If you woke up to this view, I’d say you’d be pretty happy no matter what. With a 24 hour stomach virus I had no choice but to enjoy this bedroom view all day. Oh how terrible for me, I hear you say. Thanks for the pity.
Yes, I was sick on our honeymoon. I know the inside of the Hyatt Regency toilets better than their housekeeping staff.
I’d planned a free day which was to be spent getting to know Paris and its highlights. Instead we did not go anywhere for 36 hours. When we were obliged to check out of the hotel we made a last ditched effort to see what we could. This meant leaving out the Egyptian exhibition at the Arab World Institute. So mad I could puke… again.
Thus I give to you Tiernan and Rachel’s Walking Tour of Paris. A 15km, 3 hour and 3 minute stroll through urban Paree. Although we only walked half of it. Once we reached Notre Dame I called time and we used the metro to make out way back to the hotel via the Eiffel Tower – which we did not ascend because HEIGHTS.
Un. L’Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées
As much a Parisian icon as the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon ordered the construction of this huge triumphal arch in 1806. The Arc de Triomphe was not completed until 1836, well after the emperor had died. It stands at the top of the beautiful shopping boulevard, the Champs-Élysées, at the centre of one of the world’s most intimidating round-a-bouts.
Deux: Musée du Louvre
Walking down the Champs-Élysées will take you passed so many of Paris’ beautiful attractions. For us, this was the longest stretch of the walk because we had to stop for me about a dozen times. We could have spent a lot longer in the Tuileries Garden or looking at the Luxor Obelisk, but I just wasn’t up to it.
I also was not up to queuing at the Louvre! Even in November there was already a long line by the time we got to the museum. Not that we planned to go in, both Tiernan and I have been before. Maybe if I go to Paris again I will be able to do a Louvre blog – it really does need one all to itself. This time we skipped seeing the tiny Mona Lisa from three bodies deep.
That said, I’m in favour of the glass pyramids, are you?
Trois: Notre Dame de Paris
For a full month before going to Paris I was listening to my Disney mix on Spotify. This included plenty of score from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We didn’t see Quasi, but we got to this turning point in our tour just in time to hear the 1pm bells – THE BELLS ESMERELDA!
A block down the road is the Irish Pub, literally Galway, where we sat on sticky leather seats and drank some of the most expensive pints we have ever had.
Leaving here, our walking tour turned into more of a public transport tour. We hopped on the metro and went all of two stops to the Eiffel Tower.
Quatre: Eiffel Tower
Here it is. Up close and personal. Paris in iron. We’d watched it twinkling from our hotel room two nights in a row and, fortunately, the fog had lifted by the time we ascended from the metro.
It was not the most popular monument in Paris when it was erected, but where would we be without it today?
Tiernan and I finished our whirlwind catch up by sitting briefly on a bench in the tower’s shadow. Sitting here is probably where I felt the most clarity in a while. The rubbish. The begging. The hustling. Yet there were hundreds of people who felt the need to be here. To see the tower in person. To take that selfie that is proof they’d been to Paris and seen it.
Paris, 3 hours is not enough to know you.