Celebrating a Birthday in Paris

Spending a long weekend in Paris was a great way to treat myself for my first birthday abroad. On the Friday night, I went and watched the ATP World Tennis Tour at the O2 in Greenwich in London. I then stayed at a friends before going to catch the Eurostar in the morning. The Eurostar was a great way to travel to Paris, it took only tour hours from central London to arrive at Gard de Nord train station. There is also no need to get there two hours before your departure like at an airport so it a better use of time.

Day 1: Walking the streets of Paris and going to the Moulin Rouge

After checking into our cute Airbnb apartment right next to the Louvre (so fancy) we caught the metro to the Arc de Triomphe. We had the excitment of being back in Paris especially with all the food. Who does not love macaroons, pastries, cakes, baguettes and snails? We took our cliché photo with the Arc de triomphe and then wondered the Parisian streets down to the Eiffel tower. We did a second cliché of having a macaroon by the Eiffel tower and tried to be all arty farty with our photography.

Before going to Moulin Rouge we went and had dinner over-looking the famous show. It would be un-French if we didn’t have snails as an entrée and some champagne. The show itself is amazing and if you have the chance in seeing it I highly recommend it! It’s something you won’t forget! The acts and costumes are just amazing! However, if you want to have a glass of bubbly, be prepared to pay €20 at least for a glass.

Day 2: Palace of Versailles and the Louvre

A one-hour train ride from central Paris will take you to the Palace of Versailles. If you visit the palace, I recommend to allow AT LEAST one full day to explore the palace and the grounds. I only got through about half so I will need to go back and see the rest of the estate which includes Marie Antoinette’s estate, the King’s estate, Marie’s Village and the other half of the gardens.

The Palace is filled with very lush and elaborate rooms that makes the eyes wonder with your mouth hanging open in amazement of the craftsmanship. You will definitely become one of those camera snapping tourists with these rooms. After your exploration through the palace having lunch in the café with a class of Rose felt classy and royal. Even though the day we visited had quite bad weather, we were still able to get out and see a little bit of the massive gardens. Unfortunately, being winter there were not any pretty blooms or autumn colours, but the gardens were still impressive.
For the last part of the day once returning to Central Paris, I wondered through the Louvre for 2 hours looking at different areas I haven’t been to before. I also said hey to my trusty friend the Mona Lisa, as we have not seen each other for four years.

Day 3: Notre Dame Cathedral, Saint Chappelle and Palace de Justice

For my final day in Paris, I started off the day with a chocolate croissant and wondered over to the Saint Chappelle. This church has the most impressive stain glass window work in all of Paris. The paint work is also extremely old and beautiful and the chapel has two main different areas. Next door is the Palace de Justice. This Palace is quite basic compared to the Palace of Versailles. No amazing paintings or anything like that. However, this is the place where Marie Antoinette was held before she was beheaded during the French Revolution.

The main highlight of the third day was climbing the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral to meet the gargoyles and get an amazing view over Paris. After waiting in line for about 45 minutes I got to do the great climb. The view from the top was breath taking especially with the gargoyles in the fore ground. You could see all the major monuments whilst the bells of Notre Dame were ringing right next to you. However, I didn’t see the hunchback of Notre Dame, much to my disappointment of the childhood story. My time was finished off with a Nutella crepe in front of the Eiffel tower before returning to London on the Eurostar.

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