Tuesday, 5 April 2016

À Paris

I recently returned to Brighton after a few weeks of travel with my cousin from Canada. She visited me for two of my three weeks of spring break and we had an amazing time exploring together! One of our destinations was Paris. I'd only been once before when I came with my youth choir years ago and my memories of the city are a bit hazy. In all honesty, group (ahem, parental guided) trips are wonderful in that they allow kids to travel and become more cultured, but it's so much better when you can control your schedule.

We stayed in an apartment in Saint Germain, just a minute walk from the Seine River and about ten from the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was an amazing location! There were tons of restaurants and cafes extremely close to us, but it was great to make some of our own meals - I mean, it's all about budgeting for students, isn't it? We only spent three days in Paris so our time had to be capitalized. Our weather for the three days was less than ideal: dreary, cool, and rainy. But, Paris is still beautiful in the rain so it didn't really hinder our plans.

From Paris in Four Months

We took the Eurostar from London and hit the ground running in the afternoon! On our first day, we hit up the Musée d'Orsay and the Jardin des Tuileries. Perhaps most importantly though was our trip to Ladurée. There are various locations in Paris, not to mention the globe, and we went to the original shop. And then we ended the night grabbing some pizza from a bistro a few minutes away from our flat!

Our second day was filled with all the touristy stuff. I don't think seeing the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe will ever get boring, but the hundreds of tourists with selfie sticks does. My favourite part of this day was going to the Sacré-Coeur. We climbed up the 300 - 300 very narrow - steps and took in the skyline. Though it was a cloudy day, the view was magnificent.

Our third day was mostly spend wandering around Le Marais. Upon learning about the Paris-Brest last semester during some research for a French project, I set out to find the best one in the city. Though it is the only one I have actually ever tried, it is without a doubt the best one I will probably ever taste. I read lots of great things about La Pâtisseries des Rêves and put it on my list of must-do's. This was one of the best decisions I made the whole trip. I could hardly contain my excitement when I found out they have one in London... The location we went to was just past the Nôtre Dame so we stopped to take some pictures there first. Our day in Le Marais was so relaxing - we window-shopped, actually shopped, followed our noses into bakeries, gazed down the many alleyways. Our stomaches brought us to Wild and the Moon Juice Bar and the exquisite Jacques Genin chocolaterie. We also visited a memorial site for the Paris attacks, Place de la République. 

We missed our train on the last day due to numerous metro delays, but it was actually a blessing in disguise. We checked our bags into the lockers and headed out for a few more hours. The day before we were meant to try the famous Parisian hot chocolate, but we were out of luck at the locations we tried. So, we ventured over to Le Marais again to grab a bite to eat and a sip of chocolat chaud. Needless to say, it was delightful to have the extra time! 

I didn't expect that pot to be enough for two people - I was wrong.

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