Let us show you how to spend 5 days outdoors in Paris, France
…because we are nature lovers after all!
(The last post in a series of 3 about our time road tripping France.)
Goodmorning! We have arrived at one of our favorite portions of our road trip around France, PARIS! This was our first visit to this resilient city and we were determined to spend our 5 days outdoors in Paris. Upon arriving we had a small hiccup in connecting with our host. This was resolved quicker than in Lyon. Once settled into our 1 room apt we brought Lucy (our spunky 4-door rental car) to the airport to be returned. We were going to rely on public transport and our own two feet the remainder of the trip. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
My husband is a very talented driver and even has his CDL commercial license. He was no match for Paris though. Never have we seen crazier drivers (not even in Italy). People would want to turn Left but merge from the far right lane as the turn was happening AND without a blinker! We were thankful to be done with driving at this point.
We were ready to get our 5 days in Paris started! After having quiche and espresso (because what else do you eat in France?) we mapped out where we were in coordination to what we wanted to see. A sweet couple from New York joined us on the bench. Being the Southerner that I am, I struck up a conversation and connected instantly. We gave them advice about our time in Avignon as they were planning to train it down to Arles for a few days from Paris. We are now Facebook friends and follow each other’s travels. Night one brought us cheap sandwiches, wine, and jazz music which reminded me of New Orleans, a funky city close to my hometown. What great energy and fun was had by ALL!
The following day we visited Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Shakespeare & Company. We walked and rode the subway until we couldn’t anymore. I honestly felt like I was at Disney World. Here I was, seeing all these beautiful landmarks that are in so many movies and books! I was in love already and this was just day two!
There were several Subway strikes during our visit and other stops had been flooded from the torrential rain Paris had received the week prior. This made our 5 days outdoors in Paris, quite interesting. Also, the EUFA (soccer tournament) was ramping up to take place in various parts of France, including Paris. After riding the subway, walking a lot, and hailing a bus, we made it to Versailles. I enjoyed walking in this summer palace though hoards of tour groups ruined the aura of the place. Its elegance was dirtied by selfie sticks and odd poses with statues. Needless to say, I loved the gardens here more than anything else. On all sides of us were neatly manicured gardens lush for the summer. We also caught glimpses of locals picnicking and reading below us. The day was getting late so we decided to figure out the transportation system back to the Left Bank. To end the night we picnicked in Luxembourg Gardens among the locals and watched a magnificent sunset as the park closed.
Day 4: Off to Montmartre we go. Scandalously, we scurried to the Moulin Rouge and the many sex shops on our way up to Montmartre. We paused to take in this show house of nudity and exotic dancing. After climbing hundreds of steps and walking at a constant incline we arrived to Montmartre and the art that awaited us. There were several cafes and breathtaking city-scapes from up here. On the way back down to the Basilica, we were bombarded by middle easterners selling “selfie sticks”-not again people! We brushed them off and took in the view point we had earned! After freshening up in our Paris apartment we decided on a place to dine. We had dinner at a sidewalk cafe on the Left Bank and partook in swing dancing afterwards. This was some “Paris in the 1920s” magic!
Day 5: Our last day was spent doing nothing, just how I like it. With all the touristy stops out of the way, I could partake in being a local in this amazing city! We shopped for souvenirs and paid Shakespeare and Company another visit. I read books and wrote on the banks of the Seine. We strolled the Seine everyday, multiple times of the day and I felt like Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald from Paris in the 1920s. That last night in Paris, we made love to the sound of brass instruments playing in our patio entryway and felt the true romance of Paris for all it’s sensuality. I did not want to leave this City of Light but new adventures awaited us. The following morning, we had a “French Breakfast” complete with cafe au lait, orange juice, croissants, and eggs before catching the metro to the airport. FYI: For all of my solo travelers and for the inside scoop about the catacombs and Musee D’ Orsay, (which we didn’t get to see) this has been a helpful resource!
There was much to love about this country of France and still moments that made me not want to return. I am thankful for the people we met that made this trip so rich. I loved attempting to learn this difficult language with the few locals that were patient enough to practice with me. I will cherish the memories made and the lessons learned. I hope to return to Paris someday and continue my Hemingway dreams.
Things to do in Paris:
- Must visit Shakespeare and Company to buy a book by Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Gertrude Stein then reading it while overlooking the Seine
- walk to the Notre Dame
- picnic in the Gardens of Versailles
- visit the Eiffel Tower at sunset
- enjoy wine in Luxembourg Gardens
- walk under the Arc De Triomphe
- shop around the Champs Elysees
- explore the Louvre or Musee D’ Orsay
- dance to the street musicians
- throw away the key to your “love lock” from the Pont Neuf
- strut your stuff alongside the sex shops of Montmarte
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*This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**
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