Travel

#213 Paris Planning

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As i’ve mentioned a million times, i’m heading off to Paris for a few days at the end of the month. When i’m having a bad day, this is one of the things that keeps me going. Today hasn’t been a great day so this evening I sat on my phone browsing Pinterest for some ideas on where I’d like to visit when I’m there. I’m going with the truly lovely Hayley from Strangeness & Charm and she has made it very clear the places she wants to visit; the catacombs, Musee d’Orsay, Paris’ cat cafe & La Favourite Cafe. I’m cool with all of these although I’ll probably be terrified out of my wits in the catacombs! We both want to drink coffee, we both want to eat pastries, fresh bread, macaroons.. yes, we’ve talked about food a lot! 
When I go somewhere, I like to do as much as humanly possible. Even if I hardly sleep! I try to do so much in case I never make it back. Paris will be no exception, in fact I’m unsure if I’ll be able to sleep for wanting to do things! I hope Hayley likes early starts as that’s the way I was raised. When I was a kid my dad would have us up at 6am on every holiday and cram so much in that when we came back we all felt like we needed another holiday! But ever since then, that’s how I’ve always approached a holiday. I don’t do the lying on a beach thing. I do the seeing the world thing.
I have a board dedicated to beautiful places on my Pinterest that is now filled with places in Paris I want to see. I’ll admit, they’re all the popular tourist places, but they’re the places i’ve grown up loving. The places i’ve seen in the movies. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been to Paris before. When I was 11 on a school trip. For starters I don’t remember, I had one disposable camera barely enough to photograph all that I wanted. This time I will have my camera around my neck and I will snap away enough photographs so I can remember these three days for forever ever. I’m already swept up in the romance of Paris, I always have been. But I also think Paris is beautiful, here are a few place I really want to visit, if Hayley will allow. 
Les Deux Magots, the beautiful cafe in Saint-Germain-des-Pres that some of my literary heroes Hemingway and Brecht frequented in the 20s. I imagine it’s expensive with it being such an ironic cafe but if I could just sit and drink a coffee in there I’d be happy. It’s been a dream since my days of studying to visit this place. And it helps that Saint-Germain-des-Pres is one of the places I want to visit. I want to see the abbey and walk down the boulevard and head towards Place de la Concorde. 
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The Louvre is one of the few “big” tourist attractions I didn’t get to see last time I went and I really want to go. The Louvre is one of the most important museums in the world and it houses some of the greatest pieces of art and artifacts known to mankind. I have ALWAYS wanted to go here, to see the Mona Lisa, the beautiful glass pyramid and I know Hayley would really like to see the Egyptian artifacts. I love a museum and whenever I go to a city museums are top of my to visit list, right next to landmarks. Seemingly I can get in for free if I show my passport, can anyone confirm this?
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Yes, I am aware I’m single and I am going to Paris with a female friend and no we are not lovers but that doesn’t stop me wanting to go to Pont des Arts or known to tourists, Lovers Bridge. There is a chance I’ll never fall in love again and have a romantic getaway to Paris so I have to go while I’m there. And besides, I do have a love of my life, although it is in a non-romantic sense of the word, my daughter. Without her I wouldn’t be here, she saved me and I love her more than I could ever imagine loving anyone. I’d love to put a small lock for us, as it could only ever be just the two of us. Yes, it’s not the same thing and maybe some people might consider it wrong. But I do love her unconditionally.. and besides, it appears there is a great view of Notre Dame from this bridge!
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Possibly my favourite place in the whole of Paris is Montmartre. The beautiful bohemian quarter in the shadow of possibly one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris, Sacre Cour. Montmatre is the bohemian village from Moulin Rouge and it still the place where all the artistic types hang today. I have always adored the bohemian ideals so this place appeals to me for so many reasons. We’re actually not staying too far from Montmartre and a visit to Paris just wouldn’t be complete without a wander around the area, for me anyway. I went inside Sacre Cour last time and as I’m not a huge fan of churches I wouldn’t mind giving that a miss but I do want to do the long climb up to it, the views are beautiful from the top!
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It’s probably cliche to say that I am excited about seeing the Eiffel Tower again, but I am. It’s like for me, going to New York and not seeing the babe that is the Statue of Liberty (and I actually want to find the Statue of Liberty used in National Treasure, I believe it’s the Pont de Grenelle one) it’s just something I can’t deal with! I do of course want to go up it, but I am worried my vertigo will return like when I was up the Empire State Building, but I definitely want go to the first or second level. The other part of going to see the Eiffel Tower would be going on the carousel! Not only is it a beautiful carousel, something I’m a complete sucker for but it’s right in front of the Eiffel Tower!
I’d also like to walk along Champ Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, the magnificent monument to honour those who died fighting the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Visit Place de la Bastille, I think Hayley might be interested in that.. but I think I might of got that confused with her love for the band.. And of course I want to see Notre Dame, again though i’d be content with seeing and not going in. I’m really not the church type! I’m not going to have many euros with me just because I can’t justify heavy shopping that close to Christmas and this trip for me is more about seeing the sites.. and of course the food.. lets not forget the food!
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Have you been to Paris? Are there any restaurants, bars, places or shops I should try and visit?
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