Written by Jenn
Paris was our last stop before we returned home to Edmonton for the summer. After two weeks in Montpellier, we finally drove a full day north to Paris. We stayed in an apartment in Marne la Vallee (the cheapest we found was 100 Euros per night for all 6 of us), a 40 minute metro ride away from Paris, where Euro Disney is. It was cheaper for us to stay far away from very expensive Paris and use our 5 day Paris Visit Pass (50 Euros per adult, kids half price) on the Metro. Ironically, we didn’t go to Euro Disney.
Ten days in Paris is really not enough time to see everything. The City of Light is geographically massive. Unlike cities like Dublin, Istanbul, and Rome where the tourist sites are all concentrated in one area of the city, making everything accessible on foot, in Paris, you pretty much have to rely on the metro or a rented bike to get around. We used the metro A LOT.
Our first day there, we spent with my good old highschool friend Lisa. She’s been living in Germany this past year, and took the train to spend a beautiful day with us. Lisa, we’ll always have Paris!
Paris is stunning. It is one of those timeless cities that one can always discover something new with every visit. We still have so much more we want to see in Paris. We plan to return next year to explore more of Paris’ beautiful neighbourhoods, museums and historical sites -like Musee D’Orsay, Musee Rodin, Centre Pompidou, the Palace of Versailles….and eventually Euro Disney.
But let’s not focus on the things we didn’t do in Paris. Instead, let’s focus on the things we did do. Below are the things we enjoyed during our ten-day Parisian adventure:
Walking the Champs Elysees
We walked down this famous shopping strip a couple of times during our stay in Paris to peek into the windows of expensive shops. It occurred to me that I should have taken a pic of the Louis Vuitton store (for friends back home) to illustrate the Champs Elysees being an avenue of prestigious luxury shops, but I don’t really care for expensive handbags.
Visiting the Arc de Triomphe
This famous monument which stands in the centre of Charles de Gaulle Place honours the French soldiers who’ve fought and died during the wars.
Under the Arc de Triomphe lie the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower
We saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time with our dear friend Lisa. This incredible monument represents not only Paris, but the entire country of France. It was a busy Saturday full of locals and tourists. Below are a group of people practicing capoeira.
We returned in the evening later in the week to discover first-hand why Paris is known as the City of Light and enjoyed the spectacular city view at the top of the tower.
Exploring Notre Dame
We wanted to see this famous cathedral where the story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame took place. Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica is fashioned and named after this one.
Playing in the Luxembourg Gardens
We had a blast here playing in the children’s playground and watching the kids play tag on the grass with a friendly French boy.
Seeing the Pantheon
Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, this secular mausoleum houses the remains of France’s distinguished citizens and famous people such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Victor Hugo.
Moulin Rouge means Red Mill in English and is where the famous Dancing Can Can Girls were born.
Pere La Chaise Cemetery
We spent an eerie afternoon at the world’s most visited cemetery searching for famous people’s tombstones. We found the tombstones belonging to Chopin, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
Oscar Wilde’s Tombstone
Chopin’s Stone Angel
This gorgeous basilica sits on top of Montmartre hill and is one of our favourite landmarks in Paris. They were celebrating their 125 years of Perpetual Adoration, which means that people have prayed there non-stop for 125 years. Cool!
Exploring Place du Tertre
At the bottom of Sacre Coeur is where talented artists and their easels can be found. We went there for our little artist Lucy. We were inspired by all the art happening at the square. Lucy wants a French Artist’s Easel for her Birthday/Christmas gift.
Palais de Decouverte
We spent a fun Science afternoon at the Palace of Discovery. The kids enjoyed the hands-on science displays there.
Art Masterpieces at the Louvre
You can’t go to Paris without seeing the Louvre! We spent a fabulous day there admiring the masterpieces by world-famous artists. It was such a treat to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa!
Well, that’s a wrap on our 10 day trip to Paris. We surely hope to return again soon to see more of the city.