Un Week-End à Paris: Day 2
Read day one of my Paris blogs here... On day two of the Paris weekender, c'était mon anniversaire!! Rather delirious from a terrible night's sleep I completely forgot that it was even my birthday as I struggled to turn off my early-bird 7:30am alarm. It was all worth it though, beating the hostel shower queues as well as the breakfast rush.
Much to our delight, it was announced that all public transport was completely free on the Sunday and Monday, all thanks to the Climate Change conference that was taking place in Paris over the weekend. So we made ourselves look semi-presentable before hopping on the metro towards Anvers, libres comme l'air.
With the rain holding off and the Sacré Coeur looming over us in all its glory, we lapped up a little Montmartre atmosphere and bought some very overpriced black and white postcards before trekking up the seemingly infinite amount of steps towards the Basilica. Battling our way past the dodgy "looky looky" guys - one of whom forcibly grabbed Robyn's wrist in an attempt to fling a shitty woven bracelet around it in demand for payment- in the process.
The views were stunning and despite having visited the Sacré Coeur on my year abroad in France, I was equally impressed with the stunning Roman architecture, and of course appreciated the beautiful views of Paris, rising from it's Sunday-morning slumber.
Channelling our inner Cara Delevingne's we had a quick photoshoot - the wind ruining our hair completely - before moseying about in Montmartre and popping along to Blanche on the metro to take a whistle-stop tour of the Moulin Rouge.
From Pigalle we took line 12 to Concorde and after asking a very lovely french policeman for directions, we had a delightful little stroll around the Jardin de Tuileries, spying on many a fitness class, before arriving at our next destination Le Louvre. Feeling oh so cultural (but also needing to cram a lot into the day) we had a skirt around the Louvre before hopping on the metro to Saint-Michel and the beautiful Notre Dame!
Arguably one of my favourite parts of the day was re-discovering a gorgeous little boulangerie-patisserie on Rue de Saint-Germain, (located right next to Maubert Mutualité metro station) simply by following my nose in search of delicious pastries! For lack of a birthday cake I had my pick of the gorgeous french patisserie cakes and settled on a Tarte au Citron and a Macaronade.
We bought a cheeky bottle of wine and sat near the Notre Dame with our picnic. Once we were full to the brim of cake we ventured into the Notre Dame to appreciate the phenomenal architecture and stained-glass.
Heading home for a quick nap and to freshen up, we were soon on our way to Bastille for an evening of birthday cocktails and more tasty french food. We stumbled across a lovely little restaurant on Rue de La Roquette (metro exit 1, Bastille) called Café Divan and had the most delicious meal, before moving on to Yellow Mad Monkey (happy hour lasts until 9pm) and later Le Treplay (happy hour until 10pm). Located on Rue de Lappe, these destinations are old favourites from the year abroad and remind me of many happy memories.
A few (okay a lot of) cocktails later, we headed home to the hostel for more drinks and French chat with our fellow hostel-stayers before falling into bed completely shattered! All in all it was a beautiful day and I had the best 23rd I could have asked for!