One of the things I miss most about London was the relative ease with which we could visit Europe. When we lived there I think I could foresee this woe, so I took advantage of our proximity to Paris and booked us a weekend on the fly. It seems absolutely insane when I think back on it. A weekend in Paris. How romantic! It all sort of feels like a crazy dream.
We took the Eurostar over to France because it’s the best option from London in my opinion. If you can find a good deal, you can be in Paris in two hours with no hassle. It’s really amazing.
So that’s what we did. We took the train, found our cute hotel, and got out into the city. This was Chris’ second and my third time in Paris, so we didn’t have a huge checklist of things to do. We just wanted to wander about, which in my opinion is the best way to see Paris. (See my article: Paris Á la Carte)
It was February, and the only thing I really wanted to do was go to the Musee D’Orsay, but because it’s Paris there were huge queues even in off season. So we shrugged that off and found something else to occupy our time. Also this trip, we managed to get me to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was years in the making. I had a major fear of heights on our first trip to Paris in 2010, and absolutely would not go up to save my life. This time around, after some therapy, I had decided to go for it. And apparently I felt extra brave that day because we also decided to hike the stairs instead of taking the elevator. This basically led to the one of the best feelings of accomplishment I’ve ever experienced. Watching people take the lift while we struggled up the stairs made me really feel like a champ. Of course, you have to take a lift to the very top, but it was so much sweeter after having walked halfway! At the top, seeing all of Paris stretched before us, I felt amazing. There is no greater feeling than overcoming your fears. I was EMPOWERED!
The following day we did the day trip out to Versailles, since that was also always something we’d wanted to do but had never made time for. The ride on the RER C5 line was quick, and when we arrived we quickly realized that we both could get in for FREE!!!! Chris had free access because he was an EU citizen under 26, and in my case my UK visa counted in the same way! It was glorious! Normally those tickets are €25! Things are always better when they are free aren’t they? This wasn’t widely advertised mind you, but if you are in the same boat, now you know! There is a queue to get in mind you.
Versailles was truly amazing. I honestly could not believe the scope of the place. So if you ever decide to go, leave the full day to explore. The Hall of Mirrors and the grounds were two of the highlights for me, plus a little English village, The Queen’s Hamlet, that Marie Antoinette had made just for her pleasure.
After Versailles we took it easy for the rest of the weekend. We strolled to Trocadero and watched the sun come down on the Eiffel Tower. We watched traffic zip around the Arc du Triomphe, jets of light illuminating the arch in reds and whites. We walked along the Champs-Élysées, soaking in the sounds of the French capital before we grabbed our train back to London.
That was that. A successful weekend in Paris.