Paris, you’re like a dream. The city of lights and love. But for me this time, you were a city of friendship. Paris was our second last stop on tour, and I think that was beginning to sink in. Nobody could believe how fast the time had already passed, and of course we didn’t ever want it to end. It was time to make the most of every moment.
I visited Paris for the first time in 2010, while on holidays in Europe with my parents. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to travel there once more, and this time it was a totally unique experience.
The drive from Savona to Paris was too long to manage in just one day, and so we had to have an overnight stop in between. For one night we slept in Dijon, but all we could see was a restaurant and a hotel room.
Our Parisian adventures begun with an evening walk to the Eiffel Tower through one of the large central parks, The Jardin des Tuileries situated between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. We walked through all the greenery and took photos along the way.
At dusk we arrived at the Tower, and it was the perfect golden hour. A truly magical atmosphere. We even stayed into the night and waited for the blinking lights to turn on, illuminating the icon. Seeing the Eiffel tower dazzle through the night was something I didn’t manage to see during my first visit to Paris. I’m so glad I got to experience it this time, while among some of my favourite people.
We climbed the tower relatively late, providing a stunning view of Paris by night. Unfortunately we were too late and couldn’t climb past the first level, as the higher levels were closed for those who didn’t already have tickets.
The annual city bus tour began the very next morning. We were driven around the city centre and saw some of Paris’ most significant sights. First up was the beautiful building complex, Les Invalides which contains a series of museums and monuments dedicated to the military history of France. As well as a hospital and retirement home for veterans.
The Louvre was our last stop where the bus left us to explore on our own. In smaller groups, we explored the extensive galleries within the Louvre and of course payed a visit to the Mona Lisa. My afternoon was then spent wandering the streets, eating in a delicious cafe and doing a small spot of shopping. We all met again in the evening for dinner and afterwards walked to the district of Mont Marte and sat on the front steps of Sacre Coeur, admiring the stunning outlook over the city.
The Moulin Rouge was our final stop for the evening, where we all took photos in front of the bright lights.
Versailles is a city about an hour outside of France and is most well known for the Palace of Versailles, which was home to French royalty up until the French Revolution. To say it was an elaborately decorated building would be an understatement. Everywhere I looked was guided in gold. Touring the palace was fascinating, audio guides gave us a glimpse into the history of each room. The most famous room within the palace is the Hall of Mirrors. This room is a gallery facing out towards the back gardens. On one side the wall is covered with tall foot to ceiling mirrors which reflect the outside view from the equally large windows opposite. Of course there is gold everywhere, and massive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. This room is where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, which ended the First World War.
Before moving on the the gardens outside, we stopped to taste the very original French macarons, made in Versailles.
But, that was only half of the day. Once we had arrived back in Paris, the rest of the afternoon and evening was given as free time. I walked from the Eiffel Tower to the Roland Garros tennis courts with a friend who was dying to see them. These courts are where the French Open is played every year.
It was a rainy day, but the dark clouds created a brilliant contrast during sunset. To top it all off, our last evening was once again spent by admiring the Eiffel Tower at night while eating Crepes directly underneath it.