TRAVEL: PARIS

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I've been back in Canada for three weeks now and I'm still daydreaming about this trip! Ian's hockey season ended and we were lucky enough to head on a 10-day mini Eurotrip.

We flew from England to Paris, bright and early and started our adventure. We landed and took a train to Belleville. A quick 30 minute walk to our hostel, we were quite early to check-in, so we dropped off our bags and sat down to see what was nearby. Père Lachaise Cemetery was only five minutes up the road, so we knew we had to go! Established in 1804, 110 acres, Père Lachaise is the most visited cemetery in the world. It was super cool to see! I'd definitely recommend going, especially if you're a Buffy fan! I felt like I was in an episode, although it was daytime. Wouldn't want to walk around there at night. 

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After walking around for about an hour we headed back to the Hostel to check-in. We stayed at Les Piaules. We were in a room with two others, who we barely saw throughout our three day stay. Communal male and female bathrooms were nice and not far from our room. Beds were surprisingly comfortable and we both loved having a privacy curtain. 

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We locked our bags up and then headed down to the bar for a quick free beer, which the hostel gives you upon arrival. After a few drinks we headed to a local cafe for some lunch. Had an epic meat tray! The menu didn't have English, so we were expecting more of a charcuterie board with cheeses and meats, but meat was all we got, haa!!! Still super tasty. 

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After lunch, aka a tray of meat, we walked to Parc Buttes de Chaumont. Such a beautiful park; lots of trails, spots for picnics, a grotto, waterfall and a temple. Also, featured in the show Friends on a poster, which I'm obsessed with, so we just had to go. We definitely recommend bringing a blanket and wine. 

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We explored the park for a while and then headed back near our Hostel to grab dinner, as it was getting late. Dinner in Europe is usually around 7pm or later. Most restaurants don't open for dinner until then. We ate a Pizzeria Tripletta. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD! Our first pizza in Europe and it didn't disappoint. Wood fired pizza, tasty wine and very friendly staff. Definitely a go-to if you're in the Belleville area.

Day 2

Woke up and had breakfast at the hostel. Coffee/tea, croissant and a baguette for 7 euros. Pastries were fresh and coffee was hot, couldn't complain.

From there we walked to Notre-Dame de Paris. As Ian would say, just a really big church. Really was a beautiful cathedral and we couldn't have asked for better weather to walk around. The crowds were out though! We even saw several officers with crazy big machine guns. :|

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We explored around, taking in lots of beautiful architectures, saw The Louvre, had some espresso and even more croissants! I'm a romantic so we had to hit Pont des Arts (Love Lock Bridge). Unfortuently since the locks are quite heavy, they started cutting off the locks in 2015. People still continue to add them though on the street lights and other objects. We bought a lock and added our mark. :)

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Had a quick lunch a L'Imperial, a restaurant across from the famous Tuileries Garden. Sandwiches were good, but this is a pricey area, might have been better to get something quick somewhere else. We went to a convenient store, bought a bottle of Prosecco and then headed to Angelina's to buy a treat. We bought an eclair to share and after eating it, regretted not buying more goodies. This bakery is GOOD! Go here for sure. We then walked to Tuileries Garden to have a little picnic. This place was stunning and we spent several hours here! It was a beautiful place to have a picnic, read a book or to just people watch (which is exactly what we did). 

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After a while in the park, we walked to Arc de Triomphe. Along the way we saw lots of shopping and crepe shops. 

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We did lots of walking this day, and it didn't stop here! After a couple drinks at a local cafe we were on the move again to Sacré-Cœur Basilic. The basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. I highly recommend you take the trek to see this view. There is lots of stairs, so if you're not into walking, maybe catch an Uber instead. Once you get to the top, the view of the city is breathtaking. Photos do not do it justice!

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We spent some time here basking in the view and sipping on some French wine. It was honestly just so lovely. We also got some gelato and it was to die for! Once we finished the wine we headed down for dinner as we were both starving from all the walking. We ate in Montmartre, at a small little restaurant called La Poutre. We ordered the fondue and it was delicious! We had a window table, which was a nice view of the street. Saw some crazy parking skills that gave us a good laugh. 

After dinner we decided to walk off all the food we had just consumed. It was quite the walk and a bit sketchy since it was night time and our hostel wasn't in the most popular area. Definitely recommend not to walk around near Belleville/the train station at night. 

Day 3 - Final day in Paris

Woke up and had breakfast at the hostel again. Can't beat 7 euros! We then walked around for a few hours taking in the views of our neighbourhood and along the way to our lunch spot. 

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We found a local outdoor market and walked through taking it all in. They had everything from food, to clothing. After the market we stopped in at a cat cafe for some lunch. Ian and I are huge cat lovers, having two orange kitties at home. The cafe was called Le Café des Chats. Cats were super friendly and came over to us almost immediately. One in particular really liked to snuggle! 

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We had some guac and salsa and then walked to the Pantheon, which wasn't too far. Huge building with some nice steps where we stopped for a bit to have some tasty macaroons. 

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After visiting the Pantheon, we walked through Luxembourg Gardens. Very well kept park but since it was raining we didn't stay as long as we wanted to. 

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Rain was stop and go so we walked through Luxembourg park then through a few shops here and there. We ended up getting a bottle of wine and sat in a small park which we didn't write the name down unfortunately. Cute little place where we hung out for about an hour. It really started to come down, so we found a close restaurant to get some french onion soup to warm us up. We stumbled upon Café Varenne. Really nice staff and the soup was SO good. This is the only french onion soup I had on our trip and it was delicious. If you're nearby, definitely go. 

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We stayed here for a while to try and let the rain pass, but it never let up so we left and found a espresso shop to get a pick me up...then a crepe shop to get some crepes.

We walked around some more near the Eiffel Tower, awaiting our 9pm tour. I was told to do the Eiffel Tower at night because the view of the city is just stunning, and it was! Nothing like Paris at night.

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Once we made it to the Eiffel Tower I was so beyond happy I couldn't even worry about any rain. It was so beautiful and completely took my breath away. We took a tour up to the very top and the views were insane. Despite the pouring rain, it was still beautiful and we really enjoyed our tour guide. 

Paris was a very cool experience and I will never forget our time here. Stay tuned for my next travel post, reviewing when we were in Rome! 

- Char. xo