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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

NYE in Paris

As you are all aware, I celebrated NYE with my lovely sister in none other than Paris! I realised I didn't really do a post on it on this blog, so I've copied and pasted my post from my other blog so you can all see what we got up to!

Myself and my sister went for three days/two nights and I fell in love with the place. The sights were amazing, the atmosphere was exciting and their lifestyle and culture is so different. In France everyone is so, so sophisticated! Swapping sweaty clubs for delicious French cuisine and glam bars and eating so much food but still staying so thin is definitely something I could get used to.

Anyway, here's what we got up to!

The first thing that amazed me about Paris is how thin everyone is! I know it's a common assumption that everyone in France is thin anyway but I had no idea how true this would be. Hand on heart I only saw one larger lady whilst being there for three whole days (and we visited a LOT of Paris) and I'm not even sure she was French anyway! It must be all the smoking! Also, people in France really do love baguettes. I spotted so many people walking around just munching on their baguette, or a baguette just randomly sticking out of their handbags. I don't blame them though, they were lush! The second thing amazed me as we travelled to our hotel is that in France they sometimes use double decker trains. I found this amazing. Why can't London have double decker trains?!


On the first day we visited Notre Dame de Paris. Notre Dame, based in the gothic quarter of Paris is so beautiful. It's stunning and I really loved how gothic it was. It looked almost scary with the various gargoyles and stone statues. I saw one statue in the entrance of a lady standing on a squished man?! Notre Dame has such a rich history as well and there was no way we could visit France and not go here. We did go inside but none of the photos I took came out particularly well as we were not allowed to use flash photography. We did make sure to light a candle for our Papa Roy though :)



The beautiful Christmas tree just outside of Notre Dame, we were lucky to go just after Christmas as all the decorations were still up!

We spent NYE at Champs-Élyées (also known as The Avenue des Champs-Élyées) which is a really famous avenue leading up to the Arc de Triomphe. Before that we also went to this super expensive restaurant for dinner which was, wait for it, SIX COURSES! We only managed to eat five courses though I don't even know how! Anyway, for events like NYE, Champs-Élyées is THE place to be. It runs for 1.91 km and on NYE the whole avenue is packed with crowds celebrating the new year. It is also popular because it is host to various cinemas, cafés, luxury speciality shops, clubs and restaurants (it is one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world!). Champs-Élyées to France is like Leicester Square in London - it's where everybody goes to celebrate NYE.


Myself and my sister at Champs-Élyées, and the photo above showing some of the decorations that run along the famous avenue. In France it is tradition to exclaim 'Bonne Année' which translates to 'Good Year' when the clock strikes 12!

After this we got chatted up by a few randomers who discovered we were English and then we were, as usual (yes it happens on a regular basis to us) stalked! I am partly to blame for this because I was eyeing up some bloke at the Arc de Triomphe (as we walked along the avenue and up to it). But I wasn't eyeing him up, he just looked like a spitting image of one of my ex's friends only chubbier so for a split second I thought it was him! Anyway we left and found a metro station which is when they began chatting us up, asking us to go out with them, asking us for kisses etc. We told them we had boyfriends and then one asked us for a 'baguette kiss' whatever that is, whilst the other claimed that having a boyfriend doesn't count as we were in another country! Then they tried to bribe us to come to their market stall the following day to give us free makeup? In the end they followed us to the Arc de Triomphe ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE METRO STOP OUTSIDE OF OUR HOTEL. All this way! Me and my sister ALWAYS attract the weirdos!



The following day we briefly visited the famous Moulin Rouge. What I didn't know (which should have been really obvious) was that it was based basically in France's red light district among sex shops, sex shows and places like that! I was surprised to find how different it was then how I expected it to be from the film. I thought it would be much more glam and I definitely thought it would be tucked away somewhere, not sticking out in the middle of a street filled with dodgy shops! Nonetheless you can still see why it's considered to be so famous, inside it still seems very glam and the shows look amazing.

After that we visited Monmarte

At the very top there is a church (Basilique due Sacré-Coeur) and from the top you can see a spectacular sight of the city. Along the climb there are also usually various artists performing such as buskers and mime artists (not typical mime artists but the people that are painted white all over and pretend to be statues, I'm not sure of their proper names!).  

A carousel at the bottom of the hill with Basilique due Sacré-Coeur in the background.


The view from the top


When we got to the top we found that there was a Christmas fayre still running so we got some delicious mulled wine and hot chocolate (seriously, the best in the world!) before going inside Basilique due Sacré-Coeur.


The next day, as you can see, we visited The Eiffel Tower! 


We waited in the end for about four hours to get to the top. We had wanted to go up in the evening and the long wait was horrible but it was worth it. We only actually stayed up the top for about 5 minutes and had to queue to get back down as well (I know you're all wondering why we bothered if we only stayed up there for 5 mins!) but I'm really glad we did. The view was one in a million, it was hand on heart absolutely astounding and made the wait more than worth it. The reason we didn't stay longer was because it was raining very heavily and it was extremely windy, I was worried the wind would blow the camera out of my hands!

This was taken from the second floor.

View from the very top. Sorry these photos aren't very good quality!

Then we went back to the gothic quarter near Notre Dame where they had all these cute slender backstreets which were filled with different places to eat and drink. Below is a photo of one of the streets, it doesn't do it justice. This area reminded me of The Shambles in York.


We ate in a cute Italian restaurant where we stuffed our faces yet again.

The ceiling of the restaurant.

The restaurant had notes from all different currencies hanging up and people had signed them which I thought was cool!

The Notre Dame at night.

The following day we were pretty exhausted and after checking out of the hotel we only had a couple of hours before checking our train. So we ended up in a posher part of Paris where we had a nosey around the shops and visited another pretty church before heading back.

We had the most amazing time ever and I'll never forget it!

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