Eiffel Tower

Being in Paris even for just a few days was amazing. Unlike some places we’ve been, most people are familiar with Paris to some degree. Whether you’ve been there or not you have some image of Paris, even it is only the Eiffel Tower. It was fun to be in a place we felt familiar with, yet was completely new. It is everything I imagined and expected it would be. It is a larger than life kind of city, given a mystique from all its appearances in books and movies. There really are lovers tangled in a passionate embrace on a bridge overlooking the Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background…whether they are Parisians or tourists I couldn’t tell you.

We arrived in Paris with no place to stay due to a Couchsurfing communication fail. It is not generally our approach to show up in town with no plan and certainly Paris wasn’t an ideal place to start. However, as usual, we found that by remaining clam, not freaking out and continuing to search for a solution, everything worked out just fine.

After several hours spent at a shopping mall with free wifi, we actually found ourselves quite a good deal through Airbnb. It was our very own flat in the  17th Arrondissement with a quick metro link to all the places we planned to visit. Really, things worked out better than fine in this case.

Paris Flat

On our first full day in town, we took a tour of the Paris Catacombs (check back in a few days for that post) saw the Arc de Triomphe (which sits in the middle of the craziest roundabout you’ve ever seen),

Arc de Triomphe

walked down the Champs d’Elysee, stopping for macaroons

Paris Macaroons

and to see the car showrooms, which are unlike any car dealer you’ve ever visited. They have race cars, concept cars and little toy cars.

Paris car showroom

And I am pretty sure I discovered my next car – a Renault Twizy (although possibly not in this color/pattern).

Twizy!

I had some vin chaud (hot mulled wine), we wandered the Christmas market

Paris Christmas Market

and then after dark went off to find the Eiffel Tower.

Did you know it does this?

On day 2, we took an Eiffel Tower tour, went to the top for an amazing panorama,

From the Eiffel Tower

grabbed coffee and a croissant

Cafe and a Croissant

and headed to Pont des Arts (the “love lock” bridge),

Pont des Arts

 

Notre Dame,

Notre Dame

then for hot chocolate at Angelina’s (which was a lot like Paris itself, decadent and expensive, but worth it)

Hot Chocolate at Angelina's

and a quick visit to the Louvre.

Louvre

Louvre

Although our Paris visit was brief, we covered a lot and still felt relaxed as we strolled the city streets. We found ourselves falling in love with Paris, as so many have done before us.