After another quick flight we landed safely in Paris… The city of love! To get from the airport to the city was actually very easy and cheap at only 10€ via the train and metro system. We were staying at a great place in Menilmontant a bit far away from the main attractions making it nice and affordable!
We were planning on taking the city bus tour round the city for 2 days however our hotel informed us that due to pollution levels all public transport was now free for the next 3 days and we thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up not to take which in the end saved us an unreal amount of money. (80€ on the tour bus alone as it was 36€ each as well as the metro ticket to where we could catch it!)
The first day we got up nice and early and headed out, Andy was insistent on heading to the Eiffel tower first so we set off on the (free) tube ride to get there. Unfortunately due to the pollution the air was quite foggy and not the best day for seeing things from the top however not much we could do about that!
We came to the first queue and Andy told me to wait while he checked out the lines, after assuring me we were in the correct line we waited for a good 20 minutes until the front of the queue could be seen where I noticed the French writing saying ‘stairs’ I asked Andy what line we were in and he commented the lift whilst pointing to the ‘escaliers’ sign…. DOH that’s stairs not lift!!!!
By the time we noticed this mistake we were almost at the front of the line and could see the queue for the lift was MASSIVE!!! So we decided that after all the bread, pizza and pasta in Italy a bit of extra exercise wouldn’t go a miss!
To take the lift up the tower it is 15€ however for the stairs it is only 5€ to the second floor and then 6€ up the last part which you need to take the lift to. If you don’t want to wait in the lines the stairs to the second floor are really not that bad and by the time we had got there we would probably still be waiting for the lift.
As we got up to the top floor Andy started acting a tad… Strange… A bit shifty which I put down to nerves about being up high as he is not the biggest fan of heights. I turned round and there he was on one knee!!! Long story short… I said YES!!! We both are not fans of being center of attention so we were both quite glad we did not attract too much attention but also gave me such a huge admiration for Andy who was willing to put aside his fears to give a proposal I will never forget!!!
We spent ages up the top chatting about the last few months and how I had figured out it was coming but didn’t know when. The sun was out and it couldn’t have been more perfect!
We took the stairs back down and had lunch overlooking the tower with a car show in front of us much to Andy’s delight!
As it was a nice day we walked towards to Arc De Triomphe taking a wrong street leading to a massive circle round what should have been a 20 minute walk. Unfortunately it was under construction but we could still see most of it, however after the walk up the tower my legs couldn’t take any more stairs… Not to mention the top was covered in scaffolding! We found an artist at the bottom and bought some art as a keep sake of Paris which will forever hold happy memories.
We hopped back on the metro and took it to the red light district so we could see the Moulin Rouge, unfortunately to see a show as about 80-110€ each… a bit out of our budget however it was fun walking through the red light district seeing all the sex shops and strippers which Andy was shocked at how open everything was!
We then jumped over a stop on the metro to the Sacre Cour where we stopped to eat some french macaroons while taking in the view (would have been rude not to!!) By this point in the day we were both exhausted and decided to head home to relax, phone the family and clean up for a nice meal to celebrate our engagement!
We found a nice restaurant where we lived and had a mojito to celebrate… which was maybe not the best idea on an empty stomach as it was so strong and so big it came in a pint glass!!! The dinner was incredible and was one of those meals where all you can do after wards is lie down!!
The next day we were a bit slow in getting up and out but took the metro to the Louvre. One of my biggest regrets about my last time in Paris was not checking the opening times and turning up on a day it was closed! This time we didn’t make that mistake and got inside. It would be impossible to see everything in the museum as it is MASSIVE! The one complaint I did have, was there was little or no English signs so many of the exhibits had no meaning.
If you want the English then I think you must have to pay for the audio guide. The whole museum was quite over whelming in the sense there was just so much to look at. The biggest attraction is obviously the Mona Lisa which is almost impossible to see as there were so many people trying to get a picture of it. I almost got a bit art’ed out after a while and we left after about 2 hours.
We walked along the river and came across the bridge with the ‘locks of love’ we decided that we would put our own lock on as it would be silly to put one up in Seoul but not one up in the place we got engaged!! So we brought our lock the spent ages trying to find a spot (as the bridge was literally covered in them!) for it before clipping it on and throwing the key into the river Seine.
Walking a bit further down we made it to the Notre Dame and took our pictures…the line to get in was enormous stretching the whole length of the square it was in…. We decided to pass as we had a deadline to get to the Catacombs before they closed at 5.
We took the metro down which brings you out almost right at the door of the Catacombs however we got there only to discover another huge line followed by an official telling us to come back as we would not get in today. If you want to see these then you need to be there at 9.45am ready for them opening up at 10am!
With one more day in Paris left we decided to turn back time and bring out our inner child’s taking a trip to Disney Land…. Again the air was still ‘polluted’ which meant the subway there was free!! (Would have been 7.50€ each each way otherwise meaning we saved 30€… the price of half a ticket!!) We bought our tickets online which I would strongly suggest doing as its cheaper (only by a few€) but also means you get to skip the first queue of the day! We arrived at 9.45am as the park opens at 10 and went straight for Space Mountain.
It was a beautiful day and clearly everyone had the same idea as us as the place was packed out! We worked our way around figuring out how to use the ‘fast pass’ machines which I DEFINATLEY recommend! Only a few rides have them (check the map for the ‘FP’ sign) and basically you scan your ticket and it gives you another ticket for that ride with a time attached so you can go away and do non fast pass rides first the come back at your allotted time with no queues…. There are not so many in Disney Land but these are on most rides in Walt Disney Studios… Something I wish we had known before!!
By 4pm we had done most of the rides in Disney Land and were kicking ourselves that we didn’t pay the extra money to visit both parks, however after asking at information and paying an extra 10€ each (meaning our tickets were 72€ each) we got a pass for the other park…. result!!
We hopped over to the next park and were confronted by immense queues and no fast passes left!! We got to the park at 4pm meaning we only had a few hours remaining! (Walt Disney Studios closes at 7pm, Disney Land at 10pm) we spent almost an hour and half in a line for the Tower of Terror which was over in about 30 seconds!! We ran to as many rides as we could the best being Aerosmith ride before jumping in the line for the toy story roller coaster 5 minutes before the park closes. The rule goes- as long as you ar in a line before 7pm you can go on! Lucky for us!
When we had finished we went for a quick bite to eat before jumping on as many rides as we could in Disney Land before the big finale at 10pm! The finale was awesome with a mixture of lights, fireworks and lasers lighting up the castle all done in time to Disney music it was really good and you couldn’t help but sing along!
And with a bang Paris was over… One of the most memorable parts of our Euro trip! We headed back on the train to the airport (still free!) with my new piece of bling and set off for our penultimate city…. Barcelona!!!