It’s heartbreaking to watch a city be in complete upheaval less than a week after you were there. I sat at my desk on Friday feeling so shaken that I was literally just walking the same streets that were attacked (or close by).
But terrorists win if a city is remembered in fear instead of its beauty and life. This is just as true for Paris as it is for Beirut and Syria and …the list is too long.
So, I’m remembering Paris for its beauty and pain au chocolate and espressos and fall scenery and huge art museums…and most especially getting to see my sister who is studying abroad in England, Germany, and Northern Ireland!
Katie and I began our time in France by going to Versailles. Starting our time in a non-English speaking country by navigating a busy train station with large suitcases isn’t something I would necessarily recommend, but it made the rest of our time using the city metro seem like a piece of cake!
We took the Eurostar from St Pancreas station in London to Gare du Nord in Paris. From Gare du Nord, we took an RER C train to Versailles and spent the night at chateau du chevalier rouge, a lovely place to sleep (and eat baguettes and Nutella for bfast in the morning!) before hitting the palace the next day.
Versailles was stunning and I’m glad we made the trip out there (about 30 min train ride from central Paris). The gardens are beautiful and the palace doesn’t have a square inch not covered in paintings or gold. Marie Antoinette lived in style!
We only had till early afternoon in Versailles before we needed to head back to the hotel, grab our stuff, and head to Paris to meet my sister! The hotel was only .5 miles away from the train station, but when it’s cobblestone roads and you’re carrying 50 lbs of luggage, that .5 miles felt rough (not to mention getting a little lost). So there was a huge sigh of relief when we got to the station, spoke to a woman in English to get our tickets, and sat on the train.
We met Libby at a little cafe right by the Eiffel Tower called Cafe le Crestal. Libby had gotten to the city the day before with some gals from her program so she had already been in the city for half the day. She had a metro app which helped us get everywhere during the weekend, but first to our air b&b!
We stayed in a nice apartment flat near the montemarte neighborhood. Our host miraculously met us outside the apartment right when we arrived and took us right up. It was the perfect place for us – right by a metro stop and by little patisseries that we visited every morning and then enjoyed our pain au chocolate in the little park nearby:
Paris, you are a lovely city. I’m heartbroken over this past weekend’s events, but so glad I got to see you in your fall beauty. I hope to be back!