As afraid as I was from all the “researching”, I couldn’t wait to get out of Zurich. My first impression of Paris: it’s a disgusting, festering hole and a cesspool. The train station was absolutely vile and the permeating stench of stale urine would not go away. Walking up to the fourth floor with two large, heavy suitcases along a narrow staircase wasn’t fun either. Carrying said – even heavier – suitcases back down those stairs at the end of our trip was even worse.
It took two trips to the catacombs before we managed to get in. Since it opens at 10 am, we thought if we arrived 15 minutes before we were good to go. We weren’t. After walking around to the front and asking staff, apparently, it would’ve been a four-hour wait. NO WAY! We weren’t going to waste four hours in line, so headed off to the Eiffel Tower instead to walk up some stairs – with only a one hour wait.
There was also a brief visit to the Sacré-Cœur, but that was mostly spent watching out for our belongings, escaping the stench of urine, and watching guys juggling soccer balls on poles.
Our second venture to the Catacombs had us arriving just before 8:30 and we go in probably just before 11 am! Couldn’t believe the line was already so long, but not four hours in the middle of the day long, so that’s okay. It was cold in there, but so beautiful and serene. The amount of graffiti on the walls, though, was disgusting.
Speaking of long lines, the Notre Dame line was hella long. Again, we didn’t want to wait, so we visited the line-free museum underneath instead. Getting in early to try to beat the queues seem to be a running theme in Paris. We headed off early to Versailles, arrived a half hour before opening and lo, the line was long. It moved fairly quickly once the place opened, though. I felt mildly sorry for the people who had waited in line only to get to the front and be told the line to buy a ticket was off to the side.
The palace is pretty epic, but it’s nothing compared to the gardens. I only wished my legs would’ve taken me further.
Finally, time for the Louvre and a side entrance with absolutely no queues!! Is this what heaven feels like? I’m surprised how much I enjoyed the place; I loved the Greek mythology part and it made me want to know more.
Upcoming rant: I hate how everyone crowds around the “famous” art. They’re only famous because you were told they look good. Stahp and look around the room…the other are just as and/or so much more amazing.
The one place in Paris that didn’t have any lines – the cemetery and what a lovely cemetery it was.
Special mention to the Paris Opera House and fangirling at the chandelier. Yup..and all the other pretties.
Pastries. Pastries as far as the eye can see. Breakfast pain au chocolat, lunch croissant, some cheese fondue, and macarons. I never understood the hype around macarons when in Sydney; I mean, they were never anything spectacular, but Laduree in Paris is drool-worthy goodness right there.
How could I go to Paris and not try escargot? It’s tasty, by the way. Different to the usual Shanghainese taste! The first night I tried them it was disappointing, and bland, but we gave them another shot and LOVE!
One strange thing I discovered I am now quite fond of is granola. Had my first experience with granola the last morning we were in Paris and I’m hooked.
If ever I were to come back to Paris, shopping would definitely be the deciding factor. I’m a sucker for all those typical, and at a (huge) discount, those things are even better. So much shopping took place at La Vallee, it was both satisfying and depressing…but mostly satisfying. An extra 10% off the already heavily reduced prices was also amazing…plus tax back on top of that at the airport and of course the feeling was satisfaction.
Can’t wait to go back to Europe, but not sure if Paris would be on the itinerary next time.