Travel Guide: Paris, France

It’s been a couple of months now since we got back from our Euro travels and I can finally say that I have in its majority, processed all the feelings, emotions, experience. When we got these scans back from our lab, it hit me, did we really see all of this? Did I really breathe in French air, tasted authentic pasta and heard with my very own ears the chime of Big Ben? Slightly in disbelief, Victor and I conversed about each image, “remember when…” and “here we did…” or “did you see this…” so many ellipses of memories. With all the devastating things that are happening in the country with natural disasters, I feel so utterly and greatly privileged to have experienced this with my husband, together. That went and came back safe and sound. Although, there were moments of worry, a little intimidation, and insecurity we did it together.

We were mainly on foot and we developed hand blisters from carrying heavy cameras, foot blisters, and French sunburns. I spent a few days while waiting for Victor and my younger brother Tony to arrive from London. At first, the big city and the foreign tongue intimidated me, but I embraced it with fears and all. I latched on to some friends I made from the workshop I attended the days before and got a hang of riding the metro around town plus sight saw. I felt this was so needed. Sometimes, it’s easy to take for granted where you live and its many characteristics. After being alone for a few days, I felt braver, inspired and renewed. Oh! Travel is so good for the soul.

We came back so refreshed and full of expectations to do more. One of the lovely friends I made at the Kayla Barker workshop even introduced a crazy idea. She cunningly put it on one of our walks, “live in Paris for a month and produce shoots for your portfolio.” When she said this to me at the time, I was thinking, ‘no way that sounds expensive!’ But after some thought and living like a wayward Parisian for a week–commuting by metro, cooking in our little Airbnb flat, while grabbing a cafe or two at the cafe downstairs, I realized that it wasn’t such a crazy thought after all. Those 4 years of High School French did me well and while I didn’t feel 100% confident most of the time, Spanish would always come to the rescue. Maybe macaroons and croissants weren’t so sinful as I always thought and maybe just maybe it could work out.

Stay tuned for the next travel posts on Versaille, Normandy, Rome, and London. We also listed a few of our photos for purchase here!

Where we stayed: Airbnb flat

Cafe we loved the most: Les Funambules

Favorite restaurant: Café Panis

Budget friendly eats: Le Pain Quotidien

Attractions we did: Musee Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Walked in the Luxembourg gardens, Saint- Eustache, Paris, Paroisse Saint-Eustache, Pont de Arts, Montmartre, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triumph, Trocadero gardens, Marche Vernaisson (Paris Flea Market), La Seine and other non-touristy neighborhoods. Versaille (not pictured coming in another post)

Transportation: Metro & some Uber rides

Our Tips:

  • You can save by exploring safe neighborhoods while staying a little outside the areas with touristic attractions and get acquainted with the metro.
  • The metro is very inexpensive averaging 1,99 Euros per ride.
  • Booking things and attractions ahead of time can save money and time. Nevertheless, arrive earlier than expected to avoid the long waits. The Eiffel Tower tours fill up fast. We didn’t get head up to the tower this time around.
  • Trip advisor was such a great app for attractions and things to do, but not as reliable for good restaurants. There are a lot of tourist trap restaurants with really expensive menus but not as equally scrumptious eats hence unreliable reviews.
  • Feel free to ask locals for their recommendations to find unique spots for truly authentic experiences.
  • Getting up at sunrise or before is great to get unique photos without the crowds of people.
  • I would also learn basic things to say in French, as some French people can be offended when you speak to them in English, also it’s just a common courtesy.
  • Learn to take the metro from the airport, taxi drivers can definitely take you on detours and tally up the bill. They will only accept cash even though they’re supposed to be able to take other payments types and will literally take you to an ATM so you can pay them.
  • Airbnb is far less than a hotel if you take into account the amenities and the amount of space you get.
  • Also, they’re barely elevators in old Parisian buildings and sometimes, escalators are broken. Get used to using stairs and carrying your luggage.
  • Get good walking shoes.

Seeing her for the first time. I got a little teary-eyed eye. Plus the Sacre-Couer Church in Montmartre.  Traveling from London to Paris skies & my first real ‘latte’.
We took some photos with our friend Nicole from Nicole Colwell Photography. Victor managed to sneak in a picture. Lady Eiffel right before they turn on the lights.
In love with architect and lattes.  Outside the Louvre. Victor playing tourist in Parisian rues. One of the window balconies in our flat.
Parisians dressed up to the nine.We climbed up all the steps of the Notre-Dame Cathedral to take on a whole new perspective. {My little brother pictured}
Taking in Bridal Portraiture. Viewing the outside from inside the Louvre.
Victor photographing inside the gothic bells of the Notre Dame.  Street Art Inside the metro. You can get this image here! Gear used: Canon 1V, Pentax 645n, Iphone 6plus

Developed & Scans: The Richard Photo Lab

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