There are very few reasons why I will willingly get up at 4:30 AM, and travelling to Paris is about the only one. We had a 7AM train to catch and thankfully, the train ride is only a couple of hours long.
We arrived in Paris, caught a cab and checked in at our apartment/hotel. The last time we stayed in Paris, we stayed near the Effile Tower so this time we chose to stay near my favourite place in Paris, L’Opera De Charles Garnier. If you know anything about me, you will know that I have a serious love of Phantom of the Opera and this was the famous opera house where the story “took place”.
The opera house is hands down one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been in. It’s the one place where I will gladly return to every time I’m in Paris.
One thing we noticed right away was how much more security there was in the city compared to when we were there three years prior. We would constantly see police and and military members with their guns on them all the time. We also had bags searched at a lot of places we went. As someone from Canada, we don’t see this constant level of highly visable security so it was a bit of a shock to see at first. Because of that, we did feel completely safe at all times.
That night, we were able to meet up with a cousin of mine who lives in Paris and who I have not seen since a family reunion back in Shaunavon back in 2008. We ate and drank lots of wine and then he showed us around the Montmartre area, including the beautiful Sacre Coeur.
The next day, Dean and I attempted to workout in the hotel’s gym. The gym consisted of a rower, step machine and recumbent bike. That was it! There were no weights at all! So I went on the rower, Dean on the bike and I attempted to do some intervals.
One of my biggest fears and issues I had travelling was taking three weeks off of structured training on the bike. It was Dean who reminded me that it would be a good thing as my biggest race is not until the end of September and I want to be in peak form for the Canadian National Track Cycling Championships. In the past, I’ve gone too hard too early was burnt out by August (like most cyclists in Alberta are…..) so the time off would give my body and mind some time to recover and relax.
With the workout over, we headed out for lunch and a little shopping (ok, maybe too much for me especially after the trip to Hermes). Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for our big night!
Dean had booked us to have a riverboat tour and supper. It was amazing!
Then after supper, we made our way to a show at The Moulin Rouge (also one of my favourite movies of all time).
The next day, we made our way to the Louvre. We had been there the last time we were in Paris but we kind of rushed a lot of things as we went in the afternoon and it was so busy. This time, we arrived around 10AM and made our way through as many exhibits as we could.
After, we walked around the Champs Élysées for the rest of the day and hit up Laduree for their world famous macarons.
The next day, I decided to head out for a run (full confession: I have not ran since LA back in November). As sore as I was, it was 100% worth it!
We then walked over to the Musee d’Orsay as we did not get to it last time. I actually liked it better the the Louvre!
After visiting the museum, we took a stroll over Notre-Dame Cathedral for a bit.
As we were approaching our final night in Paris, we went back to a restaurant right outside the opera house that we discovered last time, Cafe de la Paix. So I put on one of my pair of Louboutin heels and out we went. We had an amazing bottle of red (as at this point we had been drinking every single day since we landed in London), an amazing supper and an outstanding dessert.
I was sad that we would be leaving a city I love and not sure when we will be back. The days we were there went by way too fast. Before we knew it, we were packing up and ready to head to our next destination. Prague. We made our way to the train station early Friday morning to catch the train that would take us to Manheim, Germany where we were in for a huge surprise. Check back tomorrow to hear about our journey to Prague and our time in what may now be one of my favourite cities.