Travel

Five Hours in Paris

As you will know if you read my most recent post, I recently took a trip to France. We spent most our time in Disneyland, but took five hours out from all the magic and happiness to spend a Saturday afternoon in Paris.

The last time we visited Paris had been with a school trip so we had spent most our time on a coach, only getting off when our teachers told us to and following a very strict schedule. It has been many years since I used any of Paris’ public transport, but luckily, thanks to google maps, we were able to plan our journey into the city and around all the various sights the night before.

We left from Gare de Marne la Vallée Chessy at around 1:30 and made it into the city just before 2:30. We had purchased all day train tickets, meaning we had access to all of the metro lines and overground trains throughout the day, which made getting around so easy for two clueless eighteen year olds.

Our first stop was the Louvre museum. Entry is free for 18-25 year olds from the EU so we decided to have a wander around for a while. As with most people, the main reason we visited was to see the Mona Lisa. However, AS Early Modern History has ingrained the name Richelieu into my brain so we were first drawn to the Richelieu wing. Not understanding that there was many wings to the Louvre, we were very confused as to why after wandering through what felt like millions of paintings, we were yet to see the Mona Lisa. We then decided it would be best to head back to the main entrance and get a map. It was there we saw the giant poster and sign pointing in the direction of the Mona Lisa. Damn you AS History for leading me astray.

We set off to find the painting, and let me tell you, she doesn’t half make you work for it. We walked, following a massive crowd of people up stairs and down corridors which led to a huge room with hundreds of people inside. People always say that seeing the Mona Lisa is an anti climax. People don’t lie. You always hear about this great, famous painting that you must see but then you see it and you’re just like oh.  The painting is pretty small and it’s not as if it looks more impressive than any of the other paintings in the room. But never the less, I’ve seen the painting now so thats one thing I can tick off my bucket list.

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After the Louvre we headed to the Grand Palais and then walked up the Champs-Élysées towards the Arc de Triomphe. Having seen the the Arc de Triomphe during my last family trip to Paris in 2009, it was nice to see it now after learning about the World Wars during my History GCSE. Molly is currently doing an art project on Life and Death so it was also a great stop for her to get some pictures of a war memorial.

We then caught the metro to the Eiffel Tower. Two years ago we went up the Tower with our school, so we weren’t really interested in paying to go up again. We sat on a bench in front of the Tower for a while which was a great opportunity to get some pictures. I’ve never been to the very top of the tower so thats definitely something I want to do at some point in the future.

Next we went to see the Notre Dame. I don’t recall ever seen the Cathedral and as my ice skating coach used to joke that I looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame at times, I thought it was a must see. It was getting dark by this point so it was so lovely to see all the lights on the water. We even got to hear the bells chime from the towers.

We finally headed back to the train station but luckily we realised it was about to be 7 o’clock and we had a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower over the water, so our last sight in Paris was the beautiful lights on the tower sparkling in the sky.

Paris has so many hidden corners that I’m excited to explore in the future and I can’t wait to go back.

Love, Georgie xo

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