“Paris is the most beautiful city” they said.
“The the best wine is French wine,” people told me.
“There’s nothing as romantic as getting lost on the streets of Paris,” I heard.
“Oh, these macaroons are fine, but they’re nothing like the ones in Paris,” friends claimed.
I honestly, never wanted to go to Paris because I never wanted to be one of those people. You know the type. F-them. Ok, the truth: I couldn’t go to Paris…because of the money stuff it required to get there… nor did I think I would be going any time soon (again, money. So F-them and their money.
But then, I ended up going to Paris … because it was cheap. Who saw this coming? I did not.
Since we were first in London visiting, then heading to Copenhagen (for the Big Fat Danish Wedding) we ended up with three weekdays to ourselves in Europe. What to do, what to do… being who we are we first started spreadsheets of options with the intent on picking the best city for the budget. With the Euro close to the USD, a beautiful AirBnB and nothing but a train ride from London necessary to get us there, Paris won.
And I regret to inform you all, that I’m not one of those people. I loved it. It was beautiful, it was romantic, the food was ah-maze-ingggg – and I can’t wait to hopefully get back again.
Upon arrival into Paris we couldn’t wait to go see the Eiffel Tower. We stayed in Montmartre – which is on a hilltop – and we decided that we needed to reach the peak ASAP to get a view. So, we began the long, steep climb up to the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur – which it much higher than we expected.
Ugh. I’m exhausted just looking back at these.
Upon arrival to the top we were ecstatic. It was like the feeling when we finally reached the Spanish Steps in Rome – WE’RE HERE! Except, this was different because we couldn’t actually find the Eiffel Tower from on top of the steps. We looked in every direction, pulled out or phones to check maps to make sure we were looking in the right direction, and then gave up. It must be too small to see from way up here. Darn.
So after a quick stop into the church we went exploring the hilltop town. Looking into shops, pretending to read menus, watching artists peddle their goods … it went on like this for about an hour before we starved ourselves into eating at the first restaurant we could get a table outside at.
Kyle and I make a pretty good team, both at home and on travel, except when it comes to feeding ourselves. We just can’t do it. It’s not that we’re too picky or unadventurous – and that’s the problem. We want good food and we want to try new things but we aren’t good at planning out when and where that will happen. So we frequently find ourselves realizing we’re absolutely starving so we eat whatever is right in front of us at that moment (and 9 times out of 10 regret it).
This was one of those times. While it had one of our required qualities (good seats outside on a crowded street for people-watching) it didn’t exactly qualify as french food. I also ordered spaghetti. It was gross.
So by this point the sun was starting to set, our stomachs were full but unsatisfied and we still hadn’t even seen the Eiffel Tower. Whose idea was Paris, anyway? Bad idea.
We were just starting to make our descent off the mountain to head back to the apartment, when we took a wrong turn down an alley, and there it was. It was unmistakable and completely beautiful. I guess coming upon it by surprise put it into a perspective of having no expectations. So we climbed up on the fence a bit and spent the next 20 minutes taking a boatload of photos.
It was just us up there except for a couple girls who looked like students on a study abroad. They left us alone until we were packed up and started to turn around to head out. One literally shouts at us (in a British accent, “you can’t leave now! It’s about to sparkle!”
The memories of the steps we had to climb and the food we ate in desperation were long gone at that point.