Picnic in Paris

Our trip to Paris a few weeks ago had crept up on us a bit.  We’ve both been busy at work (Dayna finishing up in her old job, me learning a new role at mine) and we’ve also been busy finding a new place to live.  So unusually unprepared for our trip, we headed off early on a Friday morning for a long weekend away.

Thankfully, we were travelling by train so the journey was easy and we found ourselves in the middle of Paris in no time.  Our first stop after dropping off our bags was the Louvre.  We didn’t end up making it there until late morning after taking in the sights of the Paris Metro and having a short stroll over via Champs Elysee from the station.

Champs-Élysées

It being the Louvre, we were expecting crowds and were not disappointed.  

The Louvre

The Louvre

The great thing was that they’ve designed the place to handle the crowds and the wait wasn’t too bad at all.  Once inside, the bulk of the tourists gravitate to the major famous pieces (Mona Lisa!) so away from those it’s actually not too bad.  

Mona Lisa

Crowd in front of Mona Lisa

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Winged Victory of Samothrace

The buildings that make up the Louvre were beautiful, with intricate paintings all over the ceilings.

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

My favourite section was the old French masters with Monet being top of the list.

Claude Monet

I couldn’t help posing a little with this little beauty (I think it was Dayna’s favourite).

Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses sœurs

Leaving the Louvre behind us, we made our way across Paris to another classic item on the Paris To Do List – Notre Dame cathedral.  On the walk over we stumbled upon yet another bridge in Europe weighed down with locks (the “love lock bridge”).

The Love lock bridge

We saw pretty much the same cathedral when we were in Reims but despite seeing it all for the second time it was still impressive inside. It seems like there’re two sides to Notre Dame though. The grand impressive cathedral as a place of worship and the money making tourist attraction. It feels like the latter is winning.

Notre Dame

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Escaping the vending machines and donation boxes, we got some more exercise in climbing to the top of the cathedral to enjoy the view.

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Notre Dame

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Graphic gargoyle eating the head off someone (love the guy photobombing in the background too)

We were staying in Montemarte so we had a few local places we had to check out.

Moulin Rouge and the Cafe where Amelie was filmed was around the corner so we stopped for a quick coffee and photo.

Moulin Rouge

Amelie Cafe

Up the hill from there was Sacré Cœur.

After the walk up the steep hill we were greeted by a crowd of tourists and some guys giving out free hugs. We were also greeted by a nice view of Sacré Cœur and the city.

Free hugs at Sacré Cœur

Sacré Cœur

Along with the view of the city we also got to enjoy watching some acrobatic, freestyle football busking by Iya Traore.

Football stunts at Sacré Cœur

Football stunts at Sacré Cœur

It was a busy weekend but by far the best thing we did was tick off number 62 on our list –  have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower. We have been starved of sunshine in the last few months so we were very lucky to get a beautiful day to sit out and soak up the sun in front of the Eiffel Tower.

We started the day at a supermarket to pick up all the essential picnic stuff we needed (blanket, cutlery, plates…wine) then went on to one of the classic “touristy” market streets nearby the Eiffel Tower – Rue Cler.  After scouting out all the different places, we chose the best looking one’s and picked up cheese, baguettes, ham, chorizo, sun dried tomatoes along with a few desserts and some strawberries.

Rue Cler

Rue Cler

Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

The baguettes were absolutely amazing.  So amazing that Dayna had to listen to me rave about them for a few hours in between mouthfuls.  After thinking the food couldn’t get any better the Chocolate Fondant dessert we got was pretty much the best chocolate dessert I’ve ever had in my life.  So we were happy with the food.

Making the picnic even better was the fact that we had the perfect view of the Eiffel tower and were basking in sunshine.  We ended up laying out there in a food coma for 3 hours.

So Paris has officially won us over.  Good thing it’s just a 2 hour train ride away!

Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

One thought on “Picnic in Paris

  1. Pingback: The Year That Was and the Year Ahead | Matt and Dayna's Travels

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