View from the Pont du Carrousel bridge, looking into the gardens of the Louvre.
That night, we met up with my fiancé’s cousin, who lives in Paris, to have dinner at Juveniles Wine Bar, which I’d read amazing things about. Of course we couldn’t get in.
So instead we took a long walk along the Seine with her and her French boyfriend, decided to take a bus down to a restaurant in the 14th arrondissement, figured out that the bus wasn’t coming for 15 minutes, went to a bar to have a glass of wine, and then finally made it to Le Plomb du Cantal. It’s food from the Auvergne region of France, and every dish is served with endless potatoes that waiters come around with saucepans of to ladle onto your dish if it’s empty. This was duck confit with truffade, potatoes cooked in goose fat and blended with cheese.
The cousin’s boyfriend was just sooooo French, with his country home with an underground wine cellar and his city apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower. He was so friendly with every server and person on the street we ran into that I couldn’t tell who he actually knew and who was a total stranger. And I would never just pop into a bar for a glass while I was waiting on the bus! What if I missed it?! Paris made me realize how uptight I am. 😀
Our Airbnb in Paris was this lovely little studio with a loft and a terrace, right by the Châtelet-les-Halles Station in Le Marais. I chose the neighborhood because people said it was like Greenwich Village in NYC, and it was a short walk to places like Notre-Dame, the Louvre, and the Champs-Élysées. We could not be happier with where we stayed; just tons of restaurants and little shops everywhere, including a huge pedestrian area without any cars.
Our first order of business was to walk across the Pont Neuf bridge to Île de la Cité, the island where Notre-Dame and Sainte Chapelle are, to have crème brûlée at THE Frenchest cafe, @brasserielesdeuxpalais. Here, we got our first taste of indifferent French service and fantastic coffee!
We took low-cost Norwegian airlines into Paris on a Friday night flight that got us in to Charles de Gualle early Saturday morning. All in all, I’d take Norwegian again for sure, but you have to be aware of what you’re getting into:
Cons: had to pay $65 each to check our bags because we didn’t read the weight limits, no assigned seats unless you pay $90 extra for them (we didn’t pay and just got to the airport early to check in), no online check-in for flights from/to the U.S., no meals/snacks included.
Pros: super cheap flight, brand new plane, good entertainment options, you can make the flight as expensive or inexpensive as you want with add-ons, and it’s really fun ordering snacks from the screen in front of you.
We took the Roissybus from the airport, which stops every 15 minutes at the curb outside of the terminal and drops you off at the Opéra train station in the center of the city. From there, we took the train to our Airbnb at the Châtelet station.
I had read way too much before our trip about people talking to you at the ticketing kiosk while someone else steals your stuff, so when a woman came up and asked if we needed help buying tickets, I said, “I THINK WE’RE OKAY.” I must have obviously been on the defensive, because she politely showed me her badge to prove she was an employee of the subway system and told us to ask if we needed anything. Oops!
Our Paris trip from May 6th to 14th was kind of a mistake. My fiancé saw a huge deal on flights one night and asked me if I wanted to go somewhere. Copenhagen was the cheapest, so we started talking about when we’d like to go there and all the things we’d do for nine days. But at the end of the conversation, he was like, “Is Copenhagen where you actually want to go, though? We could go someplace like Paris.” Paris, of course, was my ultimate dream city. The romance, the lights, the MICHELIN STARS. I knew I’d go there someday, but I had no idea it’d be this early on in my adventuring. It turned out to be everything I wanted it to be, and I find myself feeling nostalgic for the trip and the culture so often since we’ve come back. But it’s such a huge country! We saw basically none of it in nine days! I didn’t even walk around the streets gnawing on a baguette like the Parisians do! But the things we did do and see were amazing and life-changing, and I hope you’ll enjoy my pictures as much as I enjoyed making them.