Oh Paris, Paris, Paris.....we loved you so much! In fact, we adored you- way more than we ever expected.
Firstly- everyone I had spoken to about our first trip to Europe said "Paris is great, BUT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET TO ITALY!"- which yes of course- we were blown away by Italy- but our expectations of Paris were not as high. We came with a very open mind and open agenda- with only one tour booked during our 5 day stay. We arrived in the pouring rain- absolutely pelting down- to a very rude woman who worked in the shop underneath the apartment and who was "supposed" to know about our rental. I do understand the whole notion of being in a foreign country and trying to speak the language, but we really weren't doing a great job. She could see we were trying- and smiling- but she wouldn't even let us use her phone (we offered 5 Euro and upped that to 10 Euro ($17 AUS)- but she wouldnt budge!). Not off to a great start. Thankfully the locals next door were MUCH more accommodating, letting us use their mobiles and trying their hardest to help us. My faith was restored. The apartment was in the best position known to mankind, in the Latin quarter on Rue De Buci- opposite a local patisserie, cafes and restaurants galore. After settling in, we wandered across the road and began our love affair with French bread- which only grew stronger as the holiday progressed. My goodness, I have no words for how good the bread is. I'm still dreaming of it and have yet to find a baguette in Sydney that even comes close!
There is so much to see and do in Paris, I wont go into detail with all the touristy stuff that everyone knows about- (Eiffel tower// Louvre// Notre Dame// Moulin Rouge// Love Locks etc). The thing we enjoyed most was just strolling the streets. Around every corner was a stunning building, monument, or picture perfect cafe. It's such a different way of life and we were feeling rather boring as we looked on. Stylish Parisians at art gallery openings, weeknight drinks that stretched into the early hours, buskers out until midnight while locals cheered them on- this was their 'norm' and we started to relax into the French way of life. Our dinners started to get later and my diet went out the window- dessert every night? Sure...why not. Wine with every meal? Of course! A chocolate crepe after breakfast? HOW CAN I SAY NO!
Everything was so breathtakingly beautiful in such a European way. So different to our country and lifestyle back home- it was the perfect introduction to Europe. We walked until our feet were blistered, saw amazing sites, ate amazing meals and loved every second. The weather in May wasn't great- very cold and rainy, so I would recommend visiting a bit later in June. We would thoroughly recommend the area around Rue De Buci in the Latin Quarter- we saw many different neighborhoods and this was by far our favourite area. Restaurant reviews and apartment details to follow!
*One funny thing I wasn't go to write about- but its too cute (awkward?) not to. There was a very old man sitting outside the restrooms in Luxembourg Gardens and Jason was needing to go. This gentleman (around 85 yrs old) was manning the front door and money tray- it cost money to use these restrooms - fair enough we thought. Jase approached with coins in his hand, when the elderly man in a thick French accent yelled "PEE PEE, OR POO POO MONSIEUR?" to which I BURST out laughing and Jase had to say "PEE PEE please Sir"- in front of a group of locals sitting nearby. Too funny and the last thing I was ever expecting to come from this sweet-looking mans mouth. Apparently its different prices for both! I wonder how they regulate and enforce the tariffs?!
All photos by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au