I know…..the lengths I go to to visit my 10th UNESCO site and tick off another bucket list challenge! I’m writing this from the Eurostar lounge at the Gare du Nord, Paris waiting to head back to England having had an extraordinarily long but sensational day in Paris.
When planning this day trip, I had one thing in mind: Instagram. Now, I’m not on Instagram myself but when heading to a new location or even revisiting one you think you know pretty well, you can search terms like ‘Instagrammable locations’ to find out where the best places are for capturing fabulous shots. And the top of most lists is the Trocadero from which you can get uninterrupted views of the Eiffel Tower. Guess where I headed first!
I have taken so many photos of the Eiffel Tower from every conceivable angle today but I’m going to spare you the agony of looking at all of them. The water features by the tower are beautiful and in fact, when I went past there later in the day on a tour bus, there were so many people actually in the water as it’s reached 35° here. Call me ‘spontaneous Sarah’ sometimes but I wasn’t far off contemplating throwing myself into the water with the heat rather unbearable but instead there were many people on the streets thankfully selling bottles of ice water.
Next stop (if you know Paris well, you’ll soon realise how much I was crisscrossing the city) was Sacre Coeur. Just wow! It’s situated on a hill overlooking the city giving stunning views which are meant to be even better at sunset. Montmatre can have a rather complex reputation with many talking about its charm, quaint architecture, etc. and many others talking about its touristy or even risky feel. Yes, just like I read on Tripadvisor, I was approached by countless people asking if I wanted a plastic Eiffel Tower, if I would sign petitions (a known scam) or if I wanted to be sketched by street artists. But with a smile and fast walking, I fought them off! At night time, it gets seedy and in fact risky. But Montmatre during the day is unbelievably charming and I got to eat lunch at Le Consulat, another IG spot.
Having finished in Montmatre, I took the funicular train down the hill and made my way to the Wall of Love. This is so impressive with the phrase I love you written in 250 languages on a grid of tiles and people trying to spot the phrase in their own language. The red sections on there make up a broken heart. The entrance to the Metro in this area is, I swear, the same as the one on the front of my GCSE French textbook about 30 years ago! Just enchanting ♥️
After a stop off at Paris’ duck shop which, had ducks of every possible design, I made my way to see the Notre Dame and another IG point, Au Vieux which was unfortunately shut.
From here, Pierre (who was super chatty and happy to pose) took me on a rickshaw to the Louvre but they had closed ticket sales with no doubt so many people contemplating anywhere to get some shade on a hot day! So no Mona Lisa today. Two bus tours around the city and I’m back at Gare du Nord. In fact, as well as reaching 10 UNESCO sites (with the last one being the banks of the Seine), I ticked off another bucket list experience by going on the Eurostar. Yes, it might have been an early start catching the 6.55am train from Ashford International but the Raymond Blanc-designed breakfast made up for it with Red Leicester, spring onion and spinach frittata, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, tomato, pastries, yoghurt, etc. Let’s see what he has planned for dinner on my journey home!
I think tomorrow’s going to be a pj day! Hope you’re having a good weekend, xx
(P.s. just been notified this is my 200th post! Thank you to every single person who follows, likes and comments….means a lot xx)