We have a list of romantic getaway destinations we’d like to visit, it’s quite long! And we were lucky enough recently to tick Paris off of that list.
We’d started planning our trip a few months previous, because when we travel I’m nothing if not a planner, and the most important thing was finding a place to stay with a half decent view! Well, thanks to air bnb we were able to find a place with probably one of the best views, according to the pics, that we could have hoped for. Check out where we stayed!Apartment all booked, then to plan our itinerary. We obviously wanted to see all the touristy sites, and the best way to do this was through a hop on/hop off bus tour. Also we had to visit the Eiffel Tower (obviously!) and we quite fancied one of those river Seine cruises too, as well as doing a bit of shopping, and eating nice food. We booked a Combination ticket which included all of these things, and printed out the tickets at home to take with us. Now we could just relax and wait for the weekend to arrive.
We were super excited when the weekend finally arrived. We were flying from Southampton Airport with good old Flybe so travelling was very convenient, and the flight was only an hour, so even quicker than some bus journeys. We then hopped in a taxi from the airport to our apartment to drop our bags off, which came to about €50. We were greeted at the apartment by the hosts mother, who spoke very little English at all, and when we travelled the 9 floors in the lift with her to drop our bags in the hallway, we had a very awkward conversation (mainly using hand gestures) about how she thought Char was my daughter instead of my fiancée! Haha! We had to laugh, and the realisation only dawned on her when we showed our engagement rings, which was followed by lots of “trés bon” and “fantastique” and more hand gestures about how Char looking so young, which I reckon was just a nice way of saying I looked really old! 😂 I didn’t take offence though.Bags dropped off and we were ready to explore ‘Gay Paree‘ so first on the list was to pick up our bus tickets from the designated tourist office. This actually proved more difficult than we first thought, we’d grabbed an Uber there but when we arrived we realised the office had moved, and so we had to go on a wild goose chase to find the new location! It was very cold at this point and we both needed the loo, but there wasn’t one at the office, and public toilets were hard to come by, so we just went with our tickets to find the bus stop for our specific ‘hop on/hop off’ bus. We also found this quite difficult, although that’s not really hard when it comes to us! We walked for what seemed like an hour to find the bus stop (I don’t think it was far off!), and we reached it eventually, only to realise that it had been located only 5mins away from where we’d picked up the tickets all along! Now absolutely desperate for a wee we hopped on to the open top bus, found a seat upstairs and took a look at the route map and attractions we’d see along the way. It turns out we were on the longest out of all 3 bus routes, of course we were!! and so it would be 1 hour 45mins before we could eventually get to a toilet! But it had taken us so long to find the bus, that we weren’t going to risk getting off at any point to wait any longer! So we sucked it up to enjoy the ride, which although was very interesting, with some gorgeous sights along the way, it was also the coldest, windiest bus ride we’d ever been on! We were literally frozen to the bone… I thought my nipples were gonna fall off! So that, along with an uncomfortably full bladder, made reaching the end of the route a welcoming sight indeed! And we thought where better to go and warm up and grab a bite to eat, than Hard Rock Cafe! And a lovely treat it was!Obligitary pic of our food from Hard Rock Cafe!After dinner we grabbed another Uber and headed to the apartment to finally check in and take a look at our view, and oh my word it was definitely worth the wait! I can’t even tell you how stunning it was, we literally had a head on view of a very close up Eiffel Tower, and it stood there shining away in all its glory, providing the perfect picturesque scene. The apartment was very snug, but it was clean and had all the facilities we needed, and when we were able to lay in bed overlooking the ‘Iron Lady’ herself, we really couldn’t ask for much more. It also meant we didn’t feel like our time in Paris was wasted if we happened to go back to the apartment early in the eve, because with a view as stunning as ours, we definitely weren’t missing out! And the best bit was that on the hour every hour the Eiffel Tower twinkled and sparkled like her life depended on it! Such a spectacular sight! And if you stay up till 1am you will see all the lights on the Tower turned off so you can just see the twinkling lights on their own. Just beautiful!The Sunday was our first full day in Paris so we were up and out early to really make the most of it! It was another cold one so we doubled up on the socks and wrapped up nice and warm, ready for our river Seine cruise. This was gorgeous! It was freezing again, as you can imagine, but it was lovely to see the tourist sights from a different view point, and with the help of our selfie stick we also captured some fun and interesting pics.After our hour long cruise we had a bit of time to grab some lunch before our tour of the Eiffel Tower. We grabbed some chicken nuggets & chips (not very French we know!) and managed to eat them quickly (it was the only way!) in between dodging the savage birds that thought nothing of swooping really low to try and take them from our tray! We then took advantage of the photo opportunity, as the food stall was right next to one of the famous carousels, which was situated right opposite the Tower.We then walked the short distance to the tourist office to meet our tour guide for our visit to the Eiffel Tower. This was obviously one of the highlights of the trip! We passed through security (there was a bit of queuing, and bag searches etc…) and then we opted to take the lift, rather than walk, up to the second floor where we got to see a 360 Degree view of Paris, along with some interesting facts and a bit of history from our guide. We then took another lift up to the summit, which was included in the price of our ticket (make sure when you book that it includes the summit if you want to visit the top!) although unfortunately this basically took us straight into the clouds. Seriously, we couldn’t see a thing! It’s a shame that on this particular day the top of the Tower was lost, but I guess that’s just the luck of the draw. We can still say we’ve done it, there were some more interesting facts to see, and we didn’t feel we’d missed out on the view as it’s more than amazing from the second floor alone.We ended the tour on the first floor where I braved the glass bottom floor, this was a bit freaky and needless to say I jumped back off pretty quickly! And of course we had to finish with a visit to the gift shop where we purchased our souvenir Christmas tree decoration (extremely tacky but perfect for us) the only thing we were disappointed with was the coffee shop. It completely lacked atmosphere, there were very few seats, and not a lot on offer. A bit of a wasted opportunity in our opinion.We absolutely loved this tour and highly recommend it!.We came down from the tower as it was nearing dusk, the moment they switch the lights on, so it was the perfect opportunity to make our way through the Jardins du Trocadéro, where we climbed the steps to the top, and were met with arguably the absolute best view of this true spectacle. We took many a selfie, of course! And when the lights came on…just wow! Incredibly stunning! We were in this area at the right time just by chance so were extremely lucky, but this is a must, so go on, add it to your list so you don’t forget!As we made our way back down towards the Eiffel Tower, which was only minutes from our apartment, we came across another famous carousel so got snappy happy yet again. Then, although it was still quite early we decided to head back and stock up on munchies from the supermarket opposite where we were staying. We got a variety of pizza, crisps and chocolate (again, not very French!) so for good measure we threw in some frozen snails too, even though the instructions made no real sense, but I thought I’d give it a go as I really wanted Char (almost the fussiest eater in the world…she’s getting better) to try them!! Then we were able to enjoy the evening in the comfort of our pjs after a nice hot shower, under the covers with our food feast, snails included (ok, so Char managed 1 and wanted to spit it out 😂 and I ate about 4 or 5, but the truth is I was unsure if they were actually cooked properly so it put me off eating anymore) and relish the glorious view we had in front of us for the next few hours. It was just perfect.Our final day came too quickly, but we still had time to do any last minute sightseeing, so we took a different bus route and were driven down the gorgeous Avenue, Champs-Élysées. We also got off here to take a look round the posh shopping area, and visit Ladurée (famous for their Macarons) where were bought the most divine chocolate cake to share, and it felt even more special as it was wrapped up all fancy and placed in a box and a gift bag. Definitely worth a visit if you have a sweet tooth! Our last stop was to see the famous Moulin Rouge where we literally had enough time to hop off the bus, take some pictures and grab some last minute souvenirs before calling an Uber to take us back to grab our bags before heading to the airport.We crammed in so much in such a short space of time and we loved every minute. Our apartment most definitely made it for us, and although it was very cold, it was the ultimate romantic destination. Just perfect!“Paris is always a good idea” ~ Audrey Hepburn
2 Birds 1 Love