Are you sick of me yet? Honestly, I’m getting a little annoyed at myself… This will be my third and final instalment for the Paris portion of our 2016 Europe trip! (Part 1, Part 2)Hooray! After this I’ll be moving on to Nice, France and Barcelona, Spain. Very exciting.
On our second last day, we woke up super early (like, 5am) to take pictures at sunrise. Alex wanted to take some of the Eiffel Tower and I wanted to have a bit of a cute photoshoot in front of it too. We took an uber to Trocadero and I was a zombie for the first bit of the morning while Alex took his initial shots. He very kindly took many photos of me in what I refer to as my “Paris Outfit.” I have used these photos in many an instagram post, but hey, they’re some of the best photos I’ve ever had taken of me, so why not?!
We made our way back to the apartment to nap a little bit, after which we had breakfast. Nespresso and pain au chocolat if memory serves me correctly. We bought our tickets to Musée d’Orsay right before heading out to go there. I’m really glad we did this because it allowed us to skip a massive line. Highly recommend doing this.
Going to Musée d’Orsay was a huge “must do” for me on this trip. I’d visited Paris twice before this trip and hadn’t been yet. I didn’t want to let this trip pass me by without visiting, especially because I tend to prefer impressionist and more contemporary art (I realize I sound like a huge douche and this is the epitome of a first world problem). In any case, I am so glad we went. I enjoyed our time at the museum so much and was thrilled to see pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, and Manet in person.
Musée d’Orsay is housed in the former train station, Gare d’Orsay. It is an absolutely stunning Beaux-Arts building, and the architecture is worth a visit alone. The art inside is all a bonus. We spent several hours here, particularly enjoying the Van Gogh exhibit, the sculptures by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Antoine Bourdelle, and Rodin, and the large paintings by Manet. I also really enjoyed my moment overlooking the city through one of the massive train station clocks.
Alex and I spent a few hours roaming the various levels of the museum. At points we broke off and wandered on our own; Alex favouring the sculptures and me favouring the paintings. The highlight for me was seeing several pieces from both Van Gogh, Manet, and Monet in person. SO COOL.
After the museum we grabbed a bite at Les Deux Museés; a bistro located directly across from the museum. It was pretty good. We shared a Croque Monsieur and salad and got coffees on the terrace.
After our snack, we wandered over to the Louvre to take some pictures of the grounds. We didn’t go inside this time as we’d both been on previous Paris trips. Then we just relaxed by the fountain in Jardins des Tuileries. This was truly one of my favourite moments in Paris. The weather was perfect, we’d had a great day, and Alex and I were able to totally chill in each other’s company. So, so nice.
We had tickets for the Moulin Rouge that night at 9pm, so eventually we took the Metro back to our apartment to get ready. We grabbed dinner and drinks at one of the patios on Rue Mansart and then headed to the show.
The Moulin Rouge is actually SO important to me. Like, I can’t even explain it. Before this visit I had already seen the show twice before and I would go again and again and again and I can’t recommend it to you enough if you go to Paris. It’s very expensive, but in my mind, so worth it. So unlike any other show you’ll ever see. I’ve cried tears of happiness every time I’ve seen it. It’s just so spectacular and hard to describe. But I’ll try 🙂 …
The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret/variety show with the most incredible costumes you will ever see. It showcases fantastic dancing, singing, acrobatics, magic, animals (I’m sorry–I know this part is controversial!), drama, suspense, the whole gamut! The venue itself is a work of art too. The lights are low, the fabric is lush, the atmosphere is sexy. The efficiency with which the staff seats and serves you is remarkable, too. The Moulin Rouge operates like a very well-oiled machine. They have to! They do 3 shows a night almost every day of the year! It’s incredible. Anyway, we were seated at the 9pm show and we had tickets that included a bottle of Champagne. I was kind of nervous being there with Alex because I felt like maybe I hyped it up too much in the 2 years (at that point) we’d been dating. Our apartment is decorated with several different framed Moulin Rouge posters that I’ve purchased over the years on my visits to Paris and he’s heard me gush about it countless times. Fortunately, I didn’t over-hype it. He thought the show was fantastic too. I was so happy to be at the Moulin Rouge (my favourite place in the world) with my favourite person in the world 😀 If you visit the Moulin Rouge, and it’s in your budget, I would recommend the dinner tickets. I had the dinner the previous two times I saw the show and I thought the food was very good. Dinner is not offered at 9pm which is why we didn’t have it this time around, but if you can snag dinner tickets, I would. That said, I think seeing the Moulin Rouge is so paramount for a trip to Paris and it is very pricey, so go any way that you can make it work! Just trust me on this.
After the Moulin Rouge we were happily drunk from the champagne we drank at dinner and at the show, so we did what any logical people would do at 11pm in Paris and we bought another bottle to enjoy in our apartment while watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at midnight from our balcony. I don’t remember much, but I do know that we were up until 3am and I thought to myself, “life doesn’t get any better than this.”
On our last full day in Paris we woke up and had a brunch of pizza at Chez Pino on Rue Mansart. It was delicious and the owner was actually Italian. Yum. We walked around Montmarte again for a little while, this time going inside the Sacre Coeur and then stopping for a drink at the famed Maison Rose. It was mostly for the instagram opportunity, let’s be honest. It was really cute, though. We bought some souvenirs this afternoon too. Scarves and berets for everyone!
We then made our way to the Arc de Triomphe to see it up close and to take some pictures. We spent some time wandering the Champs-Élysées and admiring all of the expensive stores (in which we did not shop) and the fancy cars (in which we did not ride). I had to (of course) make a stop at the famed Laduree to get some delicious macarons and eclairs. Divine. It was getting late and we were getting tired, so we stopped at a Monoprix and bought some goodies to have an at-home ‘picnic’. Oh, how I miss the convenience of Monoprix. So many delicious, real, prepared foods, salads, cheeses, delicious breads… and SO cheap. UGH. We capped off our last night with lots of wine, bread, cheese, meat, and eclairs. It was perfect and I was so sad to leave. Paris will always hold such a special place in my heart. I am so fortunate to have traveled there on separate occasions with my family, one of my best friends, and now my partner in life. I can’t wait to go back (because let’s face it, I’ll DEFINITELY keep going back).
Paris, I love you.