Paris: May 2014

paris eiffel tower

Paris: May 2014

After 4 awesome days in London we were off to Paris!! To get there we took the Eurostar train from London St. Pancras International Station to Paris Gare Du Nord Station.  It was a really easy 2 hour 15 min trip that seemed to go by very quickly.  There was 1 problem we almost ran into however…the size of our luggage!  When going on this trip we knew we would be buying things as well as wanted a few nice outfits for a dinner or two, so we brought our two biggest suit cases, which was fine on the plane (checked them) but not on this train.  The carry on storage overhead was NOT SO BIG.  I spent most of the train looking at this large object barely hanging on over my head.  Think of taking your big microwave and jamming it onto the little bookshelf in your bedroom…then laying underneath of it to see what happens.  Oh yeah, and shake the bookshelf!

Anyway, we made it just fine, but next time I would certainly avoid large luggage!

Our Trip so far:

Once we arrived we hopped in a cab for the short drive to our first hotel, The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome!  The nicest hotel I have ever stayed in! (full review to follow)

CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE

Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

 

Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

Our room, Park Hyatt Vendome

After arriving we just enjoyed a nice evening walking around before grabbing dinner and turning in.

Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

Vendome with all of the most expensive stores you can think of

paris sunset

Sunset on day of arrival, short walk from the hotel

 

Sunset down the Champs Elysees

Sunset down the Champs Elysees

DAY #2

The next morning we woke up and had our free breakfast (Diamond benefit) down in the restaurant and then it was off to see the sights!  Our first stop was a short 10 minute walk to The Louvre.

TIP: DO NOT take the line in front of the pyramid unless you want to wait awhile before getting inside.  Find one of the side entrances.  We entered the underground mall area on the north side of the museum near the intersection of Rue de Rivoli and Place du Carrousel.  It is to your left when look at the pyramid.

The Louvre

The Louvre

The upside down pyramid louvre

The upside down pyramid

Here is some famous stuff at this gigantic museum that is so big you could never see it in one day!

louvre mona lisa paris

I can’t remember the name of this one…

The Coronation of Napoleon david paris louvre

The Coronation of Napoleon (One of my favorite works)

The Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo louvre paris

The Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo

Code of Hammurabi louvre paris

Code of Hammurabi (The first time I was here it took me forever to find this for some reason)

After a great time seeing some of the most famous works in the world it was time to go back to the hotel for espresso and a baguette.  Since we had an espresso machine in our room we would save our baguette from breakfast or buy a snack each day and return around 3pm for a little rest before going out for the evening.  So we usually ended up having breakfast, a snack and dinner everyday.

TIP: You can save a lot of money and have a GREAT experience by buying wine, bread, cheese, meat, etc and having picnics in some of the many amazing parks.

Baking Festival paris

Baking Festival

After buying bread and pastries from a local baking celebration out side Notre Dame and some wine at the market, it was time to have a picnic dinner next to this tall metal thing they have there in Paris.  It was an easy subway ride from the hotel with only one train change and afterwards it was such a beautiful night we decided to walk back.  Walking back was a GREAT way to end the evening as Paris is even more amazing at night when the city calms down and then lights up.

TIP: Be sure to walk around Paris at night.  It has a completely different feel and look.  I really love it.

Picnic paris Eiffel Tower

Picnic at the Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower paris

View on our walk back

DAY #3

The next morning we decided to try room service for breakfast (Diamond members can get that instead of breakfast at the restaurant if they want) and then it was off to explore Versailles!  We took one of the subway trains which goes out of the city and other than being more pricey than an around town ticket it was a really easy transit.

Tip: Buy a return ticket as soon as you get there so you don’t have to wait in line to buy one with the rest of the crowd on your return.

park hyatt vendome paris

Room service breakfast!

The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

Gardens The Palace of Versailles

Gardens

Hall of mirrors The Palace of Versailles

Hall of mirrors with 10,000 tourists!

We really enjoyed seeing Versailles but there were just TO MANY PEOPLE.  I had been before and arrived early and at that time there was almost no one.  Our problem was that we got there at mid-day, it was in the spring and it had been closed for several days due to a workers strike.  So if you are going to get there at that time, with those things happening then I would rethink my plans a bit.  Unless your goal is to see as many tourist as possible, in which case this would be the perfect scenario.  After heading back we stopped by to see Notre Dame again and attach our lock to the Love Lock bridge (Pont des Arts).

TIP: Try to get to Versailles first thing in the morning for the smallest crowds.  There is also a small shop to the left of  the Palace that sells tickets if the line at the actual palace is long.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Love Lock Bridge

Love Lock Bridge

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I have recently read that this Love Lock bridge (there are a couple) had the rail collapse and the government has decided to place glass panels to prevent people from doing this…that stinks.

DAY#4

The next day it was time to leave the Vendome and head to our next hotel.  We slept in, shopped a bit and then moved over to our new home, Hyatt Paris Madeleine.  Our room wasn’t ready so we were given a free Cappuccino while we waited (Full Review to follow).

Hyatt Paris Madeleine

Hyatt Paris Madeleine

Hyatt Paris Madeleine

Hyatt Paris Madeleine, our room is the open window on the top left

Hyatt Paris Madeleine

Our Upgraded room!

After checking in it was time for another picnic dinner, this time on the hill in front of Sacre Coeur Basilica! So after walking across the street to buy wine, cheese, bread and meats we were off on the subway. After a bit of staring at the map and hiking up some stairs we were there!

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

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sacre coeur great view

A small part of the great view

We had a great time picnicking there and watching a crazy/awesome guy juggle a soccer ball on the wall at the edge of the hill and then proceed to climb the light pole while continuing to juggle! With that, the people watching and the view there was never a lack of entertainment!
Then there was one more place to see before heading back…

moulin rouge paris

We didn’t go in though

DAY#5

Our last day in Paris!  After having another great free breakfast we went off to walk around the city and explore, as I love to do.  We eventually made our way to the Museum d’Orsay.  This might not be as popular as that other museum in town but it is set in a converted train station and I think it is a must see on a visit to Paris.

TIP: You like Van Gogh? D’Orsay has 24 of his works including Self Portrait and Starry Night Over the Rhone.  You like Monet? Great, this museum has over 50 of his paintings! Go check it out, and go to the roof.

thomas jefferson paris

Hey, look, it’s TJ!

museum d'Orsay

Inside d’Orsay

View from the roof of the museum sacre coeur

View from the roof of the museum

View from the roof with Sacre Coeur in the background

View from the roof with Sacre Coeur in the background

View through the clock

View through the clock

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Laduree

After the museum we relaxed and went to dinner on our last night. And of course had to stop by Laduree to get Katie some macaroons. I must admit, they were really good.

The next day it was time to head home on Iberia Airlines in Business class. Paris is an expensive city but if you avoid cabs, just have a snack for lunch and eat picnics at all the amazing outside areas you can really save A LOT of money.  It doesn’t hurt to have hotel status and get free breakfast too ;).

Check back for hotel reviews, lounge reviews and flight reviews of this trip.  As always, please feel free to ask questions below.

 

2 Comments on “Paris: May 2014

    • Really a wonderful city. Katie and I are already talking about our next trip there.

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