Brad said that when I wrote on the blog about Paris I should just say…
“Only have one day to spend in Paris? DON’T.”
He was joking of course.. I hope… but it is true in a way. Paris holds a lot of expectation. The city of lights.. of love.. of romance and history and art. We had one singular day to spend in Paris and knew we had to narrow down our ‘to-do’ list. We chose just a few simple Paris ‘must-sees’ and set to accomplish only those for our short jaunt in the French capital. We picked a hotel near Notre Dame, we plotted our route, and still we ran around the city like crazed maniacs.
First on our list was Notre Dame. It was Easter Sunday so we got a really interesting perspective on this impressive cathedral. There was a ton of added security but we finally made it inside to find it wall-to-wall packed with worshippers. They allowed visitors around the perimeter even during mass. We couldn’t really get ourselves into the middle at all, but the views we got were still amazing and it was so unique to be inside Notre Dame during Easter mass.
From Notre Dame it takes about 45 minutes to get to stop #2, the Eiffel Tower. No problem, we had left ourselves about an hour and 15 minutes. We had pre-purchased a ticket and had an appointment time we couldn’t be late to.
As we walked to the Eiffel Tower, we passed so many things we wished we could stop and see! We passed the Musee de Orsay, the Louvre, Musee de Rodin, The Luxembourg Gardens, some elaborate bridges, tons of shops and cafes, etc. It was so hard to walk past these amazing places and not stop!
We finally made it (after literally jogging) with 3-4 minutes to spare. Thank God we pre-purchased our tickets. The line for people buying tickets that day must have been 2-3 hours long, no joking.
Our trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower and back down took about 3 hours. It was a lot of lines and crowds but… we stood on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower and looked out over stunning Paris, France.. it was a once in a lifetime experience. The experience of riding that long and rickety elevator to the top and then being rewarded with spectacular views.. it was a priceless moment.
Before I bombard you with more Eiffel Tower photos, a bit about the rest of our day. When we got down from the Eiffel Tower, we headed to the Champ de Mars where we knew we could set up the tripod and get some photos with the tower in the background. We knew it would be crowded.. but we didn’t take into account the Easter Egg Hunt that was going on on the large stretch of lawn. Let’s just say standing anywhere close to planned was out of the question.
Brad was the patient one as always and calmly helped scout a new spot. I was very skeptical to set up my tripod with anyone else around, but finding a clear spot was next to impossible. We finally found a spot that worked and shot the photos below.
By the time we finished our photos and the rain settled in, it was 4pm! We hadn’t eaten since our train ride at 6 that morning and to say we were starving was an understatement. We finally had a nice lunch and decided to finish our night in the Latin Quarter. We shopped for some souvenirs and had coca-cola and chocolate/strawberry crepes for dinner. It was divine.
Our day in Paris was a crazy whirlwind, but hey, it only adds to the adventure, right!?
Side Note: Another great spot to get pictures with the Eiffel Tower in the background is from Trocadéro museum/palace. There are always people there too, and lots of construction at the moment, but if you find the right time, there are excellent views from their terrace. We went there at 6am the next morning to get this photo below… my new favorite.