Recently I went on a magical getaway to the city of love. Ahhhh what an adventure! I felt like I was in constant pursuit of Parisian delights like Laduree Macarons (aka heaven in pastry form) and a french beret (because, duh….). Fortunately, I found both of these delightful things and still had time to adventure around the city.
It’s really hard to understand how amazing Paris is until you visit. There’s simply no photo that does it justice. It’s a city that is teeming with history and it’s full of ancient structures that defy time. I found that you need more than a couple of days to experience all it has to offer.
Our trip was short and we were there for the wedding of my dear friend Samantha, but we packed in as much as we possibly could. After an overnight flight and a 6 hour time change, we indulged in a 3 hour cat nap then walked over to the Arc de Triomphe.
This was just the beginning of my awestruck moments. The structure is massive and it’s in the middle of a busy roundabout that you wouldn’t dare crossing on foot. Thank goodness for the underground pathway that takes you right up to the entrance. Once you make it past security, you have to climb a very long winding staircase to get to the top. WORTH. IT. The view is divine.
History lesson: The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. This was Napolean’s Arch, so there’s a statue of him inside when you climb up to the top levels.
More photos from the Arc de Triomphe
It felt like we never fully got over the jetlag, but that couldn’t keep adventurers in the room. The next day, we started out at the Eiffel Tower, the most iconic structure in Paris. We ventured all the way to the top. I’m not sure if it was just the excitement of being at the there or the butterflies from riding the elevator to the top, but I was tingling all over. One word: Magic. We tried to be in view of the tower as often as possible, especially at night when it sparkles!
More photos from the Eiffel Tower
Next up on our adventure was the Musee de Louvre where we saw the Mona Lisa in person!! If you’re unsure of what the Louvre is other than the clear triangular structure you see in photos, allow me to share. It’s a massive museum that’s home to some of the most incredible and famous works of art in human history. Paintings, sculptures, jewels from the royals, trinkets, relics of war, sphinx statues, and so much more. We even enjoyed a walk around what used to be the moat that surrounded the castle when it was home to the Queen.
Fun fact: If you spent two minutes admiring each exhibit at the Louvre, it would take you 24 days to get all the way through the museum. That’s just a glimpse into how large it is.
More Photos from the Musee de Louvre
On our final day of exploration, we visited the Palace of Versailles. Holy gold factor batman! There’s gold on everything. This palace was once home to the royals (Total shocker 😉 ) and it’s now a museum. I don’t know which was more overwhelming, the Palace of Versailles or the Louvre. So much history and it’s known for the expansive gardens on the property! It’s simply incredible. My favorite room at the Palace was the Hall of Mirrors. When you walk in, you’re instantly transported to another world. It’s like being Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
More Photos from the Palace of Versailles
The grand finale, A Fairytale Wedding….
My lifelong friend, Samantha married her love, Cristian, in the most exquisite ceremony I’ve had the pleasure of attending. There was champagne a plenty, a 5 course dinner, sparklers on the wedding cake, a choir and a mashup of Peruvian, American and French cultures. It was magical. It was a breathtaking experience.
Well, my first Parisian adventure was action packed, full of laughter and left me looking forward to making my way back to Europe again in the near future for a second go at it. Have you been to Paris before? If so, leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite part of the trip was. I would love to use your suggestions to plan my next European adventure! 🙂