Tuesday, May 9, 2023

PARIS, JE T'AIME - Memories of our trip to the City of Lights and Love !

Crash landed back to reality and deep into the daily routine that I barely got a chance to pen down our experiences from our recent trip to Paris.

Being an ardent Francophile, it was a dream come true moment when we were finally able to visit Paris in the March of 2023.

I believed we really did have the quintessential trip to the City of Love. And Oh my.. didn't I fall head over heels in love!

Eiffel Tower

We kicked off our first day with a group walking tour that not only gives you a great lay of the land but also takes you to some of the most iconic landmarks in the heart of the City- The Notre Dame Church, The Louvre, Saint Chapelle while crossing some of the most elegant bridges across the River Seine. When there are celebrated monuments at almost every street corner, it becomes quite easy to clock a daily average of 20,000 steps.

Notre Dame Church

We also visited the summit of the Eiffel Tower which frankly did not make it to my favourites of the trip. It is an experience that one could do during a first time visit to tick off your bucket list but most definitely not something I would want to do in my future visits.

From the summit of the Eiffel Tower

Instead what I would recommend as a must-do would be the slow boat cruise across the river Seine post sunset. In my opinion, there cannot be a better way to wind down from the overwhelming touristy sights of this busy city. You get to watch the various iconic monuments and structures lined across the river bank from a whole different perspective and at such a soothing pace.

Us at the boat cruise

If Paris by day unravels herself to you with her elegance and beauty, it is at night that Paris completely enraptures you with her charm and grandeur. The Eiffel Tower in all its glory when it sparkles at night on every hour, converts even the greatest cynics into big romantics. Having fantasized this moment for the longest of times, it still managed to exceed all my grand expectations and left me awestruck and speechless. And if just not that, almost every monument or bridge (100s !) in the city is lit up and accentuated with lighting so impeccably that the sobriquet –City of Lights could not be more befitting. 

Sparkling Eiffel Tower at night

Now a trip to Paris is surely incomplete without a visit to the largest museum in the world- The Louvre holding more than 34,000 works of art that it would take you 8 months to complete even if you were to do it every day. Without a guided tour, it would almost be impossible to navigate this mammoth of a museum and its overwhelming crowds. We opted for a private guided tour with the theme of a kids treasure hunt, which succeeded in our little one truly enjoying her first European museum experience.

Louvre Museum

During the Treasure Hunt @ Louvre

Finally once you are in front of the most popular art- The Mona Lisa or La Joconde , you are so underwhelmed that you enter in self-doubt for your lack of artistic inclination in comprehending this “reputed” work of art. But the back story and various conspiracy theories surrounding it, are probably what make the whole painting even more interesting.

However if it was really art that you were looking for, then it would be best to head to the Orsay Museum to witness the art work by renowned and known artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir or even other artists that I came across such as Paul Signac whose unique art technique of pointillism was so fascinating.

Orsay Museum

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Art by Renoir

We also made our way to Disneyland Paris and had devoted two days so that our daughter could fully enjoy the whole experience.  Growing up in the 90s and in the world of back to back Disney movies, it was a surreal experience for me to see the Disney castle up close and personal.  Even more, the night illumination show in the backdrop of the castle is pure perfection and the 30-minute show from start to finish enthralled and engulfed me in waves of nostalgia that it literally left me in tears of pure bliss and gratitude.

The whole Disney experience is definitely a must do with or without kids and if you stay in their hotels, you benefit from the easier access and earlier entry to the parks. You might never know, who ends up enjoying it more -your kid or the kid in you ? 😉

Us at Disneyland

Disney Castle during the night show

At Disneyland Paris

No trip is complete without food, would it? And being avid foodies, we always try to enlist ourselves in atleast one gastronomic experience wherever we go. In Paris, we embarked on a guided food tour in the neighbourhood- Saint-Germain-des-Prés which took us to some of the best boulangeries (bakeries), (patisseries) pastry and chocolate shops speckled with some great insights into the history and culture before we settled down at a restaurant to devour the various food items we had collected along the way. The proverbial icing on the cake would be where we got to interact and indulge in a cultural exchange with a diverse and multi-cultural group of people coming from USA, Russia, Israel, Iceland, Sweden to Belgium.

Our guide stopping by Pierre Herme Macron shop during the food tour

Chandelier made from bread at Poilane bakery

We by which I mean me, have also probably consumed my body weight in croissants, viennoiseries and desserts. We also thoroughly relished sweet and savoury traditional French Crepes. Being a world tourist hub, also gave us access to some of the best from cuisines across the world-  Mexican, Vietnamese, the most amazing falafel plate even better than the GCC.

Croissants and more at a local boulangerie

French Crepe- Truffle cooked Ham with Egg and Cheese

Falafel plate at Chez Marianne

Macarons galore at Pierre Herme

But one of the highlights of the trip for me personally was when I took away some snippets of time for myself to explore some parts of the city on my own. I would literally rush out before the family was up for the day and would grab my morning coffee and devour my croissant (s !) while gazing at a fountain, strolling aimlessly, getting lost in my thoughts and in the streets or walking around a garden doing a self-guided audio tour. It certainly did give me an illusion of being on a solo trip while not actually travelling solo. These were some of my most cherished moments building in me the urge to come back even sooner.

When I went down the Paris tourist rabbit hole :)

The famous Cafe Les Deux Magots which was the hub of writers and artists such as Hemingway, Picasso, Sartre.

Solo moments- seated by a fountain eating my croissant

Luxembourg Gardens

Until next time, au revoir Pah-ree ! (Good bye until we meet again, Paris)

As Audrey Hepburn said- “Paris is always a good idea”.

Arc De Triomphe


  1. Wonderful travelogue. Really enjoyed this wonderfully articulated journey. Reminds me of a quote about the city which states walking Paris is often described as reading, as though the city itself were a huge anthology of tales.

  2. Well penned, loved it sis.


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