Parisian Summer Nights (part one)

….and days, of course!  After dropping off Lacey with a coworker, we set off on our first Eurostar experience.  It was a pretty quick train ride before we made it to the center of Paris.  We then took a short metro ride to our pied-à-terre for the next few days.  It was a tiny little thing with a 2 burner stove, mini fridge, bathroom closet and futon to sleep on.  Despite its minute size, it was a perfect base for exploring the city of love.  It was late when we arrived and a little drizzly so we took a little walk around the area before heading off for sleep.

On the Eurostar train from London to Paris

On the Eurostar train from London to Paris

The teeny kitchen

The teeny kitchen

 

Any small bedroom/living room/office

Any small bedroom/living room/office

Bastille Monument, just down the street from our flat

Bastille Monument, just down the street from our flat

 

I wish I could say we were up bright and early the next morning, but it just wasn’t so.  When I finally got out of bed and ready for the day we set off in search of a delicious croissant.  Sadly, the boulangerie with the supposed best croissant in Paris was closed for the summer holiday.  The next best place?  Also closed for several weeks.  We finally found a place open, grabbed two croissants au berre and a pain au chocolat to satisfy our hunger.  Biting into our crumbly yet chewy & warm pastries, we walked to the Notre Dame Cathedral.  It was absolutely beautiful!  Hard to imagine it was almost demolished at one point.  We were in desperate need for caffeine so stumbled into a Starbucks not too far away.  I know, I know, Starbucks in Paris, typical Americans!  However, in our defense it was the first takeaway coffee place we found and we were desperate!  The €9 price tag was steep for a latte and chai tea, but it did the trick and we were off for more adventures!  We spent the day walking past the Louvre, through the Jardin des Tuilieres and onto the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.   After dodging tourists and decked-out designer shoppers, we finally made it to the Arc de Triomphe.  I posed for some obligatory photos in front of the Arc and we ducked into the nearest metro to find a lunch spot near the Canal St. Martin.

The Notre Dame Cathedral as seen from the Seine

The Notre Dame Cathedral as seen from the Seine

Infamous rose window

Infamous rose window

Beautiful stained glass (rose window from the inside)

Beautiful stained glass (rose window from the inside)

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Outside the Louvre (He's smiling because he didn't actually have to go in)

Outside the Louvre (He’s smiling because he didn’t actually have to go in)

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

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Sunbathers in the Jardin des Tuileries

Sunbathers in the Jardin des Tuileries

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

After a couple metro line changes and a short walk, we arrived at our planned location to find….it was close for a few weeks in August…wah wah.  Noticing a theme?  We decided to wander along the canal looking for another option, only to find lots of close spots or those out of our price range.  We went in the direction of our next site hoping to find something along the way, with little success.  So we entered the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, Paris’ most desired eternal resting place.  I had every intention of location some famous grave sites like those of Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin and Jim Morrison to name a few, but the place was huge, the map confusing and I was tired, hungry and cranky.  We decided that it was too late to get any lunch, so went back to the apartment for a snack, rest and to prepare for dinner and our evening trip to the Eiffel Tower.

Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise

Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise

The grounds are so large (over 100 acres) with so many graves, they break it up into divisions

The grounds are so large (over 100 acres) with so many graves, they break it up into divisions

An entrance to the cemetery

An entrance to the cemetery

We finally found an open restaurant that came recommended and enjoyed a dinner of pretty traditional french fare.  Then we went off to the Eiffel Tower with hopes of great views of the city at night.  We weren’t disappointed!  There were beautiful views of the city and tower lit up.  A kind woman took our picture on the tower, but we didn’t ask anyone to take our picture with it in the background.  However, after several poorly taken “selfies” we ended up with a satisfactory picture.  We walked a little ways down the Seine before jumping back on the metro and settling in for the night, tired, sore and happy.

Cassoulet, salad, crusty bread & red wine = tasty french dinner

Cassoulet, salad, crusty bread & red wine = tasty french dinner

Dining al fresco

Dining al fresco

Paris lights

Paris lights

High above the city

High above the city

Eiffel tower from a different perspective

Eiffel tower from a different perspective

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Long day + bottle of wine w/dinner + late night = sleepy C on the metro

Long day + bottle of wine w/dinner + late night = sleepy C on the metro

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Since this is already a long & picture heavy post, I’ll stop at day one and make a separate post for day 2.  Check back tomorrow for the rest of our Parisian adventures!