Updated: Jul 21
Hey, you! 🇫🇷
The second day of our stay in Paris was dedicated to sight-seeing. We've already visited a lot of famous landmarks in the city, but this was a big first for the Husband's aunt, and we were excited to accompany her.
I wanted to give my Husband's aunt a mixed experience - being a tourist, but also doing things locals would do. So we woke up at around 8am and walked down the street to a typical Parisian café for breakfast. The area we were staying at was very residential, so the other tables were occupied by locals having their morning coffee and croissant.
As I was pretty much in charge of the food orders during this whole trip, I just went ahead and got us each "un café et croissant".
"What's this?", asked the husband's aunt jokingly as she eyed her coffee, "this looks like my granddaughter's tea set." 😂😂
You should have seen her face! It was hilarious. Of course, this is a woman who regularly orders a Grande Latte from her Starbucks coffee house. How could I forget the cultural difference?!
We had to explain to her that a regular coffee order in France is pretty much an espresso. It's small, but packed with so much flavour! I made a mental note to myself to order her a Café au Lait for breakfast the next day, but that moment when the waitress served her her espresso was just so funny!
Oh and what did she think of the croissant you might ask? The best she had ever had so far!
So in continuity with this whole living like locals do, we decided to take the Metro to the Eiffel Tower. The Paris Metro is the fastest way of getting around the city. The underground system has 16 interconnected lines and is also linked to the express train RER. I am impressed by how they came up with it - it really is easy to get around the city even with just a basic sense of direction. What is not so impressive though are the many stairs you have to take. Only a few metro stops have elevators, so it's not so easy when you have to carry lots of things like suitcases,for example. I can only imagine how tough it must for people with disabilities too. And there is also the question of the urine smell. My husband hates taking the metro because of that, but I have to say that it was better this trip. I didn't smell any urine or maybe I'm just used to it now. That's kinda sad though. I've been to the London and Berlin subway and both were clean and smell-free. Someone told me it was because the Paris subway is one of the, if not the oldest in Europe, but I don't know how significant that is.
The Paris Metro is almost always full and there's always the threat of pickpockets, so keep your belongings close to you. Things can happen pretty quickly, so a push, a shove or two, and then you can find yourself missing your wallet and personal things. Our technique is that we use body bags which we wear under our shirts, so it can be difficult for pickpockets to get into. Better be safe than sorry - no one wants to lose everything on vacation and losing time at the police station!
Anyways, our first stop was at the Eiffel Tower because well, Paris might have lots of beautiful landmarks and places to see, but what is Paris without its Iron Lady, right?
This reminds me that there is a beautiful French movie that came out last year. It's called Eiffel and it's the story of Gustave Eiffel who is at the peak of his career. Everything changes the day he crosses paths with his love and their forbidden relationship inspires him to change the Paris skyline forever. I've heard amazing reviews and I hope to watch it soon. 🧡🧡
Being at the foot of the Eiffel Tower was the perfect opportunity for us to take the Batobus. I had gotten tickets a few months ago, but we never got the chance to use them. So we decided to buy 1 more and go with the Husband's aunt for this trip.
Basically, the Batobus allows you to visit Paris by boat on the Seine River, while exploring the historical monuments and neighborhoods of Paris. It gives you the freedom to hop on and off (kinda like the buses) as many times as you want so you can enjoy the best parts of the French capital at your own pace.
I'll write all about our experience in the next post, how it went, what I thought about it in details, and if I recommend it.
Anyways, we decided to hop on the boat at the Eiffel Tower and we went on admiring the monuments for a few stops, until we decided to hop off near the Hotel de Ville (Paris City Hall). At this point, we just felt like walking in the streets of Paris and made our way to the Notre-Dame Cathedral. But before that, we grabbed a few lunch sandwiches and French pastries from a boulangerie and ate on tables on the sidewalk. How very French of us! Those sandwiches were so good - it always makes me wonder how McDonald's does so well in France. I remember reading somewhere that the French are the second biggest Mcdonald's eaters in the world! Whatever happened to the Jambon-Beurre sandwich!
We saw a man, not so far from our table, making Crepes so we decided to get some. If there's one thing you need to know about S, it's that she absolutely loves Crepes. Sometimes with just sugar, but most of the time with chocolate-hazelnut paste! This place right here turned out to be the birth place of the Husband's aunt's love for Crepes. I don't know how many crepes we had during this trip after that, but none will ever compare to the first one. 😁😁
After eating, we did the next best thing - shopping! I don't know about you but it's almost impossible for me not to buy souvenirs when I travel even though I tell myself not to. But I've gotten better at it. I refrain from getting anything bulky - a shot glass instead of a mug, for example. Unless it's a really really cute mug. Oh gosh, I know, I know I have a mug problem. Shoot me.
Turns out, the Husband's aunt is worse than me. She got shirts, sweaters, bags, decoration pieces for her loved ones back home. Wondering if everything fit her suitcase? You definitely have to stick around till the end of this series to find out if it did! 😂😂
We hopped on the boat at the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It's a pity that we couldn't visit. I was so heartbroken when I saw it burning on television. Fingers crossed the works will be done 2 years from now and we will be able to visit inside again. We couldn't really see much except for the men working hard, but I don't think I had realised just how damaged the cathedral had gotten from the fire!
Our last stop of the day was the Musée du Louvre. At this point, we realised that all that shopping earlier in the afternoon was probably not a good idea. Poor Husband, who had to carry our bags. Hahaha.
I am a big fan of museums, especially the Louvre Museum. The Egyptian collection is my weakness, but you know how it is - if you go to a museum, you have to spend the day in it. Well, at least, I do. So, sadly, no museum for me this trip, but in a few weeks I'm hoping to come back to Paris. I really really want visit again the Musée du Louvre or the Musée d'Orsay. Oh wait, there's another one I promised myself I would finally go to - the Musée des Arts Forains. Ughh, there are wayyyy too any nice museums in Paris!
Anyways, by the end of the afternoon-beginning of the evening, we decided to go back to the hotel. Oh wait, we stopped by the grocery store first to pick up lots of water, snacks, and whatever we felt we needed. Having a grocery store near the hotel is just so practical and convenient!
What a wonderful day we had! Here's hoping that tomorrow will be a good one as well, but I don't see why not?