European Adventure 2011 – Paris

So last Wednesday I told you all about our trip to England in 2011. Well we also decided that since we were in Europe we needed to go other places. We decided to jump on the train and visit Paris for the day!

Paris 2011

So we decided to get a Eurostar train to Paris on Saturday, since a lot of things there were open. We took the first train out (6am) and we had cabs take us to King’s Cross Station. There was a long wait for the train, which was surprising, but we made it on without incident.

Paris Train

We had booked our tickets in advance since it was cheaper. We weren’t sure if we could bring food on, but there was a food car so we bought breakfast on the train. The ride was around 2 hours long.

When we arrived in Paris we had to try and navigate the subway system. I had researched which subways to take where, but finding them was another battle. We had some young kids try and convince us to sign some petition (aka wanted our money) but we finagled our way around them. Finally we got onto the Metro and headed to our first destination…Les Catacombes.

Les Catacombes

This was the main thing I wanted to see while in Paris. I had read all about them and knew the line got long early in the morning and they only let 200 people in per day. The stairs and path were dark and hard to maneuver so Karen’s mom and aunt opted out, but my mom wanted to go. We waited in line for a little while until we were finally able to head down the spiral staircase.

Les Catacombes

Most of the pathways were pretty dark. They had some light, but not a lot. The flash on my camera was the only way we could take any pictures. We didn’t use the flash once we arrived at the actual catacombes since it is a burial site and disrespectful.

Les Catacombes

Les Catacombes is where the remains of most of the Paris cemeteries were taken in the late 1780’s because the cemeteries were making people sick. The remains were later built into walls almost all over so that people could visit. It seems pretty morbid, but it’s a really interesting part of Paris’ history. I always think of the Disney movie Hunchback of Notre Dame where all the gypsies lived in the catacombes.

Les Catacombes

It took us a while to get through Les Catacombes and that isn’t even all of the remains. It’s just the ones they built up!

After we headed over to Notre Dame to see the famous cathedral.

Notre Dame

There was a wait to get in and the place was crowded. I loved looking at all the stained glass all over.

Notre Dame

The cathedral is massive, but they let us take pictures inside (no flash) unlike Westminster Abbey.

Notre Dame

After it was around lunch so we decided to head over to Ile Saint Louis. It’s a little island next to Notre Dame. We walked up and down a few of the streets looking for a place to eat. We finally saw this little place called Aux Anysetiers du Roy. It was small, but the food was the most amazing food! We all started off with wine (of course).

Aux Anysetiers du Roy

The chef (this little woman) came over to take our order. I ordered french onion soup and rabbit (because why not) and when she asked how I wanted it cooked I said “medium well” she replied with “medium” and thinking she didn’t understand me I said “medium well” she responded again with “medium” so I said ok. The chef cooks how she wants to cook! Well it was so delicious I wanted to lick the plate clean.

After we stopped in a few shops and then got a little ice cream and looked out over Le Seine. It was such a nice day out! The original forecast was cold and rainy so we were all sweating in sweaters.

Next we jumped back on the metro to go see The Louvre Museum. It was close to closing so we knew we wouldn’t have time to go in, but we saw the outside.

The Louvre Museum

We headed to the Arc de Triomphe and stood in the street like total tourists to take pictures.

Arc de Triomphe

Then we wandered down the Champs des Elysees. My friend Karen wanted to find Chanel, but we COULD NOT find it! We kept asking people and they were looking at us like we were crazy. Finally we gave up but we found out later it was on the next street over.

We decided to end our day over the the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower

We relaxed on the lawn for a little with all the other people. It was like we were in Central Park!

Eiffel Tower

Then we tried to get far away so we could get the whole tower into our pictures. We gave up after a while and I just photoshopped the top in. The lines to go up were hours long so we skipped that too.

Eiffel Tower

By the end of the day our feet were killing us and all the main places were closed. We walked back toward the trains station and found a cute coffee shop to relax in. We just sat on the street and people watched. It was really nice.

Paris 2011

By the time we got to the train station to head home it was later than we thought. We didn’t have time to stop for food and we were starving so where did we go? McDonald’s of course! Oh Americans haha.

I passed out most of the train ride back. It was a fun and exhausting day. I would definitely go back to Paris again for longer. The history and architecture of the city are so breathtaking. I would love to have more time to enjoy it.

Next week I will be telling you about our last stop…Ireland!

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