Out of all of the places that I have travelled to, nowhere comes close to Paris. Prior to visiting Paris, I knew it was a special place from having heard about it from people who have travelled there previously, but I never knew how special it was going to be.
For my recent birthday, I wanted to mark it by doing something a little different than just a bog standard night out, or to go out for a birthday meal. Not that there is anything wrong with doing those! As always, whenever I celebrate something, whether it be big or small, I like to celebrate things in style! I took along my friend Daniel and we worked out that it would be cheaper and easier to fly from Leeds Bradford Airport, as opposed to travelling to London to catch the Eurostar. We had booked the trip to Paris back in January and I guess I hadn't anticipated just how quickly those months were going to fly by. The day before flying to Paris, I can honestly admit that I have never felt so stressed before, albeit my fault entirely!
I knew that the flight to Paris was going to be relatively short, but even I was staggered as to how short the flight actually was. It had almost felt as though we had landed just as quickly as we took off! As we collected our bags, we caught the Metro over to the 15th District area, the very heart of Paris in which we were staying, and made our way over to Hotel Campanile Paris 15. What had felt like the longest journey ever from Charles De Gaulle Airport to the Hotel, we finally arrived at our stop, and as we walked up to the Hotel, I was completely taken away by just how close we were to the Eiffel Tower. There it stood, just a few metres off in the distance looking absolutely magnificent and grand. I will admit that the Hotel was a little basic, but the staff were very friendly and after all, we were there to explore Paris, not the hotel!
After a quick pit stop and refresher, we began walking over towards the Eiffel Tower and I was truly in awe of my surroundings. But whilst I was in awe and taking everything in, I was also annoyed and irritated. Now that may sound a little strange, but I was annoyed because I had planned and regimented everything down to the time and location of where we were going to be so specifically, that because the journey from the Airport took longer than I had planned for.. It threw me off, and because it had thrown my plans up into the air, I was getting more irritated. After countless photographs of the Eiffel Tower, we began searching for a restaurant and came across Mokus. A chic, trendy restaurant with Neon lighting, strong alcohol, and a calming down from my friend which soon put me to right.
I had been recommended to visit Place Vendome, as that is where all the chic, designer boutiques were, so we caught the Metro there and although we got a little lost, we eventually came across the area. The whole area and atmosphere felt incredibly relaxed and easy going, and the back drop of the designer boutiques such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Commes De Garcons and more, made for a pretty cool photo location. Keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming 'Paris LookBook' shoot on Thursday for those photographs!
Shortly afterwards we walked over to The Louvre and I have to say, it was magnificent! We had arrived just after 9pm so it was all lit up and it looked truly striking. In the distance something caught my eye, and it was the Eiffel Tower's infamous 'Glittering' effect that happens on the hour, every hour throughout the night, and lasts for 5 minutes at a time. As the night went on, I was falling more and more in love with Paris, and all of the iconic sights that Paris had to offer.
The following morning came, and despite my feet being crippled from having walked everywhere the night before, I was ecstatic to be heading up the Eiffel Tower! I was told that the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower was first thing at 9am, just before all of the Tourist Buses came at 11am, and boy am I glad we went when we did.. We went to the very top, and the views were simply breathtaking. Everywhere I looked there was something else I hadn't seen before, and different areas that all looked so intriguing!
After the Eiffel Tower, we then caught the Metro to Champs Elysees and we began to hit the shops. I had wanted a pair of shoes from Gucci, so I had made a beeline there first, but unfortunately they didn't have my size.. So to cheer myself up, we had some afternoon tea at the darling cafe; Ladurée. We then went to Palais Royal for a little photoshoot, (again make sure you come back here on Thursday!) Soon after, I bought myself 'Seven Veils' by Byredo at the uber chic store; Colette, which subsequently made up for not purchasing anything from Gucci! As night fell, we came across a little, quaint restaurant in the Le Marais area, and hit a few clubs. Unfortunately I cannot remember the names of them... Whoops!
The day came to head back home and looking back now, I realised that although planning in advance is imperative and a smart thing to do, sometimes over-planning and being so regimented with timings, it can actually deter you from just letting go and to just live in the moment! I guess that is one of the pressures from being a blogger, always feeling as though you have to capture every single little thing to produce as content, as opposed to experiencing things there and then. But for my next trip to Paris, (which I am hoping will be very soon!) I am hoping to experience the lesser-known side of Paris, and to not be so hard on myself when things don't go according to plan.
Paris, you were magical.