I’d always considered myself a London girl. Not that I lived in London or was in any way a Londoner, but I used to say it’s my favourite place on earth (yeah, I’ve not been that many places). Now, a few years later, I came to realise I am much more leaning towards the french chic thing rather than the edgy cool of Camden. Having never been to Paris it was obvious I had to visit, now that I live only a few hours away. So me and my friends went for a weekend in December and I fell hard. Here is a throwback to our trip!
Even though it was December, we were freezing our asses off and the sky was so gloomy, it still didn’t kill our moods. We only had two days and we focused on the typically touristy spots that everyone has to tick off being in Paris for the first time.
Our first stop was – obviously – the Eiffel Tower. I don’t know what I expected really, but I was shocked by the size of it. It didn’t look that big in the pictures! I couldn’t stop staring and thinking it’s a massive piece of iron, yet it’s so majestic and symbolic. It was worth getting in one of the scary lifts to see the view from the top. We spent ages taking pictures, then decided to come back at night and headed for a real french brunch at one of the brasserie’s around the corner. Here is a question to any of you french people out there – does anyone actually drink freshly squeezed lemon juice?
The city looked beautiful especially at this time of the year, with all the sparkly Christmas decorations and fairlylights at Champs Elysees. I even loved the aesthetics of the parisian metro, the smell – not so much. We used it a lot on that day, but it saved us so much time we managed to get to the Luvre (we didn’t go in as the queue was too long), eat some more pastries and sip hot chocolate, check in at the Les Deux Plateaux and – being proper fashion students – drool over the amazing designer shops around that area, buy some more souvenirs, then watch the sunset at Arc the Triomphe.
As it got dark we headed down to the Christmas Market at Champs Elysees. It was the biggest Christmas Market I’ve ever seen – it seemed to have no end and the crowds made it difficult to get through. I was overwhelmed with all the lights, the scents and the sounds. Wherever I turned my eyes to there was some delicous food, mulled wine and Christmas arts & crafts. They sold one of the prettiest handmade christmas tree decorations I’ve seen and I was devastated I couldn’t take them back home to Poland. I cheered myself up with the wine as we escaped the crowds, had our last stroll at Pont Alexandre III before we headed back to the Eiffel Tower for the light show.
Now that was definitely the highlight of Paris for me. I can’t even begin to describe the atmosphere – all those people gathered together from different places in the world, listening to live acoustic music, cosying up in the December air waiting to see the Eiffel Tower light up. I can’t deny I was moved, it’s one of these moments I know I will never forget.
The next day after a quite disappointing morning – it’s when you try to have breakfast in France and they run out of crossaints – we planned to see the famous Notre Dame. I am not big on visiting cathedrals and churches but I can usually appreciate the architecture. I was really impressed with Notre Dame though, I especially loved the story and the gargoyle statues – they did seem like they were about to come to life. The 380 narrow, spiraling steps were almost the end of me, but it was worth it. The sun came out that day and the view from the top was breathtaking.
After the climbing, we needed to recharge – we went to one of the creperie’s nearby and had some of the typical french crepes. Whenever you are in France – chestnut puree crepe is a must try. I had some more mulled wine because, well, it was a cold day. This way we said goodbye to Paris and satisfied, we went back to the hotel, grabbed our stuff and headed to catch our bus back to Antwerp.
I fell in love with this city. I already miss Paris and I’m sure I’ll come back soon, maybe for longer this time.
Hope you enjoyed and if you have any recommendations for my next visit – let me know!