Journey Off The Train to Paris
After leaving London, my tour group hopped off the train to enter the prestigious city of Paris. Our hostel was not that far from the train station, but it seemed we walked for hours dragging our suitcases across the pavements while watching Parisians in their everyday life. My inner child wondered “do you know where you are? You are in Paris. You should be as excited as I am although you may have lived here all your life.”
The architecture was refreshing to view; different than the young United States. Walking down this street was also the first time to see a Black Parisian in person and not on T.V. They spoke in their French accents. I wondered the history of their ancestors; considering our forefather’s history isn’t so lovely in the U.S. They stared at us like we were cute little puppies coming out of a dog house. And I admired them for being in one of the coolest places in the world.
It was night time so we couldn’t start our adventure yet. We only had two days to explore the wonderful city! We checked into our hostel, and they greeted us very kindly. We drank the night away, celebrating on our journey to Paris!
The City of Lights
This day, I would experience something I thought was not possible ever in the world: explore most of Paris on foot. Yes, on foot. Our tour guide knew where she was going, and we put our trust in her. Before we knew it, she turned around and said, “Ok, that’s it, that’s Paris.” This one of the benefits of booking a tour! You get to see just about everything, save a lot of time planning things yourself, and have peace of mind. Book a tour on your next vacation!
We met up with our tour guide in the lobby then took a train downtown. My inner child syndrome began to resurface, seeing all the cool Parisians on their scooters slicing through traffic). We all stopped and took a picture with the “gold man” in which my tour guide told us later it was common courtesy to leave a tip. Wupsy. She wanted us to visit one of her favorite cafes in Paris, so we stopped there first. The people were very kind and entertaining. They took our order with gladness. Having already eaten at our hostel, I ordered an espresso, and it was delicious.
Our first stop was the Notre Dame or “The House of God and the abode of men.” Yes, just like the Disney movie. My inner child became excited again! We already had our tickets and scooted through the line which was not that long. We made our way counterclockwise through the cathedral as we admired the architecture and paintings. The place was very calming, and candles lit everywhere.
We made our way out of the Cathedral and continued on foot down the streets of Paris. There was so much to see everywhere. Fabulous engraved figures everywhere and my eyes wanted to admire all of it at once. We graced our way to the Louvre as we each took turns taking the famous finger picture. Even decided to jump for joy amidst the area. There were people everywhere wanting you to purchase a “selfie stick.” At every turn, “selfie sticks, selfie sticks.” As a pointer, don’t make eye contact, keep going, they will leave you alone.
We reached the famous Love Locks Bridge. The small one. Did not know two? We were at the Pont de l’Archevêché. The other is at the Pont des Arts Good thing we were able to see the bridge while it lasts. Just last year it was announced the bridge would be taken down. Also to sell the locks on the bridge to homeless refugees. Think that is a great idea!
We finally turned down Rue Saint Dominique, headed to our next stop, the Eiffel Tower. First, we stopped by Starbucks for rest (Starbucks is everywhere). Then we stopped Artisan Boulanger, which offers different kinds of pastries that were colorful like candy sitting in the class window. The closer we got to the Eiffel Tower, we snapped more pictures in the The Tuileries Garden, and along the Pont Alexandre III which had beautiful status full of gold. Then finally ended our tour with a picnic on the lawn of The Parc du Champ de Mars. There was an event going on the other side, so we remained in the garden. After our picnic, our tour guide left us on our own to get our reservations ready for the next part of our day. We all decided to take a trip up the tower. (Learn more about my visit on top of the Eiffel Tower in a later post!)
Dinner and Wine Tasting
We took a cab back to the hostel, for none of us wanted to walk back to the train station after our walking tour. We cleaned up, chilled out, to get ready for the next part of the day. Meeting first in the lobby, we started on foot to eat dinner at a lovely restaurant called Les Fabricants. The waiter hugged all the women on tour and was very charming. My concern was if the restaurant had much in store for me being a vegetarian. Surprisingly they did. I ordered a healthy salad and a drink. Pasta would have been great, but I was able to eat “my pasta” in Italy in the next few days!
After dinner, we made our way to a wine tasting also family owned. It was a nice quaint shop on the street called Le Lleme Domaine. Again, they greeted us with kindness. They had our wines and CHEESE ready. They made their own wine and alcohol. It was the best wine tasting I’ve ever had! There were so many varieties of cheeses that were delicious (the meat eaters said the meat was delicious as well).
After our fantastic tasting, we headed back to the hostel. It was dark, and some went to a night club, the rest of us decided to eat crepes! We stopped at a small kiosk on the side of the street. They made them from scratch right there in front of us, and it was so freakn’ good! Never had anything like it. We ate and chatted it up while walking back to our hostel.
Last Day in Paris
First eating an excellent, hot breakfast our hostel served, we headed out to explore Paris on our own. A few of us stopped by the post office, but I wanted to explore Paris on my own. So I went solo dolo! If you haven’t noticed already, I love architecture and taking photos of buildings. It reminds me of the good of human beings, being the maker of such vivacious designs.
Walking among the locals was an amazing experience. I have a great sense of direction so wasn’t worried about getting lost. I can mentally draw a map, placing checkpoints on streets and turns. Even was amazed by a hair weave found on the street. As if I wasn’t aware that Parisians wore weave, still was happy to say I spotted my first hair weave on the cement of Paris. I soon turned down a street of small shops, restaurants, and graffiti. Even sat on a bench in a delightful park, taking in the Parisian air.
My last day in Paris as a local was lovely. It felt like a commercial or movie that you see on television. Now I was living the dream! I made my way back to a checkpoint and had lunch at a restaurant. Connected to their wifi, drank some fabulous Chardonnay, checked in with family back at home, and others on tour. Finally took a cab back to my hostel, and we checked out for the next adventure!