4 days in Paris – part 1

We’ve just returned from our 4 day holiday in Paris. Our trip was wonderful – it’s only a shame we couldn’t stay longer! We managed to miss the French transport strikes which started just after we left.

Paris is both beautiful and romantic – a perfect place to visit on our anniversary. I found Paris to be a city steeped in history, cultured and refined but also bustling and alive! During our 4 days we visited plenty of the city and enjoyed all of it 🙂

We arrived late on Friday night after taking the long bus ride from Beauvais Airport – the remote airport that Ryan Air uses for their Paris flights. Our hotel – Ouest Hotel – was good, not the newest or the flashiest but our room was more spacious than others we’ve stayed in, the staff were friendly and the location and price were excellent. I would happily recommend it as a low budget place to stay in central Paris.

We started our first day in Paris by walking up to Sacre Coeur and through Montmartre. It was fun to walk the narrow streets around Montmartre and through the painters square where artists display their work and sketch portraits for the tourists. Many years ago this area of Paris is where artists like Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh produced their work. It was a tad too touristy with the crowds of foreigners and kitchy souviner shops but still fun all the same. The view from Sacre Coeur at the top of the hill was great.

In the afternoon we took the Metro over to the Eiffel Tower. We decided to pass on going up the Eiffel Tower as the queues were long and the wind was cold! After getting the obligatory snapshots with Paris most famous monument we walked along the Champs Elysees and back to our hotel to rest. After dark we took an ‘Illuminations of Paris’ coach tour- a drive around Paris to see all the beautiful buildings and monuments with their night lights. The Eiffel Tower stands out especially at night when it is lit up and flashing with an overabundance of bright sparkling lights – bling bling!

We reserved our whole second day in Paris to see the Louvre. We arrived early and headed straight to the Grand Gallery to see the most famous painting at the museum – the Mona Lisa. She is small, covered in protective glass and surrounded by snap happy tourists. After this first stop we made our way methodically through room after room after room of paintings. The Louvre is overwhelmingly big and you definitely couldn’t see all the collections in one day. Quite often during the day I found myself walking with my head back, admiring the ceiling! The Louvre building itself is a work of art. Originally a palace, some rooms were incredibly ornate and very impressive. Photographs are not allowed in some places but in others we were allowed to use the camera without the flash. It was a very long day at the Louvre but well worth it.

There’s so much to write about! We’ll fill you in on the rest of our trip with some photos soon.

Comment from Mum- Wendy on 2007-11-15

Sounds wonderful Kat. So pleased you didn’t write yours in French.

Comment from Gill on 2007-11-15

Glad you had such a great time! Reading your story is like being there again but there’s no way I got to stay at le Louvre for a whole day! Well done!