When I moved to France, everyone assumed it was to Paris. In reality, I am glad I don't live in Paris because people are nicer in Bordeaux and there are less tourists so it's more genuine French culture. But, Paris is without debate the French city that everyone dreams about -- me included. It is undeniable that Paris has a certain magic that you can't find anywhere else.
A couple of friends visited me from the states & we explored Paris together. We crammed as much as humanly possible (it was probably not human how much we crammed) into 6 days. All the days kind of blur together, so I will just blur the entire trip.
There was wine with every meal and between meals and sometimes wine was a meal itself. (No, I'm not sick of it yet.) There were men playing accordions on the metro & charming waiters and a night time boat tour on the Seine River. There were sweet Paris locals who had no idea how to give compliments and there was plenty of rain. There were crêpes and baguettes and cheese and escargot and fondue and macarons and croissants and éclairs. There was espresso all day long. There was a picnic under La Tour Eiffel.
The Pere Lachaise cemetery was the coolest, free-est thing. It was so incredible to be able to see the graves of Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison & Frederic Chopin. Not to mention the cemetery itself is beautiful and creepy at the same time. I could have photographed that cemetery for a week without stopping. It was one of those moments where I felt like the luckiest girl in the world just to be able to stand there.
A random thing that I have been wanting to do forever is go to a Cat Cafe. Before I even arrived in France I was fantasizing about the "Cafe des Chats" in Paris. What can go wrong with kitties & coffee and dessert? After a long an extremely exhausting day that we couldn't wait to be over - we wound down with some cats. We were pretty much dead inside at this point, but the kitties fixed that as they have a way of doing. These cats are all orphan kitties who were rescued given a second chance. They were allowed to do as they wish, there were even rules about waking them while they slept! These cats were pretty much treated like royalty and everyone there just wanted to love them. I am so glad we made the effort to find the place - I would recommend it to anyone visiting Paris.
Moving on. Our picnic under the Eiffel Tower was a huge bucket list thing. We bought too much wine and champagne, baguettes & little packets of meat and cheese and sat at the foot of the tower and just basked in life. I personally was surprised that it was so easy to just picnic, uninterrupted, under one of the most famous monuments in the world. Do this if you go to Paris, please.
Another neat little thing that we did was visit the Shakespeare Book Company right next to Notre Dame. It is an English library with a really interesting layout, neat decorations and ladders you can climb on to reach high up books, like in the movies. There were so many awesome books that I wanted to buy, but I settled with just one E.E. cummings book with English & French translations.
On our last night after a perfect fondue dinner we somehow managed to catch the night time Easter Service at Notre Dame. It was a completely right-place-at-the-right-time moment. Tons of people were holding candles as preachers read the French bible in complete darkness. It was the most ideal ending to our trip imagineable.
Warning: spooky pictures ahead.
I saved the Catacombs for last in case anyone isn't particularly tickled by photos of human remains. I was completely fascinated. It was definitely the spookiest place I've ever been but I wasn't scared at all. It's hard for me to even believe that the catacombs are a thing in general, and especially that people are still allowed to enter them. If you aren't easily scared and are into history - the catacombs are a must-see in Paris.
There are many, many other things we did that didn't make this post. But even in an entire week we weren't able to cross off everything on our unreasonably large list to-do list. We came pretty close, though. I think that in order to fully conquer Paris, one needs two entire weeks.
Here's to living your biggest dreams! xoxo.