Paris Travel Guide: Must See Your First Time
When I am planning a trip my go to is Pinterest. I want to get all the blogs read and find all the things to see. As I read I write list after list. If something is mentioned that I already have down I put a star next to it. And that helps me to make decisions for what adventures we are going to go on. That is how I found out about several things on my list in this post.
Paris has been a dream of mine since I took my first French class in 8th grade. I fell in love with the language, I fell in love with the history during high school French, I fell in love with the art during college art history. I love Paris. Even now I am trying to talk Scott in to going back, but he wants to see more places (preferably with a beach).
Of course this is number one on the list. Go and meet Winged Victory, say hello to Mona Lisa, get lost looking at Venus de Milo. I seriously had so much fun getting lost in the Louvre with Scott. We found the area of the museum that had the remains of the medieval foundations. After a little longer we found the personal living quarters of Louis XIV. No one was in there with us. It was so quiet, so I got to actually spend time looking and taking photos.
When booking our AirBnB I knew I wanted to be able to see the Eiffel Tower easily. That was what Paris was. We would stroll by her daily. It was magnificent. On our second to last day we finally went up to the second floor. We climbed all 700 steps and took in 360° views. My brother took the elevator all the way to the top on his visit, but I was ok not going that high. A few months before we went a friend of mine had gone and he is a photographer. Casey let me know the best place to take photos of the Eiffel Tower is just across the Seine at Place du Trocadero. You can even ride the carousel there.
I NEVER would have known about this masterpiece without Pinterest. I saw it on one blog and never turned back. I knew I had to see it in real life. Words cannot do it justice and my photos don’t either. It was built to house Louis IX’s Passion Relics including the CROWN OF THORNS. The relic was moved to Notre Dame (which I wish I had known prior to going so I could have seen it there), obviously didn’t do enough research on that subject. Sainte Chappelle is so less known that it wasn’t busy while we were there. It is seriously just a couple of blocks from Notre Dame.
This is a restaurant. And it is a pretty place, decorated in Belle Epoque style. We went to the original on Rue de Rivoli (both times we went). Proust and Coco Chanel would frequent this tea house. When you go, please get the Hot Chocolate. You will not be disappointed. I brought home a small tin and a big box. Last summer my dear friend Debbie went to Paris and brought me back a box, and when my mom went at Christmas time she got me another tin. I save it for when I need that amazing pick me up!
This area of Paris quickly became our favorite. We went and saw Sacre Coeur and then got lost on those cobblestone streets. This is where artists would (and still do) gather and paint. We loved it so much we went back on our last day in Paris to just spend time there again. The shopping, the crepes, the atmosphere was so golden. It felt how I imagined Paris to be in my mind. Not that the rest of Paris wasn’t amazing, but this was the feeling of Paris my mind had conjured up.
Mont Saint Michele
This is not in Paris. It is up on the north coast. We took a train, rented a car (this should be a post in and of itself complete with videos) and visited Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery. We then drove about two hours to Mont Saint Michele. This was another place that I saw on Pinterest and HAD to see it in real life. It is not a castle, although you would think it was from the looks of it. It is an Abbey and Monastery. It is on a small island just off the coast. I think had we visited more in the day than at night we would have enjoyed it more. My most memorable moment was seeing a woman (she was a nun) walking down the steps. Scott was walking ahead of me as I had been taking photos. He said “bon soir” to her and she smiled but did not speak to him. As she was reaching me I said “bon soir” to her and she responded in kind to me. I had never met a nun in real life, but the Abbey and Monastery are active and there happens to be many who live at Mont Saint Michele.