Saturday, 25 July 2015

Paris 3-Day Itinerary: Day One

Read Day 1 here - Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe
Read Day 2 here - Musée de Louvre, Sacré-Cœur, Galeries Lafayette
Read Day 3 here - Musée d'Orsay, River Seine, Champs-Élysées

The evening before, we arrived from London to Paris. For the metro, a single ticket cost EUR 1,80 and a day pass cost EUR 8,30. If you are in Paris on the weekend and under 26 years old, you are eligible for Le Ticket Jeunes Week-end which cost EUR 3,85 per day.

First stop of the day was to the Notre Dame de Paris. There was mass ongoing when we visited and unfortunately it became a bit noisy indoors because many tourists were inside hiding from the rain.

Notre Dame de Paris
Inside the Notre Dame
From the Notre Dame we followed signs and walked along the River Seine. To my surprise we saw a proposal in action! At first I saw a group of people on a bridge holding up a large banner that said, "Will you marry me?" Then I looked down the river and saw a river cruise headed toward the bridge with the happy couple at the bow of the boat waving towards their friends. What a nicely timed execution!

River Seine
The famous love lock bridge in Paris had all their locks removed a few weeks before we visited the city. However there were many other love lock bridges around the city. In fact, I saw love locks everywhere from gates to doors to window frames.

Bridge with love locks
Not far from the Notre Dame is the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. It was such a quaint little store and kept relatively quiet indoors despite its popularity among tourists. The scene where the characters in Triumph in the Skies played with the cat in the bookstore jumped to life for me when I saw the purring cat on a green velvet bench with my own eyes.

Shakespeare and Company bookstore
Our next stop was the ever-so-famous Eiffel Tower. Despite it being a complete tourist destination, I actually enjoyed my visit here. We opted for the stairs option because the queue for the elevator up to the top was longer. The elevator cost EUR 14,50 per person and stairs cost EUR 5 for adults and EUR 4 for students.

Base of Eiffel Tower
The stairs only allowed us to go up to the second section of the tower but the height was good enough for a panoramic city view since Paris' buildings are relatively low. In the first section there was glass flooring for you to look down at the queuing people and a small theatre playing a video of the origins of the tower. There was also a restaurant and a gift shop.

City view from the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower by day
We came out to see the tower in the evening again. It closes at 12am but we did not go up again because we wanted to see the tower itself. It gave off a different feel by day and by night. After sunset, the tower sparkles at the turn of every hour in addition to being lit up.

Eiffel Tower by night
A few metro stops from the Eiffel Tower brought us to the Arc de Triomphe which was also beautiful lit up at night. The structure was much larger than I had imagined and I enjoyed standing in the middle as I watched the cars zoom past in all different directions to the 12 avenues converging to that point.

Arc de Triomphe
Read Day 1 here - Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe
Read Day 2 here - Musée de Louvre, Sacré-Cœur, Galeries Lafayette
Read Day 3 here - Musée d'Orsay, River Seine, Champs-Élysées
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