Wednesday, 6 July 2016

My Trip to France: Part III

This is the third and final instalment of my posts on my French trip (here's the first and second post). My boyfriend and I really had an amazing time and I would highly, highly recommend a visit to Paris if you're looking to get away. It was especially wonderful as a couples trip! Paris is an absolutely stunning city and I've been really itching to tell you all about it! 

We got to Paris by train, so we had the opportunity to explore the area surrounding the Gare du Nord station: Marais. It is in abundance of shops, stunning architecture and pleasant cafes. There wasn't a lot to do, but it was really nice to walk around. We spent a good 5-6 hours all in all exploring Marais!

Before I went, I knew Paris wasn't going to be like it was romanticised to be. But I have to admit, my expectations were above and beyond exceeded. There were some areas that were seedy and rough London-esque, but they weren't too rough or that big. I found it really interesting that the beautiful, quintessential paris that we all envision was mixed in with the rougher parts. You could look down two streets side by side to each other, one would look like Peckham and the other would look like a scene out of a romance novel.  It was definitely interesting, though. 
We got really lucky with our accommodation! We stayed at the Hotel Henriette, a small boutique hotel in Les Gobelins. The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming. What I was most impressed with was how stunning it was! I described it to my family after as a "photographers wet dream" because it was literally so beautiful. The decor is so pretty and unique, and definitely plays on Parisian charm.

It was off the main street so it was really quiet, despite the hustle and bustle of Paris. The location was actually perfect, all the sights we wanted to see were anything between a 20 minute walk away or at the very most, a 20 minute taxi journey. In the immediate area, there were cafes, bars and restaurants, even 60 seconds along the road. It was so lovely to have a nice stroll in the evening, find a nice bar and sit down and have a glass of wine. 
 The breakfast wasn't included and was €12, but it was well worth it. It was a serve yourself continental breakfast buffet, with a delightful array of breads, cold meats and cheeses, freshly cooked croissants and pancakes (we watched them being  made one morning!), eggs, fruit and yoghurt. There was an great selection of drinks, too: fresh fruit juices, filter coffee, espresso, a huge variety of teas. The actual breakfast area was really pretty and continued with the general theme of the hotel, with rustic wooden chairs, and decorated with books and flowers. It was a really relaxed nice atmosphere and the staff are wandering around smiling and making very pleasant conversation. 
One of the nearby sights was the Notre Dame Cathedral. If you go to Paris, I strongly recommend visiting the Notre Dame. It's just so pretty, especially if you're lucky with the weather. A couple of years ago I was in Bayeux, and the cathedral there - although pretty - was sort of dark and looming, whereas the Notre Dame is by a river and a beautiful park backs onto it, so it has more of a positive atmosphere. Does that make sense?! 
Notre Dame is truly atmospheric, the architecture is mind blowing! What I loved was that there were street artists dotted about the place with the most stunning pieces on display.
You can walk right along the river by Notre Dame, and the entire way are pop-up book stalls, which are fastened to the walls, "Les Bouquinistes Des Quais De Paris".  I thought it was adorable! There must have been thousands of books for sale, plus postcards, art and souvenirs. 
Between where we were staying and Notre Dame is Boulevard Saint-Germain, which is really worth a visit. It has several big markets, some beautiful shops (including a big Sephora!) and is just generally a really nice place to walk around and explore. 
Boulevard Saint-Germain is also an ideal place to go if you like luxurious yet low key shopping. It's a very chilled atmosphere there despite being quite a busy street (as contradictory as that may sound!), but right in the middle of typically Parisian restaurants, coffee houses and antique markets, you'll find luxury fashion such as Saint Laurent. 
Of course if you are looking to shop, the place to go is Champs-Elysees! However, there really isn't that much more to do other than shop. A short walk from Les Gobelins is Place D'Italie, which is a great location for shopping also. Plus, it has a lovely Italian market. It had live music, food stalls, book stalls; you name it! We had dinner there one evening, at a pizza stall where they cooked the pizza fresh in front of us. It was so yummy!
We decided to give the Eiffel Tower a miss because of the football. I wouldn't have been able to take a photograph of it with the eyesore that is the giant football dangling from it and it just would have upset me! So, given it was obvious we were going to be visiting again, we didn't go this time round. A famous landmark we did go to, though, was the Louvre. 
Because we're not art fans or such, we didn't actually go inside because the queue was enormous, but the exterior was very pretty and atmospheric. It's also very easy to access so, even if you just want to look, I'd recommend going! After all, it is iconic!
The highlight of my trip had to be Disneyland. I first visited when I was 7, and I was so excited to revisit because I had a lot of happy memories there. It was especially magical because I was there with my boyfriend (sickening, aren't I?). 
Disneyland is expensive, but both the parks are definitely worth visiting. Neither me or my boyfriend like roller coasters but it was still thoroughly enjoyable as there's plenty to do for those who aren't ride fanatics. I enjoyed the haunted house and the Pirates of the Caribbean rides the most, so if you're going, definitely put them on your list!

The main street was also really fun just to walk around and explore the shops and themed restaurants. It's so pretty in 1950s style! I loved it. 
 
 I preferred the Disney park, but the Walt Disney Studio park was also a joy to walk around.
Have you visited Paris before? If not, do you think Paris will be on your to-go list? I highly, highly recommend it! Thank you for reading! 
You can also find me on Bloglovin' Twitter Facebook & Instagram    


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3 comments

  1. This brings back so many memories! I lived in Paris for a year near Notre Dame and so it was lovely seeing your amazing pictures. Disneyland was heaven on earth. You're making me really want to go again!

    http://fleurdelailis.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I've loved seeing all your Parisian photos, I went with my boyfriend just a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. Despite the football still being on whilst we were there, we actually hardly noticed it at all, and I was still hugely excited about the Eiffel Tower!

    Emily x | emilyclairewrites.com

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  3. Looks like an amazing trip. I wish I could go to Paris!

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