Un Week-end à Paris: Day 1
Last weekend I turned 23. I wanted to spend my birthday in my favourite city this year, and so, with a strong sentiment of wanderlust, an urge to keep my hand in with the French language and a desire to indulge in some Patisserie-Architecturey-Baguettey goodness, I set off on the Eurostar to Paris.
Amazingly I was able to bag Eurostar return tickets and a two-night hostel stay in a fab hostel in the 19th arrondissement on the canal for a mere £150. With my sister and one of my best friends Robyn keen to accompany me on my petite aventure française, we packed our spending money, along with some unusually light baggage, Elle magazines and nibbles for the journey.
Arriving in the Gare Du Nord on Saturday afternoon, we made our way to our hostel - St Christopher's Inn, Paris Canal, (métro stops Laumière | Crimée) - and were absolutely chuffed to find out that we'd lucked in. With really modern, clean facilities, 25% off of food in the hostel's restaurant and a buzzing bar full of fellow travellers, we dumped our bags and headed out sightseeing as time was of the essence.
Despite the recent attacks in Paris, and a higher than usual number of police and army officers present around the city monuments, the atmosphere really wasn't austere or tense. Our bags were checked whenever we went into large shops or indoor venues, but this in turn made us feel extremely safe and so our plans were not at all affected.
First stop was La Tour Eiffel, bien sûr! Walking around Trocadéro at dusk was beautiful. No matter how many times I see it, the Eiffel Tower is always breathtaking. With the wind battering our faces and our scarves and gloves keeping the cold from frosting our fingertips we took a stroll around the carousels and lapped up the view.
Walking through the streets of Paris, past les bistros et les cafés all lit up with fairy-lights, we made our way across Pont Alexandre III with its decadent monuments and stunning views towards to bustling Christmas markets of the Champs Élysées. Hot mulled wine clutched in our mitts, we meandered along with the smell of roasted chestnuts permeating our nostrils, up towards L'Arc De Triomphe.
Waiting in the queue huddled together like three peas in a pod we were glad to get inside as we made our way up towards the rooftop viewing platform. There were a LOT of stairs to climb, and our glutes and legs were aching like crazy - but in the name of a Kim K booty we powered on to the top! The views were phenomenal as it was a black, clear night and we were lucky enough to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle as it hit 8pm.
Dosed up on the incredible Parisan views but with rumbling tummies, we headed back to the hostel to eat in the restaurant and plan the following days. I had a ginormous burger cooked à point in le vrai style français, and the girls and I shared a bottle of wine. In true hostel style, our roomies came in at all hours of the night, but c'est la vie when you're doing Paris on the cheap... earplugs are advised!
You can read day two's blog post here!