So, we pull up in the Gare du Nord train station at nearly midnight and walked about 20 minutes to the hostel we would be sleeping at for the next two nights. I never knew about midnight check-ins before, but all part of the adventure right!
I have never stayed in a hostel accommodation before either, so I think I was expecting the worst, but it really wasn’t bad at all. It was called The Generator. The room had three white bunk beds inside, all the linen was white, and it looked pretty clean. The washroom was inside the room I was fearing the communal washroom 😐 happily that was not the case here! What I also liked about this set up was that each bunk had its own electrical outlet and night lamp at the head of the bed, very convenient! We recharged our batteries and got settled in as the next morning we were going to hit the ground running.
We saw a lot in one day! Breakfast was included so we loaded up on fresh baguettes and butter, cucumber and tomatoes, coffee and O.J. There was even Corn Flakes and Chocolate Corn Flakes available. I put some Chocolate Corn Flakes in a napkin to walk with to snack on later (Please no judgement, I was on a budget remember 😊). Or were you thinking… What no pain au chocolat? I was disappointed about that too… Where are you hiding the Chocolate Croissants folks?? I didn’t get any until day two, but it was worth the wait!
After breakfast as a group we took on the Metro and headed to the Louvre. The exit at the station was literally called Musée du Louvre. The day started off bright and sunny that we were able to capture some cool individual shots with our finger tips on the pyramids. From there we walked through the Tuileries Garden, which housed amazing sculptures, fountains and a mini Arc de Triomphe. It was the best stroll I’ve ever taken, appreciating the peacefulness and beauty that was Paris.
We headed back down to the Metro, our next sighting was to see her, the Iron Lady. I don’t know what happened to the sky the brief time we were underground, but the rain just came down! That wasn’t going to stop us though. There she was La Tour Eiffel! She was a lot more copper in color than I was expecting, I always thought she was gunmetal grey. More fun pics were captured and by the time we found the perfect spot for a picnic underneath the Eiffel Tower the sky happened to clear up again! We enjoyed a nice spread of local foods; fresh baguettes, croissants (plain) although we had some pâté to spread in them. Along with cold cuts, air-dried mini salami and of course wine!
After that we went on a boat tour, Vedettes de Paris. I was able to see the outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the scaffolding on one side where the repairs continue after the fire earlier this year. The rain came down again mid-way through so half of us headed back to the hostel to freshen up before dinner. We all met back up at the Sacré Coeur. Can I just say, “Holy Stairs!” Pun intended! Halfway up I wasn’t sure I was gonna be able to make it, but it was so worth it, the view from up there was incredible and inside the church was beautiful. There was a sign at the entrance ‘no pictures please” so I was only able to capture the outside beauty.
The love locks tradition had extended beyond the seine, as I captured a portion of the fence outside the Sacré Coeur where couples have sealed their love. We headed to dinner after this, certainly worked up an appetite after all those steps! We dined at “Chez Plumeau” and I had the Pavé de saumon, tagliatelles fraiches au crémeux de homard, tuile de parmesan, tomates séchées. Yes, it was that long in the menu! Translation; Salmon with fresh pasta, creamy lobster sauce, dried tomatoes and tile parmesan. Shorter translation: Delicious!
For dessert we went on the hunt for Macarons. Not fully paying attention that we went into an ice cream shop called Amorino. We were drawn in by the lovely macarons in the window and was wondering why the middle was cold. Surprise, you get gelato and you get gelato and you get gelato! Don’t get me wrong it was still pretty good, just not the real thing. It was getting late at this point, but we had to do it, we had to see the Iron Lady lit up at night. Behold the beauty…
The next morning, we headed down to the shops along les Champs-Élysées. The ladies I was with did some shopping and then we spotted it; Ladurée! This was THE patisserie to get real macarons from! They were light and crunchy with the most amazing ganache filling! This is also where I nabbed some pain au chocolat finally! It was light and flaky, just amazing. For lunch we sat in the window of a café called Le Deauville and I had a very tasty French onion soup. Fully satisfied, we headed back to the hostel to get ready to depart for out next destination… Interlaken, Switzerland.