27 February 2015

Paris 2014

Throwback Thursday? Not any more.

It was a cause of alarm when I realised my beloved Paris snaps were lurking on my old blog instead of here. So, I thought I'd do a little throwback post to share some of my favourite pictures and adventures from June 2014. Enjoy!

Paris by day








I had the classic Paris experience: macarons at Ladurée, window shopping in Champs-Élysées and strolling around museums (for the record, La Petit Palais is excellent). Admittedly, it was set against the less chic background of wilting under the relentless thirty degree heat, but you can't have everything. 

 Everything looks beautiful. There's delicious food everywhere. And aside from the pickpockets (common sense will protect you from those), Paris is a super safe city, full of really lovely, kind people. Cheers to the lady who told me my pants were on display (backpacks and mini-skirts are just the worst combination). You'd only get pointing and laughing in London.

I fell a bit in love with the city on this trip. Hopefully you'll see why... 


The Eiffel Tower







 No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to la tour Eiffel. Look at me trying to be all sassy. Here’s a few tips for a successful trip:
  • Go when it’s quiet – week days and early in the morning are usually to be the best times to visit
  • Be prepared to queue, regardless! Even when I arrived very early on Monday morning, I queued for 40 minutes (still beats the couple of hours you might have to wait otherwise!)
  • If you can, buy your tickets online so you can join the fast-track queue. They sell them in specific time slots, but don’t release many – so be quick!
It’s worth the queues for the amazing views – and I’d recommend visiting all three floors to make the most of it! I’m lucky as, of all my fears, heights is not one of them! I loved the top floor – a small platform close to the very top! At 896ft up, you can see for miles and miles and miles! Even if you’re a bit scared of heights, I’d recommend pushing past your fears for this – you won’t regret it.

Paris by night







If you thought Paris by day was beautiful, wait until you see it by night. Picture stunning white buildings set against a dusky pink and blue sky, the faint sound of jazz music escaping the buzzing bistros and the smell of delicious food in the air. As darkness falls, you'll get to see Paris live up to it's reputation as "the City of Light". Trust me, it's well deserved. Strolling through Paris at midnight was one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. No wonder Woody Allen dedicated a film to such a spectacular combination.

...and the Eiffel Tower makes a reappearance





Yep. My nightly stroll around Paris had to include a trip to the Eiffel Tower. At night it's lit up and looks amazing. Take a look at the video I've posted here to see it in action.

The Palace of Versailles







There are two things you need to know about the Palace of Versailles. The first is that it's a vast expanse (67km, to be exact) of flawless architecture, perfectly pruned greenery and general jaw-dropping beauty. And the second? The queues to get into the Palace itself are flippin' massive. But luckily, the grounds are just as stunning.

Fun fact: Louis XIV, who was behind the big expansion of the Palace of Versailles, was a bit of a character – as all Kings tend to be – and thought he was a God on earth – as all Kings of the time tended to do. That's why Versailles' gardens are so bizarrely perfect - he wanted to show that he was more powerful than nature itself - I can’t help but wonder how many gardeners he had to employ. When you look around, you’ll notice quite a few references to Apollo, the Greek/Roman God of the Sun. This was because King Louis modelled himself on the Sun God, having played him once in a play. Which sounds weird, but if you think about it, it's probably no weirder than fifteen year old girls modelling themselves on Kim Kardashian.

Montmartre: Sacré-Cœur






Our first port of call on day two was Montmartre, located in Paris’ Latin quarter. If you were a Bohemian in the late 1800s, this was the place to go – think Van Gogh, Toulous-Lautrec and the rest of the artisan crowd. As you can imagine, this is now a pretty big tourist spot- everyone wants to catch a bit of that Moulin Rouge sparkle; taking in a show, slugging coffee with local artists and taking in the amazing views from the Sacré-Cœur. As it was 10am, I did the latter. 

Need a confidence boost? Behind the Sacré-Cœur you'll find handfuls of street artists, desperate to draw your portrait. So desperate, in fact, that they will absolutely shower you with compliments to persuade you to part with €15 for their charcoal masterpieces. They are actually excellent artists, so it's not bad value for money if you have time to hang around. If you fancy an ego boost, take a stroll down artists alley. I stuck out like a sore thumb, the luminously pale 23 year old with too-bright red lipstick and flowers in her hair. Their targets were locked and loaded. “You’re beautiful! May I draw you?” “You look like a Princess!” “Please, the artist wants what he wants!”. I am not sure compliments really count as compliments when the prospect of money is involved, but hey, when in Montmartre. I feel like they don't mention this enough in the guidebooks... 

Watch it for yourself



I made a little video of my few days in Paris - take a look!

I hope you enjoyed my little Francophile-fuelled blog post. There'll be more Parisian delights on the blog this weekend - stay tuned! x
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