Another cool thing about living in London is that friends will plan a trip to Europe and we can find a way to meet up with them. That was the case with Paris this summer, when our friends from Seattle visited Paris as part of a trip to France.
Train travel is so romantic in my mind. Austin and I once took an overnight train from Paris to Munich, and it was both uncomfortable and amazing. Thanks to the chunnel, we can get from London to Paris in under three hours, and it’s amazing. We start out traveling through neighborhoods of London, which eventually dissolve into the English countryside. Then there’s the darkness of the tunnel (where I try to forget where we actually are), followed by the French countryside, and then finally the buildings of Paris. Gare du Nord is a fine station, and on this trip was on one of the metro lines that got us directly to our hotel.
We wanted to be near our friends, so we picket Hotel Victoria Chatelet (http://www.hotel-victoria-chatelet.com/en/). It was absolutely fine for what we needed — centrally located, with a fan (which was much appreciated during the hot summer), a comfy bed, and breakfast (though we didn’t partake). I don’t know that I’d recommend it, but I wouldn’t tell people to avoid it, either.
Food and Drink
I mean, it’s Paris. Breakfast every day was a pastry, lunch was a sandwich, and dinner was something French and delicious.
Our friends recommended we get a museum pass, since it would keep all of us from waiting in lines. I’m so glad they did, because it was delightful to just show up at one of the dozens of included locations, pass through security, and head in. Especially given how hot it has been in Europe, not standing in long lines was priceless. For the most part, we joined our friends on their adventures, but we also explored the city a bit on our own.
We started out visiting the Louvre. We avoided the most crowed parts, but still managed to see Napoleon’s apartments (he also knew how to throw a dinner party) and the French crown jewels.
We spent a morning at the Rodin museum with our friends – the sculptures there are beyond fascinating.
We also explored the Jardin du Luxembourg.
I finally got to explore the Paris sewers — kind of a must-see for any fan of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. It smelled down there.
We went to Shakespeare & Co. to buy books.
Saw the Orangerie and the Musee D’Orsay.
Wandered around the Latin quarter, visited the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle.
As always, I cannot wait to go back.