We’re finally here: the City of Lights – Paris. The ace of hearts! Romance central. It’s our first time driving into Paris together…
It’s not a lot of fun.
I enjoy the challenge of avoiding insane drivers, and Mrs Romance has fun finding out which way we should go, but finding a gas station to fill the rental car before we return it upsets the whole deal. We get a bit lost, the usually calm lady on our GPS becomes suddenly scatty and gives us the run-around… it’s like the final scenes of The Great Race with Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood. Kind of.
We finally make it to our hotel. The very nice Hotel Littré in the 6th arrondissement is a welcome sight after a long, rainy drive from Dijon. As I collapse into the cloud-like softness of the bed, I close my eyes in silent thanks to our friends at Creative Holidays, who have organised this hotel for us.
The hotel’s dangerously close to a whole street of creperies, but more about that in a minute.
Soon, I’m back on my feet and ready to go exploring with Mrs Romance. We head to the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, north of the city. On the top floor, there’s a rooftop terrace, which has the most incredible views of the city and the iconic Eiffel Tower. It’s a very romantic setting, even with a few raindrops. The clouds make for some very atmospheric photos.
While we’re on the roof of Lafayette, the rain stops and the sun comes out. The rainbow starts in the east and heads north over to Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur. Quite pretty, I must say.
This morning we head to Palais du Luxembourg and the beautiful gardens here. It feels like a really local scene, with lots of people relaxing by the pond, walking with family, having a picnic, jogging… it’s a very serene place.
The gardens here – le Jardin du Luxembourg – are so pretty. Statues and flowerbeds everywhere, trees and great lawns… very nice.
It’s so nice in fact, we decide a dual selfie is in order!
We walk along the River Seine, as all lovers should.
We stroll through Paris’ busy streets and discover a little market happening, very close to our hotel in the Left Bank. It’s full of fruit and veggies, cheese and meat. It makes us wonder whether living here wouldn’t be so bad after all!
Mrs Romance can’t help herself when it comes to flower stalls. She loves to snap away at the displays and is even happier when the signs are in a different language or currency. I don’t have the hear to tell her that we say ‘bouquet’ in English too!
This lady is doing some inspiring work cutting the cheese. I’m very impressed. Check out the other blocks of cheese in the cabinet though. I could sit in there and just eat my way to a coronary and die happy!
We catch a hop-on-hop-off open-top bus for a tour of the city. It’s not something either of us have done before, but it’s actually a really great way to see everything a place has to offer. It’s also a completely new way to view Paris. Mrs Romance and I have been here quite a few times, but you get such a different perspective of Paris from up here.
Thanks again to Creative Holidays, we watch Paris go by from our seat on the top deck of our Les Cars Rouges bus.
It’s lovely to walk round Paris. Of course it is. But to be driven around with audio commentary and to be able to stare up at buildings and statues as you go past without the fear of being run over or pushed. Dream come true!
We stop at the Eiffel Tower (of course) and get some classic shots of this once temporary iconic structure.
We get hungry, so we pause the bus tour and hop off for a bite to eat. Paris is one of those cities where postcards just happen all the time. As does bad parking. Yes, it’s a beautiful car, but leaving it on a zebra crossing? Interesting.
The little cafe we stop at serves up a mean croque monsieur for Mrs R and I get stuck into a club poulet sandwich. Yes, there is wine and beer involved. Of course!
We amble about the City of Lovers and enjoy the sights of buildings covered in pink flowers.
From the bus, the clouds seem to stand still and the statues and sculptures tower over us.
We finally hop off at Pont des Arts near the Louvre. This little pedestrian bridge has become a focal point thanks to the romantic gesture of lovers writing or even inscribing their names on a padlock and fixing it to the bridge.
Of course we do!
Remember what I said about our hotel being near all those crepe restaurants? We go to one for dinner… I’m expecting to be full from eating a crepe, but this one almost defeats me! It’s only because it’s so delicious (and I’m so greedy) that I get through it all. And then have a dessert one!
The sun sets on our last night in Paris. But there’s no doubt we’ll be back.
It’s a wonderful city, full of mystery, history, gastronomy and romance. Who could say no to all that?