The last leg of our journey, as you may have guessed from the post’s title, was a little town in France you may have heard of. Paris. 🙂
It has been a month now since we were in Paris, and I found myself daydreaming at work yesterday about what felt like to gallivant around that magical city.
It is so cliche to suggest that everyone needs to experience Paris for themselves in their lifetime, but I’m saying it anyway. EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO TO PARIS. It is the type of city you can think about, dream about, read about for years, but never scratch the surface of what it looks like, feels like, and tastes like to be there. It is indescribably beautiful, but in the most unique ways. It is big. It is artistic. It is graffiti on the side of an Hermes storefront. It is all things pretty and interesting and historic and modern all rolled into one. It blew me away.
Friends suggested we take a bike tour around the city to get acclimated once we arrived. Our tour was through Blue Bike Tours and it was phenomenal. We had a quirky 20 something Parisian girl leading us through all the confusing bike paths and roads around the city as we whizzed past one spectacular site after another. The only problem with the 4 hour tour was that it was POURING rain for the majority of it. We cracked up at each other and the other tour members as we made complete spectacles of ourselves in our ridiculous ponchos. In the most fashionable city in the world, no less. It was worth it.
One of the many great surprises Paris offered us was some long-awaited GOOD coffee. Don’t get me wrong, the lattes and espresso in Italy did the job, but there is nothing more comforting or delicious than a well-made cup of good quality coffee.
As with everywhere we went thus far, 4 days just wasn’t enough to do all we wanted to do. It was tough to leave knowing there was still so much left to see, smell, and taste. It is a new dream of ours to come back and spend a significant amount of time here. We could have easily stayed forever.
The food. I could probably dedicate the rest of my blog posts from now until forever to the wonder that is French cuisine. I thought Italy would steal my heart…er…stomach with their pasta and wine, but good grief, the food in Paris was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I will dream about the veal and potatoes and baguettes until the glorious day I set food on French soil again.
The walking. Paris is a wonderful place to be lost. Many of our best memories came from hours spent walking to nowhere in particular. The back streets and little hidden areas of town swarming with locals are just as rewarding to stumble upon as any of the major must-see places.
The public transportation. Subways and buses are a weary traveler’s best friend, and the ones in Paris are extensive and totally simple to navigate.
The art. Specifically the Museum D’Orsay. Located in a former train station with huge clocks and tons of windows, this museum brought us so much joy. The impressionist art inside was gorgeous, and the whole experience was overall the best one I’ve had at a museum.
The people. These folks get such a bad reputation for their unwillingness to participate in the english language around foreigners. But even the ones we met who only wanted to speak French were so much more hospitable than we ever thought they would be. Not only that, but French people are fascinating. They wear cool clothes and stay out until 3am on weeknights and smoke cigarettes and eat pastries for breakfast. I loved watching their every move like a weirdo and coming up with interesting stories while riding the metro about where the girl with the crazy hat and stilettos was headed.
Paris, we will be back for you soon. Don’t ever change please.
I’m sad to end this blog series about our Europe trip because I do so enjoy talking and thinking about it. Guess we’re back to our regularly scheduled program for here on out. At least until the next big adventure begins.
Au revoir! -Caroline