Paris isn’t something that I could describe into words unless I absolutely had to. As if going abroad for the first time wasn’t scary enough, my first stop was Paris. To put it into simple terms, landing in Paris and just taking in the city while I was riding my cab was quite overwhelming. It was like listening to John Mayer’s “Free Falling” and just swaying to it (inside my head) as the Eiffel Tower was twinkling with us.
I reached my hotel at around 8.30 pm and was reunited with my sister who came from the US and just had a 7-hour flight (I am sorry if I sound annoyed but we travelled for some 11-12 hours). Anyway, putting that aside, we soon ordered dinner and started to plan the next day in Paris. The first thing we did was to book a night cruise for the next day and decided to spend the rest of the time just walking around the city.
Also Read: A Brown Girl’s Diary Of Her First EuroTrip
Paris Forcing Me To Exercise
As someone whose only exercise is usually just getting into a cab, walking around the “City of Love” was quite a tough ordeal for me. But I am glad we went around on foot because this city is staggeringly beautiful. The pictures don’t even come close to what Paris has to offer. (But let me confess that we took a cab one time, to the Paris Tourist Office at the Hôtel de Ville Welcome Centre because we didn’t know the way.)
Then, we had a hearty breakfast – after which we felt a little broke (I am not kidding, the entire bill was 46 euros, which was almost triple that what we had planned to spend). Following this horrendous (but scrumptious) mistake, we took a calming walk along the Seine River. There we found kids running around, musicians just playing under the bridges and people going out for a run. The walk itself was so relaxing and we could see different cruises on the river as well.
As we had almost reached the famous Musee du Louvre, we thought we’d just check to see how crowded it really gets on a Sunday. To our shock, the only crowd we saw was outside, with people trying to take ridiculous pictures with the famous ‘Louvre Pyramid‘. To be honest, I did join in the ridiculousness as well and successfully took some “model-like” pictures with the pyramid – it was quite tough. (At this point I would just like to thank my sister for tolerating my silly behaviour and would also like to apologize for embarrassing her internationally. Hehe.)
Because Mandatory Tourist Selfies And Souvenirs Are A Must
After each one of us clicked our mandatory pictures here at the Louvre, we took a stroll in the nearby Jardin des Tuileries. This public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde and has nice gravelled pathways that have been a popular promenade ever since it opened to the public in the 16th century.
The garden was made on the site of a tile-works (Tuileries), within the old walled city of Pais on the banks of the River Seine; today it is a lovely place for walking. It is filled with groves, plantations of tall trees such as mulberries – with those in the middle being elms. There are also pomegranate trees, fountains, and fish-ponds that are perfect places to relax. Which we also did; we found some relaxing chairs and took a break for a few minutes. After we were rested, and while we were looking for an exit, we found some little souvenir shops. We did what any good tourist would do, and bought some souvenirs.
An Eiffel Disappointment
We next visited the world-famous Champs de Elysees. This avenue needs no introduction; visited each day by nearly 300,000 people, who come either to admire its majestic monuments or enjoy a shopping spree, it always has something going. And that’s exactly what we found; some musicians entertaining the crowd, high-end street shops, and tourist-trap-restaurants among the remaining luxury flagship stores of brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Dior.
The view of this tree line avenue with the imposing Arc de Triomphe landmark is nothing short of majestic. After a horrible ice cream experience that contained a mixture of PISTACHIO and chocolate (ugh), we walked to Eiffel Tower thinking that we must visit this iconic wrought-iron tower on the Champ de Mars before our night cruise.
“Oooh, Its A Bridge”
Sadly, by the time we reached, it was 6 pm; and looking at the long queue, we decided that it was basically pointless to think we’d make it up in time as we had to be on the cruise by 7.30 pm. Disappointed, we walked to the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, from where we were told that boarding would begin 30 minutes before departure. So, to save time we grabbed coffees and (like every Indian when any flight lands), we were the first ones to stand in queue for boarding.
On our river cruise, we enjoyed sightseeing in the heart of Paris for an hour and let me tell you: it is worth every cent. I am glad we picked the night cruise because our tour began with a twinkling Eiffel tour and ended with the same. The energy of this one-hour long cruise was insane. We covered the most beautiful monuments of the city: the Eiffel Tower, the Musee du Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and so much more. All during this trip, there was a lot of collective ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, when these different historic monuments were shown, and loud cheering was involved every time we crossed a bridge (there were many).
Also Read: 25 Unusual Things To Do In Paris
So let me clarify that on our very first day in Paris, we walked for four hours with very few breaks; so it was no surprise that we were super tired when we finally returned to our hotel. But staying true to our nationality, we ordered some paneer masala and garlic naan for dinner and gobbled it up before collapsing on our beds. I am so glad I wore shoes for this day because my second day was a horror show due to the choice of my footwear. You can read all about it here.
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