adventures and holidays: paris

Back at the beginning of July, I started a series about adventures and holidays, I’m pretty sure that my next holiday will be somewhere in the UK mainland rather than jetting off somewhere far away and sunny. For now, a girl can dream so I’m going to share my adventures (or plans of adventures with you.

This time we’re off to….


For as long as I can remember I’ve loved France. I’ve been to Dunkirk and stood on the beaches that were once stormed by soldiers, I went to Bayeux and saw the tapestry (it’s really long!), I’ve also been to Strasbourg. But all in all, Paris is my favourite so far.

A few years ago, we were able to go to Paris for a weekend, while we were there I kept a log of where we had been on each day. I’m pretty sure that I did write about the places we had been and the experiences we had had but in case I didn’t here a sort of summary.

In Paris, you can often find that you are less than 500 metres from a Metro Station. We got a two-day pass for the Metro – this was about 30 euros in total for both of us – it’s kind of the equivalent of a Travelcard – I think if you are there longer it’s worth looking at the equivalent of an Oyster card.

We went to look for the Statue of Liberty’s sister on Alles des Cygnes but while we were there the island was closed so we weren’t able to go and see it up close. We visited the Eiffel Tower actually during the day but on our way home from dinner one evening we could see the lights on the Eiffel Tower lighting up the night sky.

I thought I had been to the Shakespeare and Company book shop (37 rue de la Bûcherie, 5e, Quartier Latin.) but having started writing this I’m not entirely sure. Oh well, Shawn who used to run Bedford Book Connections tells me that when I next go to Paris, it needs a proper visit. This is also sort of tied to a film theme (oh man I’m beginning to sound like Scarlett from From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara).

In the film Julie and Julia, Julia Child (Meryl Streep) goes to the Shakespeare and Company bookshop to try and find a French cooking book in English, unfortunately, they aren’t able to help her. A few years ago when Chris and I went to Paris we went and stood on the Pont Du Alexandre (and took some silly pictures) I then took Chris on a bit of a wild goose chase trying to find the apartment Julia Child once lived in at 81 Rue de L’Université. I think when we were in Paris I had got this wrong and so I stood outside what I thought was the building semi-complaining about how it looked like a really rubbish office block. You can find out other Julia-themed places to visit here.

Pont du Alexandre
When Chris said we were going to Paris I had a heap of places to visit having watched Amelié – what can I say I’m a film nerd who likes to visit places from the movies! Montmartre is the main area featured in the film but it also appears in others. Following a trip to La Grande Defence, we caught the Metro to the Sacre Coeur. When I was in Sixth Form I went on a trip to Paris and I remember looking out the window of the coach at the Parisian skyline and seeing the sunshine reflecting off the building and decided that when I came back to Paris that was where I was going.

There are three main options for getting from the Metro to the top to see the church. The easiest is by the funicular railway which runs straight up the side of the hill. The next is the stairs which run alongside the funicular – most definitely not for the fainthearted! Chris decided that we’d take the stairs, I did two flights of the stairs and was dying (I had a chest infection and was just getting used to my inhalers for Asthma. At one point I had a bottle of water in one hand and my inhaler in the other, I didn’t want it to beat me but it nearly did. By the time we had made it to the top I really didn’t want to see it I wanted to curl up and sleep.

La Sacre Ceour
All in all, I do really love Paris, it really helps if you can make the effort to speak French while you are there. I think most people are often more grateful that you’ve made the effort and then will help you in English anyway. I asked a chap where the nearest supermarket was and he pointed over my shoulder to a Monoprix – the one that we found near the Champs Elyseé has a clothing department on the ground floor level and then you go into the basement for the food section – I’m guessing this probably makes it look a bit more appealing from the street level.

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