Saturday, 7 July 2012


I spent my 24th birthday in dreamy Paris. Okay, so it was hot and busy, but it was worth it. We went up the Eiffel tower. We walked half of the way up and then jumped in the lift for the second half. If you have the energy, I'd recommend you do this too, as the queues for the lift from the bottom are endless. I can't believe able looking people with no buggies or young children were that lazy. The queue to just walk half of it was only five minutes. Yes, it's a bit of a climb, but if I can do it, you probably can too as I'm pretty unfit. The views from even the first level are impressive as the city is quite flat, you can see for miles. I've included some pictures from the very top.

Later that evening we walked up to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, I was all hot and tired from running around on the metro subway and up and down the Eiffel Tower, so I dressed casually, despite it being my birthday. Infact, I was dressed casually the whole time. This might have been as smart as it got! Once I had a birthday cosmo in my hand I couldn't have cared less about what I was wearing. To summarise my birthday = mad times on the french metro subway + visiting the Eiffel Tower + pretty summer dress + cheeky cocktails + comfort food. Amazing.

The next day we headed straight for the Avenue des Champs Elysees in search of breakfast. I must add that as my french is non existent (expect the usual bonjour, au revoir, merci, avez vous, je voudre, je ne comprends pas, parlez vous anglais...) and being vegetarian that I was quite limited in my food options. It's mostly carbs and cheese. I could read the ingredients on packets but that was as far as it got, finding out that everything had meat in it. In fact at one point I had to grit my teeth and bare it when there was nothing but a ham and cheese sandwich which Boyfriend had to pick the ham out of while I turned away. I might have to repress that memory. So my classic french breakfast was this, a cheese baguette and a double espresso. 

We proceeded to walk along Champs Elysees, famous for it's luxury shops, cafes and cinemas. The whole avenue is quite wide with a thick wall of traffic buzzing up and down, lined with conker trees. Like most of Paris, above the noisy babble of people and vehicles the buildings are ornate and grand. Twiddly little wrought iron balconies and tall windowed doors. 

On the west end of the avenue, in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle you will find the majestic Arc de Triomphe. The monument honours those who fought and died for France in both world wars. Underneath it lies the tomb of an unnamed soldier from the first world war and on top burns and eternal flame which burns in memory of the dead who were never identified. Solemn, I know, but quite interesting.

 Our next stop was our bike ride tour of the city. I'm quite glad we made the trip to see the Arc de Triomphe as we didn't pass it on the tour (no doubt because of the dangerous traffic and the super busy pedestrian subway access). The company is called Fat Tire Bike Tours and it was the highlight of my stay in Paris. Our guide was called Pete was well informed, obviously a practised story teller and a good people person teaching us about motorists beeping at us meant 'Welcome To Paris' and how to 'DOMINATE' the road when the group needed to maneuver big traffic junctions in the city centre. I learned loads about the city and it's buildings and monuments. It was so fun whizzing around the city. Now I know all about King Louis the 14th who loved playing Apollo so much in a play that he decided he was the sun king. And about King Louis the 15th who was pretty much a Party King and left little but a square with his name on it at the suggestion of his favourite mistress. They also do tours in London, Barcelona and Berlin and segway tours if you want to give them a try and I recommend that you do! Here's the link to their website.

We cycled past the Ecole Militaire which is right by the Eiffel Tower where Napoleon ascended the ranks in the French Army, through the city to look at the symmetric architecture, past Les Invalides and it's Eglise du Dome (dome church!), the Pont Alexandre III, the Grand and Petit Palais, the Place de la Concorde (formerly known as Place Louis XV and then Place de la Revolucion) with it's massive Luxor Obelisk covered in hieroglyphs that the French won't give back to Egypt 'because it was a gift' and finally past the Louvre museum (I'm so gutted the museum was closed the days we were in town). The whole tour took about two and half hours and you have a pit stop half way through.

I look forward to trying out their Night Tour next time I visit Paris!

A perfect trip to Paris! xoxo


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