22 hours in Paris

My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Anika Mikkelson www.MissMaps.com
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

Saturday, Le Tour de France departed from Grenoble at 11:55. At 11:58, after three hours of enjoying the festivities leading up to the grand departure, we ourselves departed- high tailing it out of the park alongside the Bauers to dash up to the third floor apartment, throw out some unneccessaries. The family is midway through a six-week French vacation, and suggested to watch out for too many clothes and books, and to remember a towel! Taking all that advice, I threw out a few outfits and threw in the towel. Quite literally. Bless that family for their suggestions as they will be much appreciated the farther we go.

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We then buckled up our backpacks and the six of us hopped back down the stairs and headed to the station. Though our trains left to different French cities, we unknowingly managed to schedule our trips out of Grenoble just four minutes apart.

Giving each other great big hugs, we parted with ‘au revoir’ and ‘merci’ for those new French memories.

Off to Paris!

Can you ever get enough of it?
Can you ever get enough of it?

If Paris is on your list of cities to visit, keep it there. This mystical city of Northern France lives up to the stories you’ve heard. In a twenty-two hour whirlwind, we managed to confirm some hearsay as factual.

The architecture is grandiose.

Where the Hunchback made his debut
Where the Hunchback made his debut

The cafe is delicioux.

Parisian Cafes Aplenty
Parisian Cafes Aplenty

The Eiffel Tower is as gorgeous in daylight as it is in nightlight. Join the crowd and bring a picnic when you go: baguette, cheese, wine, and chocolate

Selfies!
Selfies!

The line for the Louvre extends longer than any line you’ve ever seen. Think Black Friday sales for every store at the Mall of America bleeding together.

Typical tourists
Typical tourists at The Louvre

There is no Hunchback of Notre Dame. However, there is a man teaching tourists how to attract sparrows to their extended and, and there are clowns on the corner. Red nose and all.

Today's Notre Dame Man
Notre Dame’s Modern Man

It is a big city. Take Ben’s advice and buy a bus pass. Saturday, I insisted we walked to the ‘nearby’ attractions after the long train ride to Paris, Sunday, we bought a pass. Much better

Paris's metro system carries over 4 million people each day
Paris’s metro system carries over 4 million people each day

Love is everywhere, and so are fully decked out brides with their grooms. Wedding photos. Wedding receptions. Weddings! Beautifully happy couples adorned the city, like scenes from a bridal magazine.

Ahhh there it is!
Ahhh there it is!

There is plenty of opportunity to drop some serious cash. We took the train ands stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of town to keep costs down. Buying fruits from the market and keeping snacks with helped too. But if you’d like there is fine cuisine and fine wines to be found all around, and for just 3200 euros per night, you can get a 320 square meter suite at The Peninsula. If you’re really looking for comfortable accommodation, here’s a great list of family-friendly stays around the city!

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The sounds are just as fabulous as the sites. Opening our hotel room window at night, we were graced with the music of a neighbor playing smooth sounds on an electric guitar. Walking down the streets, we passed by a party of voices laughing and floating their way through the cool night air. The whirring of police sirens and honking of horns, it’s all so familiar yet so unique.

Paris Plages (beaches) overtake the roadways along River Seine during summer months
Paris Plages (beaches) overtake the roadways along River Seine during summer months

Twenty two hours after our arrival in the City of Light we were yet again on our way.

With a pitstop in Lille, France, we continue-

The city centre of Lille, France
The city centre of Lille, France
A quick glance at Lille will leave you wanting more
A quick glance at Lille will leave you wanting more

Off to Belgium!

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