Becoming Cultured, One Weekend At A Time

I’ve been in Paris a little over a week but it honestly feels as if I have lived here for over a month already. The days are long but full of new places to explore, foods to taste and things to experience. I am never bored, often absolutely exhausted but never bored! Saturday was one of those fast-paced, see-all-do-all days. The amazing thing about Paris is that you can walk pretty much anywhere, and boy did we walk! After meeting a friend for un café au lait in one of the many Paul’s that are dotted around the city (a chain of boulangerie/patisserie/café-type place that do great coffee and even better cakes!), we headed to Montmartre to visit la Basilique du Sacré-Coeur. Did you know there is a gift shop inside the church??! The view of the skyline was amazing from the hill and the walk back down was a lot easier than the hills we endured on the way up!

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Not surprisingly a little chocolatiere caught our attention on our stroll down the hill…. Impressive, non?

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Après ça, we walked to the Moulin Rouge (and promised ourselves that we would watch it en français soon!!). As it only opens for shows late at night, there was no way of going inside for a snoop – photography inside the theatre is strictly forbidden anyway! Before I leave Paris, I am definitely going to splurge and attend a show including dinner and champagne.. perhaps when mummy dearest comes to visit. If you’re going to visit the Moulin Rouge, you may as well do it in style!!!

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We then jumped on the RER and made our way out of the city to visit the Château de Versailles. I cannot put into words the beauty of the palace. Each room we entered was even more breathtaking and intricately designed than the last. It truly felt as though I had stepped back in time. The pictures below speak for themselves. Did I mention we got in for free? Being an EU citizen under 26 has its perks!

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The last tourist activity of the day was to walk up the top of the Arc du Triomphe. There are 284 steps to climb in order to reach the top and after walking ALL day, including the length of the Champs Elysées to get there, I was relieved to finally get to the top. The view was spectacular and at 8pm on the dot the Eiffel Tower lit up and started its hourly five minute sparkle. Formidable!

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And so ends my first official week in the city of lights. Aujourd’hui, there was a ‘Pro Heterosexual Marriage’ Protest (I’ll let you think about that one yourselves….!) with three separate marches converging at the Eiffel Tower, so my normal quiet area was buzzing with people chanting, drums banging and music blaring. Singing along to alors on danse while drinking tea and reading French Cosmo in my apartment in Paris is not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

À bientôt,

Charlene

xoxo

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