, we moved on.  We went on a super long journey to find Madame Curie’s lab, but it was closed for renovations when we got there, but along the way we visited Jardin Luxembourg, Palais Luxembourg & La Sorbonne.  Then we stumbled across Le Pantheon, home to France’s great dead, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo & Marie Curie.

Le Pantheon

We went down into the crypt where the bodies are housed, and then up to the roof for a panoramic view of Paris, something I do not recommend if you happen to not be a fan of heights!  The view was incredible, and I imagine it’s even better on a clear day!

Like I mentioned, windy everywhere!

Wednesday night was our wedding gift night, my cousin and his wife had gotten us a dinner cruise along the Seine as a wedding present, and it was the perfect gift.  The cruise was booked with Bateaux Parisian and was honestly something we would have never thought to do ourselves, but was honestly one of the highlights of our entire trip.

La Conciergerie ~ I think, I really can't remember

Tour Eiffel - one of my favourite pictures I took of it

You never know what you're going to get when you hand your camera to a stranger

Honestly, if you know someone who’s getting married and going to Paris on their honeymoon, or even for an anniversary, this cruise makes a wonderful gift!

Thursday was Bastille Day, which apparently means that everything except the Louvre is closed, which also happened to be free that day!

We stood in a HUGE long line to get it, which actually moved pretty fast, and headed to the must see’s: Mona, Venus etc.  Venus was much larger than I expected her to be, perhaps because I have seen the episode of the ‘Simpsons’ with the Gummi Venus de Milo too many times and it has taken over the art history lesson in my brain.  Mona was hidden deep within the many many halls of the Louvre, and I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with her.  I know she’s a famous painting and all, but shes shoved way in the back of a hot room and she’s behind glass.

What truly impressed me was Nike (Winged Victory of Samothrace).

Nike - just beautiful

Thursday also included watching the fireworks on Champ de Mars, something I do not recommend if you are like me and not a huge fan of gigantic crowds.  The fireworks were all right, but certainly not worth the panic attack I suffered when we were trying to leave.

Our last little adventure before leaving for Italy was to Versailles.  Now, this was not originally on our list, but my cousin has annual passes for 2 to Versailles, so it made the cut.  It was also very close to his apartment and meant we could visit, stop at his place and pack and then carry on to the train station.  I am glad we went, and would have liked to have some more time to spend there and tour the grounds etc.  But we pretty much just walked through the house, and got some decorating tips from Louis for when we own a house: 1) you can never have too many portraits & statues of yourself, and 2) when in doubt, cover it with gold.  It’s no wonder there was a revolution!!

"I like Goooooooold"

Feels like home.......

All in all, I enjoyed Paris, and I would love to go back some day for longer and see things that we missed at a more relaxed pace.  Places like Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Invalides etc, or maybe just to pick another box of these babies:

Heaven in a box


Stay tuned for an equally long post on Tuscany!


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