So, we are 160 days in to the Big adventure and we are now I France, Paris to be exact but only for a few days before setting off on our very first house sitting adventure in Uzes, near Nimes down South!
We arrived late last night and to our upmost joy straight into a 1 day transport strike. As we were staying OUTSIDE OF PARIS you can only imagine what a massive pain in the tits that was. Nearly 3 hours after arriving at the Airport we made it to our Air Bn B in Rosny-Bois-Sous. The apartment itself is nice, but our ‘superhost’ couldn’t be anything further from. The space itself , apart from boing modern has NADA. No tea, coffee, towels, soap …anything, so she will be losing that superhost badge fairly rapidly I imagine. It’s also ridiculously hot and we have no fan or A/C. JOYFUL!!
Moving on, we have 2 full days to explore the wonders of Paris, a city referred to as the ‘city of love’ due to its fantastic sights, incredible food scene, language and beauty which can be seen as you turn every corner. It has been welcoming tourists for centuries and after a short visit about 10 years ago I was desperate to see more.
I’ll start buy saying the train/metro system here is hard, it’s confusing and the best way to think of it is like London on steroids. A great app to have is ‘citymapper’ and also, I highly recommend Google offline maps - download the full map of Paris on your phone beforehand, you will not regret it. On our list today was the Sacré-Cœur, Moulin Rouge, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and potentially the Louvre Museum if we hadn’t died of exhaustion by then as FINALLY we are back to warmth at a sunny 29 degrees.
We left from our RER train station heading towards Paris EST, mostly so I could grab a coffee then start our adventure. Our first stop was the Sacré-Cœur which is about 3.5kms from the station. I love walking so it doesn’t bother me at all, however it is busy! We arrived, and as much as we didn’t want to go in, we couldn’t anyway as the queue was 2 hours long! Beautiful church though and a few shameless selfies later we started our walk down to the infamous Moulin Rouge while having a giggle along the way at the mass amount of sex shops. The sign we enjoyed the most was definitely ‘PUSSY’S $20’ – excellent…only in Paris at 10am on a Saturday morning hey?
From there it was already 1pm and we were hungry little badger, so of course we stopped in at Pret Manger, the most un french café around but we know from the UK the food is good, well priced and easy without any language mix up nonsense, I wanted a salad.
To Leo’s disgust, the next stop would be the Arc de Triomphe which I sold to him by saying we would walk slow along the Champs-Élysées, even though we had a 5.5km walk to get there. By this point it was HOT and I was melting but a quick $2 EURO ice-cream from Maccas did the trick and we were refreshed and ready to join the swarm of other tourists trying to take epic pics of the Arc while precariously navigating themselves onto one the busiest most dangerous roundabouts I have ever witnessed. I don’t know what was better, watching all these idiots trying to cross the road or the various ones trying to take the iconic picture of them holding the arc in their palms. Both ridiculous.
As the Eiffel tower was only 4kms from here, of course we would just walk it. Metro and trains are expensive here and we are on a budget and need to burn some fat after sending 2 weeks being fed by my mum. Now, 10 years ago the Eiffel tower was great, we could walk around as we pleased, choose if we wanted to go up it and enjoy unobstructed views…now however, it’s the opposite. Surrounded by bullet proof glass walls (terror protection) and cornered off from the pubic unless you want to wait in a 4-hour line or pre-purchase your tickets months in advance, you are not getting anywhere near it. We opted for photos in the park and gardens but my god it’s like a shit show there, over run by people. I would recommend not going near but instead sitting with a picnic in the surrounding gardens.
After that disappointment we both felt as though our legs could fall off at any second, so it was time for a beer on the river Siene. We stopped at FLUCTUART and it was amazing. It’s a barge, bar, restaurant and art gallery and from here we were able to sit outside in the shade and enjoy people watching on the river, waving to everyone who passed by in their tourist boats. It was amazing and one of the highlights of the day, especially $10EURO for 2 beers,
As you can imagine, we never made it to the Louvre as by the time we got home (minus getting on the wrong train and 3 different metro lines) we had done over 31000steps. It has been wicked day though and I can’t wait for tomorrow, roll on crepes, hopefully a famous hot chocolate and the Louvre.