I think I mentioned before that up until a couple of years ago, I had no desire to go to Paris. It was at the bottom of my list. I had started to become more and more interested. And now, I booked a trip with my husband for our 2nd anniversary to be one big cliché.
Up at 4:30 in the morning on Saturday, we headed to Munich for our (budget) flight on Transavia to Paris Orly airport. I’m actually glad we went through there instead of Charles De Gaulle and it was super easy to get into the city.
We stayed at Hotel Max, 10 minutes from the Denfert Rochereau bus/metro stop. It was in the south part of the city and a bit out of the way from most main attractions but when we had to leave late afternoon Monday, we were able to grab our luggage at the hotel and then walk only 10 minutes to the OrlyBus. I highly recommend this hotel for the location and price. It was very clean and modern and we were upgraded to the luxury room (not too different from their classic room). We ended up being able to check in at 12pm when we arrived which is highly unusual. Great service too.
Then we were off. Our first order of business was lunch. Obviously. Walking towards the center, we landed at a bistro called Maison Marie. We started off with Champagne…
I had a Caesar Salad and Tim had a Croque Monsieur (essentially fancy grilled cheese with ham and sooo good).
Then we did a nice 8 mile loop around the city (I calculated it after…haha). First up was the Pantheon.
The Notre Dame
Followed by the Louvre (we didn’t go inside, we are too impatient to wait in line).
The walked through the Jardin des Tuileries down the Avenue des Champs Élysées…
…and all the way to the Arc de Triomphe
Where we went to the top (and had a very short line to wait in!)
Then we saw the Eiffel up close and personal.
The only downside is that there are all of these stupid souvenir hawkers all around the tower, ready to pounce on you. We had probably about 10-12 of them come up to us in the span of just a few minutes. Some are relentless.
After this we headed back to the hotel to chill for a bit then we went off to dinner. My husband and I watched Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and the Layover Paris editions so we could get inspired right before we left. We went to a place called Chez Paul in the 11th Arrondissement. Anthony said this place had good cheap French food therefore we listened to him.
Well, the waiter was certainly not the best. He completely forgot to put in our order and even came by asking what we would like to order over an hour after we actually ordered. We ended up eating 2 hours later (luckily the French couple next to us had the same issue). The French couple next to us even gave us their bread because they felt bad. The food was amazing and almost worth that ridiculous wait and being forgotten about.
We did have a nice Bordeaux (excuse the crappy pictures, it was dark out).
I had duck confit with potatoes
And my husband had a steak with a cognac sauce.
Oh yeah and the handwritten menu all in French. Talk about a challenge. On normal menus we can stumble through with Google Translate but this time, we couldn’t even make out the letters. We were just barely able to figure out meals for ourselves.
And that ended Paris day one. More to come!