We decided to skip the included Fragonard Perfumery tour. We only had one full day in Paris and wanted to make the most of it, and didn’t really care about learning about perfume when there was so much more to see. We (me, Jacinda, Kelsie, Lauren, Andy, Cole, Scott, Paul, Chloe and Bree) took the Metro and went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. We climbed 284 stairs… although at the time it felt like 1000. It was totally worth it, though. The view was so beautiful. The view from the top of the eiffel tower is spectacular, but at least at the top of the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel tower is in view. It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny day and because we were there when it opened, we didn’t have to wait in line for very long. I can’t remember how much it cost for our tickets, but I feel like it was no more than 7 euros. I know that we all got a discounted rate because we were all under 26.
After we had taken enough pictures, we walked down the Champs Elysées. At this point, Cole, Chloe and Bree went to do their own things. We looked at all of the expensive shops and it was a beautiful walk. We stopped in to the famous Laduree for their macarons. I tried three flavours; Marie Antoinette, which was blue and sort of tasted like honey/vanilla & lavender and I also tried salted caramel and lemon. I loved the caramel but lemon was my favourite. Then we took the Metro to the Notre Dame. It was absolutely beautiful and I feel like I got to see more inside than I did last time.
Then we took the Metro to the Eiffel tower to see it during the day and to have a picnic lunch. We all bought mini bottles of wine and I had a croque monsieur. We sat on the grass near the tower and ate and drank and chatted. It was so nice and probably one of my favourite things I’ve ever done.
Then we took the Metro to the Louvre and looked around to take pictures outside. There wasn’t time to go in, so I’m really glad that I’ve been before. I really would have liked to have spent some time at Musée D’Orsay, but again, not enough time. Oh well, I know I will visit Paris again 😉
For a few souvenirs I bought a two beautiful scarves that have subtle large eiffel towers & ‘Paris’ embroidered on them. One in a nice cerulean blue for me, and in shades of gold and brown for Mom (she asked for a scarf in this colour scheme). And, in keeping with tradition, I bought two more prints to add to my travel art collection. I got one print of a Moulin Rouge poster and another of showcasing the Eiffel tower for ‘Les prevoyants de l’Avenir (Grande Fete)’.
We had a nice walk through les Jardins Tuilieries to our meeting spot at 4pm. We went back to the hotel to get ready for the Moulin Rouge. Last time I was in Paris and I went to the Moulin Rouge, it was probably the best night of my life. This made it one of my most anticipated parts of this trip and I was certainly not disappointed. It was even better than I remembered. There is something absolutely magical about that place. I would consider it an absolute ‘must-do’ for anyone visiting Paris. It is very pricey, but so, SO worth it. I’ve seen it twice now, and I would go over and over it. It is definitely the best live show I’ve ever seen. The costumes are stunning, the dancing is spectacular, the music is infectious and aside from the famous can-can and all of the wonderful choreography there are stunts, gymnastics, animals, magic, comedians, EVERYTHING. I could go on and on about this show. I am a little obsessed. As for the meal, this time around I tried foie gras (duck liver pate) and I really liked it. We had some delicious red and white wine, and champagne. For my main, I had a nice white fish (I think it was Bream, I’ve never heard of it before) in a cream sauce with really good mashed potatoes and kale. Dessert was a three layer chocolate mousse and it was all delicious.
After the show we went to a bar down the street called O’Sullivans. It was kind of odd to go to an Irish pub in Paris, but I guess this is where Contiki always takes everyone. It was still really fun. The drinks in Europe are so expensive, though. It was approximately 8 euros for a single mixed drink (about $12 CAD). Jacinda and I ended up splitting a bottle of house rosé. We had a really great time dancing with everyone, as it was our first big night out as a group. On our cab ride back to our hotel I remember us Canadian girls being exceptionally confident in our French speaking skills…
After the bar, we (me, Jacinda, Kelsie, Lauren, Andy, Cole, and Chloe) hung out with Alex, our tour guide in the lobby until about 4am. It was a big, long day and I love Paris even more than I remembered from last time.