You’re going to think I’m crazy for saying this… but I really didn’t have a huge desire to visit Paris! I know, I know… it’s the city of love, museums, countless monuments, croissants, macarons, fashion and much more.. what’s not to love? I just wondered if it was at all overrated?? Maybe? A little?
I found out…it’s not. At all. Not in the least.
One of my friends was recently married in Normandy, France and to get there we flew into Paris. Since we were going to be there, we decided to stay for a few days. It was a whirlwind but we were able to check a lot of Paris must-sees off the list. On our first night, we ate dinner in Quai de la Seine which was a lively, non-touristy area right on the river. After finishing around midnight, we bought a bottle of wine to share on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica which has the most beautiful view of the city. It was then that I decided Paris was actually not bad. It was pretty magical.
After a leisurely wake up, we did a walking tour of the city seeing the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, ate lunch beneath the Eiffel Tower and even went to the top! The views from the top were breathtaking, and the champagne bar made it even better 🙂 In the evening, we made a charcuterie spread and shared a bottle of wine and sat on the edge of the Seine in the shadow of the Notre Dame. Then we hopped on a boat down the river to check out the Arc de Triomphe. Again, magical.
In the end, I was sad our time in Paris was so short but was so excited to see one of my closest friends get married. We rented a tiny, convertible Fiat and headed to Bouelles, a very small town (think 10 houses) in the Normandy region. We arrived to the chateau where the wedding would be held in a few days and explored. The chateau had no shortage of crystal chandeliers and as we learned, it is owned by the Swarovski family as a vacation home. It was stunning and the perfect place for a fairytale wedding.
We decided to do some exploring of the Normandy region and visited Mont Saint-Michel, a small village perched on a rocky island in the middle of sandbanks (at low tide) and water (at high tide). At the top is a beautiful abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael built between the 11th and 16th centuries. We had a great time wandering the (Harry Potter-esque) streets of the little village and of course made a pitstop for ice cream.
With Paris and Normandy behind us, we took off in our little Fiat to check out Bordeaux and the Cote d’Azur. Stay tuned for France Travel Diary Pt. II!