This summer has been one of the most memorable I've had in a long time. I was blessed with so many traveling opportunities (ALL of which I took! and ALL of which I will talk about in the days to come.)
One of the most epic trips I took this summer was a trip to France where I got to see family I haven't seen in over eight years, meet all the new children born in the last decade, introduce my daughter, visit the home of one of my dearest friends, and of course eat all the croissants and cheeeeese!
The itinerary was epic! We visited Paris, Lille, Velargues, Montpellier, and even spent a few days in a playground in Belgium. Each place had their own fabulous attractions and deserve their own post. Which is exactly what they are getting, starting with the first place we visited, and one of my favorite cities in the world - Paris!
Paris is a magical city full of history, absolutely fantastic architecture, best smelling bakeries, and subway maps containing illustrations of well known tourist destinations - making it super easy to travel via public transport. Here are some of the destinations I visited and really enjoyed:
Tour Eiffel - The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower should most definitely be on everyone’s bucket list, and if you are in Paris for the first time, you must absolutely visit this area and even go as far as to climb the tower to the very top! I have been to the tower many times and have climbed it on at least 7 different occasions (I brag!). And I must say, this place has always felt so magical and romantic to me, and no matter how many times I would go up and come back back down, it never lost its appeal, until now.
Back in the day, the streets under the Eiffel tower were open and easily accessible to the public. People were able to walk around under the tower, take pictures, have dates, picnics, and other gatherings. Now, due to the increased amount of terrorist attacks in Paris, this very unattractive glass fence structure has been built around the Eiffel Tower, complete with security checkpoints. It is still free to roam around under the tower near the entrance, but that experience is different as well. Inside the fence were more metal gate structures, and it just felt a bit closed in, a lot more empty, a bit ugly, and kind of depressing. And while I completely understand the necessity for safety, it definitely took away from the magic I once felt there.
Again, if this is your first time in Paris, definitely go for the experience! The climb offers a lot of history overview and teaches you how the tower was built; it is very educational, a VERY good workout, and if you're on a romantic trip with your partner, you will find a place to kiss on every floor! But if you have done it before, I suggest going to a nearby park, sit by the large fountain overlooking the tower, dip your feet, eat some food, take some pictures and simply enjoy the views from afar.
The Louvre Museum
If I arranged this post based on what I love most about Paris, the Louvre museum would be listed first! I may also be a bit biased because I really love museums, but this attraction just does not ever disappoint! The museum itself is huge! Complete with statues, pillars, paintings- the infamous Mona Lisa hangs there, Napoleon's old homes with original items, items from homes of Kings and queens, and so much more! You definitely need more than a day (possibly more than a week!) to see the entire thing. If museums are not your thing, don’t worry, near the Louvre, you will find the most beautiful little park where you can sit surrounded by castle like buildings, beautiful trees, and just relax, have a picnic, read a book, and just enjoy the views of this super mini version of the Versailles.
Rides Near The Louvre
L'Arc de Triomphe
The arc is nice because it is absolutely beautiful, has great historical significance, and does NOT take the full day to visit! Ha! The line might be a bit long to buy tickets to go all the way to the top, but the views from up there are totally worth the wait! It is also a nice place to just walk around, take some photos, and buy souvenirs. There is a large roundabout in front of it and many tourists like to take the iconic “in the middle of the street -jump with your hands up- with the beautiful streets of Paris behind them” photos when all cars are stopped at a red light.
The street which houses the old cabaret, is probably my favorite street to walk on. The old mill looking house is so pretty, and the street itself feels full of energy! I have not yet seen a show at the Moulin Rouge theater, and if you can afford the high ticket price, I absolutely recommend checking that out, but if not, a simple walk around the neighborhood is just as fascinating. If you are NOT traveling with kids, there are many fabulous sex shops to browse in, as well as the very informative sex museum, which in my opinion greatly surpasses the one in NY by far!
ARcade La Tete Dans Les Nuages
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