Monday, January 13, 2014

Eurotrip, chapter 4: Pre-Christmas Paris

After our short visit to Luisa's house, we boarded the train bound for Frankfurt for our flight to Paris. That day was mostly travel filled, with a little stop in Denmark, so we didn't arrive in Paris until it was fully dark. The metro was super easy to navigate and we were able to find our line quickly and find the apartment we had booked.

Left: Inside Charles De Gaulle airport, Paris.
Top right: train station in Ösnabrück.
Bottom right: writing in my diary on the train from 
Ösnabrück to Frankfurt

Up until this point during our trip, we had been able to get away with speaking English to everyone we've encountered. We had gotten by with a few greetings in the local language but really not much more.

That was until we arrived at our apartment in Paris, or what Jason and I like call the most stressful part of our tripInstead of the English speaking apartment manager we called at the airport, we were met with a little old French speaking lady who didn't know a word of English! 

Our tiny 20m² Parisian apartment
Hand gestures and animated talking was able to get us some of the way but paying for the room became a problem as we had to ask where the nearest ATM was. Fortunately, we met a lovely Spanish man who spoke both French AND English and was able to show Jason while I waited anxiously in the room. 

Other than that awkward encounter, we were stoked with our apartment - which was positively Parisian (and has apparently changed a bit since we last stayed!). At a small 20m², the little room was able to fit a double bed, a small dining table and even a kitchen which was hidden inside a cupboard! We also had our own bathroom next door. We were close to a metro station, supermarket and within walking distance to most attractions in town. 

Notre Dame
We spent our first morning just wandering the streets without really having a plan and we didn't even realise we were at the Notre Dame when we arrived! To be perfectly honest, I had expected it to be a little bigger so it took us a little while to figure out where we were! It was incredibly humbling being inside a building that had been around for hundreds of years and stepping into the cathedral was like stepping into a whole different world. The stained glass windows were so very grand, as were the thousands of lit candles that decorated the interior. 

Top: Centre Georges Pompidou
Bottom: Stravinsky Fountain
Just up the road was the Centre Pompidou which houses a large public library (the Bibliothèque publique d'information), a modern art museum (Musèe National d'Art Moderne) and the IRCAM, a music centre. We didn't end up going inside as there were massive lines outside that never seemed to be moving but were content marveling at the 25ft free-standing art installation which decorated its exterior.

We had lunch by the Straivinsky Fountain (La Fontaine Stravinsky) which includes 16 scuptures inspired by Igor Stravinsky's major works. 

Left: Marché Franprix - the supermarket underneath our apartment building
Top right: Jason bites into a Croque-monsieur
Bottom right: banana and Nutella waffle from Häagen-Dazs
We found that food was generally very expensive in Paris so we were pretty stoked to have our own kitchen. Most nights we shopped in the supermarket beneath our apartment building for goodies such as cheese, baguettes, eggs and cured meats. Fruit was quite expensive as it was the middle of winter but wine and chocolate was a lot cheaper than back home!

E. Dehillerin
Inside E. Dehillerin
One of our stops along the way was E. Dehillerin. I put this on our list as it was one of Julia Child's kitchen store while she was attending cooking school. Stepping inside was akin to entering some sort of hoarder's paradise. The interior was filled, top to bottom, with pots and pans of all shapes and sizes, chocolate moulds, catering sized pots (ones that I could fit in!) and even the ceiling had ladles and whisks hanging off it!

Tuileries Garden
The Tuileries was a bit bare in the winter and we weren't able to witness the lush green gardens that had been described to us. Instead, we saw bare ground and bare trees which, in my opinion, had a charm of its own. 

Palais Garnier
After seeing photos of the Palais Garnier opera house, I knew we had to visit. Used as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera, Palais Garnier is the epitome of high society and everything lavish. The opera house presents about 380 performances of opera, ballet and other concerts each year.

The Grand Foyer

Next stop: Euro Disney, Paris


  1. I love living vicariously through your travels!!

  2. I'm so jealous! I wish I can visit Paris one looks so beautiful! There are so manyu things to see and eat! Thank you for sharing your photos - I had so much fun reading!

  3. Oh my gosh. It's incredible! I've always wanted to go to Europe. I'm jelly. ;)

  4. Great info, thanks so much for sharing,