“Do you know what we’re going to do while Mom is away?” Dad told my sister and I one day. “We’re going to go to Paris!”
This made me really excited to go, and I couldn’t wait for it! I spent lots of time looking at guidebooks of the city in the weeks leading up to our trip. These just made me look forward to it even more, though we had to make the most of it, as we only had one full day there.
When it was time to go, Dad, Emily and I packed our bags and took the Underground to St. Pancras Station, and then we went through the Eurostar ticket gates and through security. Afterwards, we waited around, and finally got on a high-speed train that would take us to Paris!
The train journey lasted about 2 hours and 30 minutes, and after we arrived at Paris Gare Du Nord, we took the Paris Metro to our hotel, the Hotel Duminy-Vendome. The Paris Metro is known for being beautiful, and many entrances to the stations are in Art Nouveau style.
To start our big day there, we had breakfast at the breakfast buffet in the basement of our hotel. The food was very nice, and I had an apricot croissant as well as sausages and baked beans. Afterwards, we walked from the hotel and along the Champs-Élysées Avenue and ended up at our first famous Parisian sight: the Arc de Triomphe. It is a huge arch built on behalf of the people that fought for Napoleon.
It is built on a traffic island in the middle of a very big roundabout, and to get to it, you have to walk under the road.
Next, we took the Metro back to Tuileries, and then we walked through the Jardin de Tuileries (some beautiful gardens near our hotel) to the Musée d’Orsay.
I had a great time looking at pieces of artwork by Van Gogh and Renoir. Not only were we at the museum by ourselves, but we also met my dad’s friend and family, who live in Paris themselves. We all had a hearty lunch together at Café Campana, a café next to the 5th floor Impressionist gallery in the museum.
Afterwards, we left the museum and walked down the Seine. On our way, we saw a bridge covered in locks.
The reason for this is that people have been tying locks to the bridge to show their love to someone. Some people like the lovelocks but some think they are a “menace.” We then ended up at another famous Parisian sight- Notre Dame Cathedral. On the Île de la Cité in the middle of the Seine, construction began on it in 1163, and it was finally completed in 1345. It is a very old cathedral but very impressive. On another island in the Seine, the Île Saint-Louis (next to the Île de la Cité), we had some melt-in-your-mouth ice cream from a place called Berthillon. There are many flavours to choose from, though I chose to get a double of strawberry and peach.
After relaxing back at the hotel for a bit, we walked to the stop for the Batobus. Even though it is not as famous as the Bateau-Mouches, it is less expensive and more useful for getting around Paris because it goes in a loop. As we were waiting for our boat, we had a look at the Louvre Museum. We did not go inside, as we would have had to wait in a long line, but we got a glimpse of the glass pyramid. When our Batobus came, we got off at the most famous of all Parisian landmarks- the Eiffel Tower. It was built in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution.
One negative thing about our trip is that, when we needed to use the toilet, we had to wait in a very long line. But then, we all did something very special- going up the Eiffel Tower! Fortunately, we were able to skip the long queues: we had a pre-booked ticket. And soon after we arrived, we entered a double-decker elevator, which took us up to the second floor. Now it was time to go up to the sommet– the very top. This second elevator was even more crowded than the last one.
When we reached the top, we had magnificent night-time views over Paris (our ticket was for 7:30 PM). We were able to see the Arc De Triomphe, the Jardin des Tuileries, Notre Dame, and all of Paris! I had an incredible time.
Afterwards, we walked to the Metro station, and took it back to the area around our hotel. To end our day in Paris, we had dinner at a welcoming restaurant near our hotel. I had a very nice chicken dish, and we finally walked back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep, as we would be taking the Eurostar back to London tomorrow.