Out With Erin

Exploring the Beauty of YYC and Beyond

Paris is full of sites and opportunities to explore a city unlike no other. We set a big agenda out for ourselves to do everything super touristy that we could, and to see the main must sees on our list. Our first stop was the Louvre. We bought tickets ahead of time online, thinking this would help to avoid massive line ups, but instead it enables you to line up in a long line of people who bought tickets. Big tricksters! Once we went through security, we already had our plan mapped out to explore the Denon section of the museum, mainly the French paintings and the Greek and Roman area. 

No visit to the Louvre is complete without seeing the Mona Lisa, who although was smaller than I thought, was stunning. It was such a neat experience to see such a famous piece of art. 

After our visit, we walked through the brightly coloured Jardin de Tuileries, along the busy Champs-Elysées, to the massive Arc de Triomphe. We waited in the line to purchase tickets so that we could travel to the top for panoramic views of the city. 

The Arc itself was created to honor those who fought for France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Along the arc itself, inscribed on the inside, are the names of the generals, and beneath the arc rests the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I. 

Once we climbed the 284 steps, we were at the top of the Arc, which provided stunning views of the city, including the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Eiffle Tower. 

Seeing the Eiffel Tower in the near distance, made us excited to continue heading to our final destination. We climbed back down the stairs, sauntered along the streets, and finally arrived at the monument that has only been in our dreams! 

In awe, we walked around the Tower, snapping photographs, before settling down in a nearby park for our packed lunch. Having the view of the Tower in the background provided the perfect, and most romantic lunch. 

Deciding that you can’t visit the Tower without actually going to the top, we waited in a ridiculous hour line to purchase our €17 each tickets to go to the very top. Once through the ticket purchasing line, we waited in several more lines for each time we needed to ascend or descend a level. However, the stunning views at the top and the surreal feeling of being on the Eiffel Tower made it all worth while. 

After our Tower experience it was after 7pm, and we decided that we had to stay to see the Tower in the evening. We had a quick pit stop for crepes and an espresso, purchased a bottle of wine, and returned to see the beautiful structure lit up and glowing. We spent some time taking photos, and then sat in the park enjoying our bottle of wine, and wondering, does life get any better than this?

Realizing that we hadn’t ate dinner yet and it was almost 11, we hopped on the metro to head back to our home base location. We tried a cheaper €15 set meal just to see if there was any difference, and needless to say there was. The quality and flavors of the food were lacking, but being hungry and exhausted, we didn’t overly mind. 

For our first course, I had a leek tart and Daniel had a smoked salmon salad, accompanied by a bottle of wine. 

Our next course consisted of lamb for me, and duck for Daniel. 

Finally, we ended with apple tart and profiteroles. For the first time, we skipped our evening espresso, and promptly headed back to our house, our stomaches satisfied and our hearts full. 

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