From Paris with Love
Adventures from a 4 A.M. trip
to the City of Lights
4:05 AM: We set off for Paris, France via King’s Cross by Eurostar — a high speed railway service that allows for just a 2 hour travel time between London and Paris, crossing the English Channel from underground.
Upon arrival, we took the underground Paris metro to a station across from Eiffel Tower. Emerging from the station… France is beautiful and honestly, I was in awe. The buildings are so intricate and there was definitely a more ‘romantic’ vibe than in London.
Our first task was to head to the river cruise ports in order to boat under 22 bridges on the Seine River. The first bridge we encountered after exiting the station was reminiscent of the Inception scene where Ellen Page’s character explores the dream state for the first time with Leonardo DiCaprio’s character.
Crossing the river, our first destination was to the ports of The Seine for a river cruise.
The boat ride down the Seine was stunning; we saw bits and pieces of major France buildings and bridges, all having stunning architecture and a long history. The architecture of France definitely has more aesthetic than London, with more ornaments on the windows and roofings. The French language and accents of those speaking around us was just as beautiful.
One bridge that stood out with it’s grandness was the Pont Alexander III. It was also very common to see locals and tourists sit by the river, often performing music.
After about an hours journey, the boat landed at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower
The tower was HUGE and the area was bustling with tourists. Apparently those people who come up to you asking, “Do you speak English? Please sign” are accomplices of pickpocketers...LOL. This area was also filled with men selling eiffel tower trinkets, water bottles, and selfie sticks.
After stopping by a cafe for lunch, we walked across Champ de Mars, under the eiffel tower, and towards Palais de Chaillot.
Soon after, we split from Wesley, and a walk down Avenue Kelber led us to the Arc de Triomphe.
The line to the top of the Arc was long, but the lively area was lined with crepe carts and small cars. The architectural detail of the landmark was stunningly intricate.
From Arc de Triomphe, we walked down The Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
While most people flocked the streets with shopping bags, a walk down the avenue led us to a roadside restaurant where we stopped for fresh nutella and banana crepes.
Eventually the weather turned too hot so we gave up on walking and took the metro to De Louvre.
On the metro to De Lourve I randomly saw a guy I knew from high school; later on in the day I ran into another girl at Gare du Nord — The world is so small!! Exploring the hallways of the giant De Lourve, we finally came across the main plaza where tourists (including us, of course) pinched the Louvre pyramid.
Long lines dissuaded us from seeking out the Mona Lisa, so instead we sought refuge in the air conditioned gift shop. Walking in, literally half the poeple in the store were just sitting down at the foot of statues, evidently on the same struggle bus. We then headed off to explore the nearby area around Notre Dam.
Notre Dame de Paris
The neighborhood around Notre Dame was much less crowded and filled with small bakeries and hipster looking restaurants. Emerging from the metro, the sight of Notre Dam was dauntingly beautiful. I need to watch the Hunchback of Nore Dame again.
Nearby, we explored the local bakeries, coming across some delicious baked goods and macaroons.
We came across LGBT celebrations and the Seine once again, passing by the infamous ‘love locks’ bridge.
At this point, we realized we gave Wesley the wrong train ticket — there was no way for him to make it home unless we met up with him before boarding (rather than the initial plan of meeting on the train) LOL. Blessed T-Mobile service, we were able to text him and be reunited. Shortly thereafter, we boarded the Eurostar once again, and rode our way home, ending an excitingly thorough day of Paris.