Travel

Paris

Paris. The city of light (and of love, romance, food, wine, effortless chic, and that certain je nais se quoi). I fell in love with Paris, as one does, the first time I visited the city three years ago. After deciding to move to Dublin, I was looking for an excuse to go back for a second visit. To my surprise (and delight), my friend Julie told me she had just been chosen to partake in a year long university transfer program in Paris! Immediately we began planning her trip to Dublin, and of course my trip to Paris.

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On a cold November day I stepped off the plane at Charles de Gaulle airport, so excited to be back in Paris and even more excited to see Julie’s new Parisian life. On my first night, Julie took me to Saint-Germain and we had a delicious dinner in a restaurant (a roasted vegetable and potato dish and a glass of bordeaux for me). After dinner we walked around the neighbourhood, admiring the Christmas lights and the breathtaking Notre Dame cathedral. The next day Julie showed me around her university, and then we headed off to explore the city. My list for the day included le jardin du Luxembourg, a walk along la Seine, and a trip to the best place to get falafel in. the. entire. world. This falafel is so good that I was still dreaming about it three years after having it for the first time. The shop is called L’As du Fallafel, and it is located in the Jewish quarter of Paris. Please go, you will not be disappointed.

After lunch Julie had to get to class so she left me to explore the city on my own. After a long, leisurely stroll alongside the Seine, I headed off to a place called Un Monde Vegan – an entirely vegan supermarket! Not wanting to miss any of the Parisian culture, I picked up 3 different types of vegan cheeses and a baguette. I got a soft cheese made from tofu, a hard cheese made of soy, and a coconut milk cheese with dried cranberries in it. My dinner that night was fabulous: rich and flavourful (plant-based) cheeses, fresh baguette with perfectly crispy crust, and a generous glass of full-bodied, earthy Bordeaux.

fullsizerender-2I met Julie later on at her university, and we took the metro to La Tour Eiffel. We sat by the Seine with a blanket, two glasses, and a bottle of prosecco, and watched the glittering Eiffel Tower. It was a truly magical night.

The next day we walked around and enjoyed the sights of Paris. We went to la Louvre and le jardin des Tuileries, and then stopped in the famous Angelina’s for a hot drink when when we could no longer feel our fingers. We later went back to the Eiffel Tower, reaching it just at sunset – another stunning view. After a few (read: a hundred) photos, we headed onwards to l’Arc de Triomphe and to les Champs-Élysées. We enjoyed a glass of rosé at a sidewalk cafe and watched the shoppers go by.

On my final day of the trip we went out to Montmartre, my favourite area in Paris. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful blue sky day. The view from the top of the hill at Sacré-Cœur was absolutely stunning. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect last day in Paris.

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Thank you Julie for being a wonderful host and tour guide and a fantastic French translator! Au revoir Paris!

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