18.07.2008 - 22.07.2008 18 °C
Paris is one of those city's that you either love or (I cant even say it)...hate. Ask someone about encountering rude people when travelling and Paris will almost always come up. We stopped into Paris 2 years ago, and only stayed for 3 nights and still managed to cram in most of the main sights. Truthfully, I didn't really have an opinion we just tried to fit to much in. I have wanted to return since, and after much nagging, Rishi booked some flights!
First off, well publicised, Paris is one of the most expensive city's in the world, especially as a tourist. Knowing that we resigned ourselves to paying a bit more than usual for a hotel. I was a little shocked on arrival to find a room which barely fit a double bed, but that's Paris, never mind that you would get a room at the Stamford Plaza for the same price in Melbourne! We stuck to our previous plans of flying late Friday and arriving in time for a late dinner. Except the Dublin Airport has been having major problems with there Radar and our flight was over an hour late! (I had only just got back from a work trip to Zurich on Wednesday so that's two delayed flights in less than 3 days!) But we arrived and checked in by about 11pm just in time for quite a late dinner!
Next day we were ready to go, we decided to check out Bastille first to see a few places that wouldn't be open on Sunday. It was a nice leisurely morning.
We found a very typical French Brassiere for lunch, just of place Bastille called Brassiere Bofinger
I went for the house special, the mixed sausage plate (with Sauerkraut!)
It was a very filling but fabulous lunch
After a lot more exploring around the Bastille area we wandered up to the Pompidou Centre
We missed this place last time and it was great to be there on a sunny Saturday with a full plaza with live busking etc.
I was happy to be wearing a t-shirt in the sun, we had already been out all day. We grabbed a small dinner after our huge lunch at a Creperie restaurant on the square, then headed into the Pompidou
The building has a long escalator up the front of the building which you can ride up to the top
This is the view from the top towards Sacre Cour
Self taken from the top of the Pompidou Centre
We check out way to much modern art, but it certainly was a great collection. They also had a Architecture exhibition on Jean Nouvell, quite a famous French Architect which was very interesting
We stayed at the Pompidou until closing time at 9pm, and then started walking back towards our Hotel via the Louvre
We had planned to do more that night, but after leaving the hotel at 10am we got back at 11pm after a long day of walking around. We crashed!
We ventured back over the Bastille another day, and checked out the daily market.
It was actually one of the better markets we have been to, and we stocked up on food for a picnic lunch
As usual we stopped for a few coffees along the way
We ventured to one of the best picnic spots in Paris on the other side of town, the Sacre Cour
Once you weave past the quite aggressive Africans selling friendship bracelets its a top spot to take in Paris and get some sunshine
After quite a leisurely morning we decided to head back towards the main sights and caught the metro to Arc De Triomphe
We checked out a few places on Champs De Elysee and had a beer in one of the very expensive street side cafes
Paris is huge so you really need to use the Metro, we didn't last time and almost killed ourselves walking around. We got pretty good at it this time.
We had thought about going out to a Good restaurant, but after looking at a few places you need to book pretty far in advance and the prices are a little scary. But once you are there you forget about the cost, so last minute we decide to try our luck at one of the better restaurants, thinking that if we can get in we go! And we got in! It is a place called Senderens, formerly the Three Starred Lucas Carton, the owner handed back his stars to Michelin in 2005 and opened a more accessible relaxed restaurant.
Our view from the table at Sendersens
It was a great dinner, but we had planned to see the Eiffel Tower at night, but after finishing dinner after midnight it was to late to trek out to the other side of town
Rishi had to pose in her new coat out the front of Ralph Lauren, (its not Ralph Lauren though, its another French brand)
Back on the Metro again
On our final day we walked out to the Eiffel Tower, we got there early and it wasn't too busy. And the view is still amazing
The time went so quickly again, but at least this time we took it easy and saw what we managed to get to. There is always next time to see everything we missed!