Flashback Friday: 24 Hours in Paris
Paris. The city of light, one of the most visited cities in the world. People dream of picnicking under the Eiffel Tower, wandering around the Louvre, taking in the views of the city at the top of Montmarte, and they schedule their time in Paris to soak up every last drop of their time in Europe’s most romantic city. So naturally, when I booked a weekend trip to Paris while I was studying abroad (with the girls who I later reunited with in Vegas), we did exactly the opposite. With two full days in the city, we decided to spend one of them at Disneyland. This left us with one day to live out our Parisian dreams in crazy tourist fashion.
How did we spend our 24 hours in Paris?
First, we grabbed coffee and pain au chocolate near our vacation apartment rental for a traditional French start to the day. Then it was onto the Eiffel Tower, what I was most excited for. When we arrived it was quite cloudy, and even though the ticket office said there would be limited visibility at the top, we bought tickets to the highest viewing level in hopes that it wouldn’t be that bad. As it turned out, limited visibility was a bit of an understatement. Paris was covered with a thick blanket of wide fog that made seeing anything impossible.
Back on ground level, we spent a good chunk of time taking pictures with the tower in the park below reveling in the fact that we were HERE. In Paris. At the Eiffel Tower.
From there we headed to the Arc de Triomphe and then walked down the Champs-Élysées, occasionally stopping in stores like Louis Vuitton to ogle goods we could only dream of affording on a student budget.
We continued on with our walk, toward to Louvre, with a stop for lunch at a small bistro where we gobbled down Nicoise salads and cheese. Just outside the restaurant we stumbled into a souvenir shop and decided that berets were a necessary purchase.
When we arrived at the Louvre, we didn’t go inside and browse the art, but instead created our own by taking a few pictures with out new berets and the infamous Louvre pyramid.
Next we walked along the Seine, admiring the merchandise sold at the stalls set up next to the river, until we got to Notre Dame. Again, we didn’t go inside, but rested our tired feet while admiring the architecture and laughing at other tourists taking pictures just as ridiculous as ours. At this point we headed back to our apartment, with a brief break for banana and Nutella crepes, to get ready for our evening out.
We started with dinner, where I struggle getting some delicious escargot out of their shells, and then returned to the Eiffel Tower to revel in her beauty at night. I’m usually fairly low key traveler, but when I saw the Eiffel Tower start to sparkle I let out a shriek. And may have done a little dance. I finally realized. I’m traveling. I’m in Europe. This is what I’ve always dreamt about.
Our last stop of the night was the Quartier Pigalle for a show at Moulin Rouge. While I wouldn’t recommend this show to anyone (think topless cruise entertainment), a walk around down the Boulevard de Clichy is extremely entertaining.
Though we hadn’t spent a long time in the city, we flew out happily knowing that in 24 hours we’d managed to experience a little bit of Parisian magic.