Moving on from our first day in Paris, our second day was one of the best and exciting days of the trip, in my opinion. This happened to be our anniversary, and we had planned an entire day of quintessential parisian activities (that is, what tourists most associate with Paris).
Starting out, we had an early morning photo session at the Eiffel Tower that we had booked to help capture our time in Paris. The sun peeked through the clouds for part of the time, but mostly it was gray and overcast. The weather was just beautiful that morning and we had the best time getting our pictures taken around the Eiffel Tower.
After that, we walked back to our flat and had some breakfast we cooked ourselves in the tiny, yet effective, kitchen. We took a quick cat nap and headed back to the Eiffel Tower, this time, with my camera. We wanted to go up to the viewing deck, but the line was hours long and we didn’t want to waste a beautiful day waiting around in line. We made the decision to skip it. I had known that the best plan is to purchase your tickets ahead of time online, but the day they went on sale they sold out completely and I wasn’t able to get any tickets. I later learned, that the individual tour companies buy up all the tickets and then resell them at the base of the Eiffel Tower, which is why I wasn’t able to pre-purchase any.
Once we were done there, we decided to purchase some tickets for the Batobus, a hop on-hop off boat taxi system that is great for when you can take your time getting place to place. It goes up and down the Seine, making all the major tourist stops. We still had to pick up our pre-purchased Paris Museum Pass so the Louvre was our first stop, since the ticket office was in that vicinity.
Note: we chose to purchase the 2 day pass, so that dictated how we planned the next 2 days. We basically crammed in all the museums and sites that were included in the pass on those days. I encourage this pass, as it did end up saving us money and time (skip the lines with the pass)
It took us a while to find the companies storefront where we could pick the passes up, but after asking several people we finally found the place, and then made our way back to the Seine to take the boat to Notre Dame.
This was, by far, my favorite church, and we saw many many churches. I think I was most attracted to the gothic style and stained glass. We walked through with our newly acquired pass and sat in the pews a while just resting and taking it all in.
There were stadium seating bleachers in front of the church that were nice to sit on and I went to the top to get some better pictures of the church. While I was up there, I smelled something divine, so I followed my nose to a nearby créperie food cart just around the corner 🙂 Nutella Crepes hit the spot!
We made the mistake of not really planning what we wanted to see, other than the Mona Lisa, and Venus De Milo. Once we got there, we decided to follow the signs straight to the Mona Lisa and see that first, then work our way to other areas after that. It actually took us a long time to find painting because this museum is so massive and crowded.
As you can see, she’s very protected and you can’t get very close. We were able to see so many spectacular things, but pretty quickly became overstimulated and didn’t stay near as long as we thought we would. I guess we had already had a pretty busy day, so that may have had something to do with it. Here’s the Venus De Milo- amazing how it was sculpted around 130 B.C.
We finished up there, and then tried to figure out how to get to the restaurant we had planned to go to. After some frustrating and confusing conversations, we decided to hail a cab and have them figure it all out. Until this point, we had either walked, taken a train, bus or plane, but had not used a cab due to the fact that they’re generally pretty pricey. At that moment in time however, it was the best 14 euro we ever did spend. We had been walking all day and were tired and hungry, plus the restaurant we were going to was quite far from the Louvre. Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend a little more money to relax in the back of a nice black, leather interior SUV as the driver takes you exactly where you need to go. 🙂
Write this restaurant down and go if you’re ever in the area. It was suggested to us by our photographer that morning. They serve various duck dishes and the food is divine! I got the duck breast and Ryan got the Civet De Canard (duck leg). He claims this was the best meal he has ever had. in. his. life.
I don’t know if I could say that, but it was so delicious I would be willing to take a trip just to go have some more. The price is so reasonable and the service is impeccable, and the staff were so friendly! And those potatoes…mmmm
We went all out getting wine AND dessert. It was our anniversary after all! This restaurant is very close to the Eiffel Tower, and we hadn’t seen the Tower at night so we walked over to a nice place on the grass beneath it near the Champs de Mars and waited for the top of the hour to strike where it sparkles for 5 minutes. Dreamy. It was midnight, and we were exhausted but this totally woke us up. This was one of my favorite things to see. I realize that Parisians don’t think this is very special, but I couldn’t get enough of it, and as you’ll see in later posts, we tried to view the Eiffel Tower at night from various vantage points and made sure to see the “sparkle.” It’s hard to capture with a picture, but this was when all the lights started to shine with the sparkle effect. We sat there enjoying the view, all while trying to stave off the hoards of individuals attempting to offer us wine, roses, and all the other things we didn’t want to be bothered with. It kinda got old, so we decided to try and walk to a different area and head in the direction of home. Here’s some good self-timer action. and one more picture for good measure.
Bonne nuit Paris! Until tomorrow…