Our first port of call on day two was Montmartre, located in Paris’ Latin quarter. If you were a bohemian in the late 1800s, this was the place to go – think Van Gogh, Toulous-Lautrec and the rest of the Moulin Rouge crowd. As you can imagine, this is now a pretty big tourist spot- everyone wants to catch a bit of that Moulin Rouge sparkle; taking in a show, slugging coffee with local artists and taking in the amazing views from the Sacre Coeur. Being 10am, I did the latter.
But it’s not me without an embarrassing moment or two, right? After zooming through the Sacre Coeur (I’m not a church girl and there were enough shh-ing clergymen to ensure I didn’t want to hang around long), we took a stroll through the tourist-shop lined streets where street-artists in their handfuls roam, looking for tourists to draw (and charge). As soon as the spotted me, the sore thumb 23 year old with a head full of brightly coloured flowers and an even brighter lipstick, their targets were locked and loaded. “You’re so beautiful! May I draw you?” “You look like a Princess!” “Please, the artist wants what he wants!”. I am not sure compliment really count as compliments when the prospect of money is involved, so I was immediately doubtful of their sincerity! I’m not the best at receiving compliments as it is. Still, if you need an ego boost – head to Montmartre and wear flowers. That’s my number one tip.
Bateaux Mouches boat tour
After our morning in Montmartre, we headed the Bateaux Mouches for a boat trip across the Seine. It was midday by this point and around thirty degrees, which meant that the plastic chairs on the boat’s top deck were hot hot hot. There was a few scalded tourists leaping around the top deck before the cruise started! If you’re planning on cruising around the city this summer, bring a layer you can sit on (top tip #2). The boat trip provided a completely different viewpoint of the city, so for anyone wanting interesting pictures, I’d seriously recommend it! All the iconic sights of Paris, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Louvre etc, are very close by and the boat moves slowly enough for you to snap plenty of photographs. The trip takes about an hour and a half, so it’s a great opportunity to sit back, relax, eat some lunch and enjoy the stunning views. Just rememeber your sun cream…
Le Petit Palais
After our sweltering boat trip we were in serious need of shade and a drink. Our guide recommended we walk up to the Pont Alexandre III (a blooming beautiful bridge) and explore Le Petit Palais from there. When we reached the bridge, we collapsed, took a long drink and sat in the shade. And, of course, I couldn’t resist snapping a few outfit shots with a tantalising Eiffel Tower infused background. Le Petit Palais was a short stroll away, a jaw-droppingly beautiful building (do they make any other sort in Paris?) which acts as an art museum for a host of early 1900’s art. We saw humungous murals that took up whole walls, quirky portraits, and plenty of grand sculptures. It didn’t take too long to walk around and we found a delectable modern cafe outside. It’s big brother, La Grande Palais, sits across the road – if you have a while longer, it could be worth a look round. Judging by it’s side you’d need at least a couple of hours!
We were faced with two options after we arrived back from our boat trip and museum visit: relax in the hotel room (very tempting) or make the most of the beautiful city and head back out. We chose the latter and headed over to the Champs-Elysées again because I was desperate visit Laduree and try my first macarons!
You’ll be pleased to know I did visit Laduree, there was a huge queue so I didn’t buy anything. Looking satisfied me well enough, though! After checking that off my list, I realised I was very tired, very hot and pretty peckish. “I can’t face sitting down in the sun and waiting half an hour for some food”, I thought. We looked up and saw a McDonalds… the rest is history. I got a little bit excited by this Parisian Maccy D’s – which houses a McCafe selling tarte au citron, macarons and other delectable goodies, and you could order everything on a little screen and have it ready in under 60 seconds. It was a magical experience. I’m not even ashamed.
After our gourmet dinner, we took in a couple more shops and headed back to the hotel for our final night and a much needed sleep! Stay tuned for day three…