Ah Paris. It really is as romantic as they say. As I am writing this I am sitting at a coffee shop near the Eiffel Tower trying to stay out of the rain. We are 3 days in to our time in Paris and it has been non stop amazing to say the least. I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.
We booked our hostel super last minute at one of our train stops actually on our way to Paris. The hostel was called St. Christopher’s Inn. A popular youth hostel in La Villette. The hostel was huge and filled with backpackers coming in and out each day. We planned to only stay here one night but ended up staying 3. The first night we were in a 12 bed all girls dorm. Which actually wasn’t too bad. Each bunk was set up with it’s own curtain for privacy and the room had a sink and a mirror to get ready. After getting all set up we went down to the first floor to claim our free drink tickets at the bar. For some reason the bar felt super Americanized and was playing all pop music. This wasn’t where we wanted to be our first night in Paris. We ended up meeting a few people who felt the same and ended up walking down the street to get a couple bottles of wine. We sat along the water of the Basin de la Villette and got to know everyone’s story. Later that night I was sitting out on the steps in front of the hostel with one of our new friends and had my purse right next to me. All of a sudden a guy came out of no where and snagged my purse with everything in it. Even though I was already a half of bottle of wine deep I jumped up and ran after him and he luckily dropped it. I was shaking I was so nervous and can’t believe I was lucky enough to react that fast. (Thanks Speed 101! Haha) So needless to say I learned quickly that I had to be on my toes. Welcome to Paris.
The next day we took a walking tour throughout the city. It stopped at the Notre Dame, the Love bridge, Jardin des Tuileries, and the entrance to the Louvre. It was a good way to familiarize ourselves with the city and the metro- which is actually very convenient! We headed up to Montmartre to see the Moulin Rouge and also headed up the hill to the Basillica of the Sacred Heart with a beautiful view of Paris from above. We ended the night having dinner at a small cafe near the Louvre where we met a couple from Texas celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary. They asked us about our trip and we enjoyed talking with them for a while. Before they left the woman came up to us and told us she would like to pay for our meal. She said she could see one of her daughters doing this trip one day and that she hoped someone may do the same for them. It was the sweetest thing and I almost teared up when she was talking to us telling us to be sure and look after one another. It was their anniversary and they were buying our dinner. Once again I was left amazed at peoples kindness and generosity.
We finished the night drinking wine along La Seine amongst the locals. Here everyone gathers as the sun starts to set and brings out snacks and bottles of wine and just hangs out. Wine along the canal has started to become a daily routine that I could get used to 🙂
The next day we acquired a new travel buddy named Hawk. He was from Australia and was traveling for 6 months before starting vet school. We quickly all became close friends and were now the 3 amigos hitting up the Musee d’Orsay, Champs élysées, Arc de Triumph, and the Eiffel Tower. We clocked probably over 8 miles and ended the night, guess where? Along the canal haha. We had an amazingly packed day and there were so many wonderful things to take in. I can’t even put into words how happy I am.
The past couple days have been non-stop and it doesn’t even seem real. Tomorrow we are leaving the hostel and renting an apartment for a few days near the Eiffel Tower. This second part of the trip is about taking it slow and taking everything in. We plan to spend the next 3 nights living the Parisian way.