Tuesday, 17 May 2011

À Paris…

This Saturday morning we left for Paris. We took the early morning train and we headed for the City of Lights. I hadn’t been there for two years and I wanted to spend some nice time with JJ, away from the everyday troubles.

Upon arrival we headed straight to ‘Île de la Cité. The weather was wonderful. It was sunny but not too warm. After walking around a bit, we visited ‘Notre Dame’. JJ had never been inside and I thought to give it a try. It’s an amazing Cathedral worth visiting. The first time I went inside I was surprised that they allow small shops with Paris souvenirs in a church. That’s something you’ll never see in an Orthodox establishment. However, this time I was prepared for this and the hordes of tourists.

Notre Dame

After that we went for a walk at the city centre to see ‘Les Halles’ and the ‘Les Marais’ area. We sat for lunch in a nice brasserie close to the Les Halles forum, where JJ enjoyed ‘Moules Frites’ and I had a massive seafood salad. The place was lovely with reasonable prices when to came to food but amazingly expensive for beverages. A cappuccino and not that great to be honest was €6.5! Then, we headed towards Champs-Élysées for some quick photographs and back to the hotel to check in and get some rest.

Outside 'Centre Pompidou'


In the evening we headed towards Montmartre. We walked around a bit, enjoyed a beer in a nice bistro and went up the stairs to ‘Sacré-Cœur’ to enjoy the lovely view. From there we headed back to ‘Les Marais’ area and we sat for dinner in a restaurant called ‘Le Gai Moulin’. I found the place online and it had some reasonable reviews. It’s a gay restaurant with 3 course meal ‘a la carte’. The atmosphere was nice and the place was packed with French people. The vast majority of the customers were gay men, in their 30’s and 40’s. It was funny because the waiters knew most of the customers and the atmosphere was quite friendly. Under the table next to us there was some mild ‘action’ going on…

View from 'Sacré-Cœur'

Chocolaterie in Montmartre

After that we went to a gay bar close by called ‘Raidd’. According to online reviews, that’s one of the trendiest places in Paris and boy were we surprised. Don’t get me wrong, we had a very nice time but the place was weird. Music wasn’t bad but they had black lights, smoke effects (!!!) and ridiculous light effects. There was also a place on the wall with a shower for a performer to appear, who we gladly missed. Cocktails weren’t that bad but we didn’t stay long.

What was amazing was the fact that ‘Centre Pompidou’ had a late opening and we headed there around 11:15 at night. There was a queue outside. We went to the sixth floor and were mesmerized of the view of the city. We also visited the permanent exhibitions. Modern Art is so much more interesting if you had half a bottle of wine and two tequila cocktails! We had such a nice time there!

'Saturday night outside Centre Pompidou'

The view from the 6th floor

Modern Art?

Next morning, after breakfast we headed towards the Seine. We saw ‘Grand Palais’ and ‘Petit Palais’ and from there we walked towards the ‘Eiffel Tower’. We paid a visit in museum de ‘Quai Branly’ which I find an amazing exhibition centre. The building is so well designed. From there we took a guided river boat to learn some stuff for the bridges and buildings surrounding the river.

La Tour Eiffel

Before heading back to the train station, we had a big walk around the city centre. We visited the bridge with the ‘Love Locks’, ‘Jardins des Tuileries’, ‘Place Vendôme’, ‘L’Opera’ etc. It was all very nice. We managed to see lots of stuff in a short period of time without stressing about it. We did walk a lot, but that is something we are both familiar with. We don’t mind it…

The Love Locks (Le Pont des Arts)


  1. I never do the tourist stuff; I should!

    The shops in the Marais are good.


  2. I've never been to Paris. I ought to bite the bullet and just go.

  3. I've never been to Paris.....but I'd love to some day! have fun....enjoy the food and the great French manners :)

  4. Your pics are terrific. It must be wonderful to visit there even for a short overnight trip.

  5. @MadeInScotland. Yes, you should. Although it depends what you mean by tourist stuff. Visiting galleries, churches or museums are not only for tourists. You must have been to the Louvre!

    @behrmark Have you been to Europe in general? You should! It's much easier than you think.

    @SteveA Thanks. :-D

  6. @Cubby It is. It's so nice... The food, the city architecture, the galleries, the views...