Vin and I spent last week in Paris and it was tres magnifique! It was even more beautiful a place than I’d imagined, and a city I can definitely see myself returning to in the future. We rented an apartment in the Bastille area, the kind of place with creaky wooden floors and a classic Parisian balcony overlooking the street. If you’re traveling to Europe, I highly recommend renting a flat! We spent so much less than we would have at a hotel, with the bonus of lots more space and feeling more connected to the city.
The metro system in Paris is fantastic, and we used it to slingshot ourselves all over the city. We managed to hit most of the arrondisements, including Montmartre which offers a great view of the city and Versailles, which is definitely worth doing, simply for the jaw-dropping gardens if not the crazy overdone palace.
One of the things that amazed me the most about Paris were the gardens. They were all over, and they were stunningly beautiful. I imagine there is always work for gardeners in Paris!
Despite a bad rep stateside, I found the French locals to be nothing short of delightful, friendly and kind. There is nothing more charming than a smiling woman behind the counter at a patisserie exclaiming “Bonjour!” while handing out baguettes or more welcoming than two strangers simultaneously pushing down a seat on a metro car when they see a traveler overwhelmed by her many bags. Vin and I speak no French besides the pleasantries of bonjour and merci, but kindness needs no subtitles.
A few things really surprised me about Paris in June. One–it was freakin’ cold most days. I packed for some chilliness, but found myself wearing at least three layers much of the time. It also rained quite a bit. And by rain, I mean torrential downpour with occasional bolts of lightening. But the most interesting (and great!) thing was that it didn’t get dark until almost 10:30 at night! It made our days feel so long and when you’re on vacation, that’s exactly what you want them to feel like!
Toward the end of the week, our good friends Bridget and Chris arrived in town! Here we are at their flat, ready to go out for Chris’s birthday celebration! We also met up with a local Parisian friend of theirs named Pierre, who Bridget and some of our other friends met while traveling in Dublin several years ago. Not pictured is Bridget’s fantastic uncle Richard, who also traveled from New York.
I absolutely fell in love with the way Parisians dress–there’s a casual effortlessness to their fashion, and they are so, so chic. Proper black leather jacket and a white boucle jacket might need to hang in my closet soon.
I definitely have a lot more pictures I’d like to share, so I’ll have a few Paris related posts coming up in the next week, mis amis.