30th of March, 2015 – Last day in Paris

As this was the last day we just booked in one main thing for the day as not to put too much time pressure on things. It was a wonderfully clear day, perfect for going up the Eiffel Tower. We booked online before we went and I am so glad that we did because there were two separate queues – one for those with pre-purchased e-tickets and one for those without tickets. The other queue was about three times the length of our queue and to be honest I am not patient enough to wait in that.

In hindsight I would not book to go up the tower on the last day unless you have LOADS of time to spare. We went in the morning and our train wasn’t until the afternoon but even then it was a squeeze because with the queuing it took a lot longer than anticipated and you do not want to rush it once you do eventually get up.

As you can see from the pictures there are a lot of railings up which make the views a little less picturesque, but its so iconic we couldn’t really go to Paris without going up it!

We took the lift up (which you have to queue for at two different points) and walked down. Walking was really fun actually because you got to see different views on the way down.

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Last Parisienne breakfast – putting the apples in our bags to make the most of the buffet spread!

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Metro life

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On top of Paris

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Saying goodbye to our fabulous hotel
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Back at the train station ready to depart for London

29th of March, 2015 – Disneyland Paris

We took the train to Disneyland which was simple enough once we had looked the route up online. We got there and it was pretty much lightly raining all day but we didn’t let that spoil our moods. We all had coats and layers so it was all good.

We went on pretty much all the rides and watched the parade. We bought a couple of things to remember the holiday by – I got a Disneyland Paris mug for my sister.

I booked our Disneyland tickets online in advance so there was no queuing or confusion about tickets when we arrived – we could just go straight in and have fun!

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On the teacups
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Alice in Wonderland Maze

 

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We then headed back to central Paris, dumped our stuff and went out for our last night in the city. We went back to Montparnasse as there were plenty of restaurants and cuisines to choose from and we didn’t want to travel too far as we were pretty knacker from Disneyland.

We went to Hippopotamus, which was a French/American diner so it was really relaxed and easy – just what we were looking for.

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Outside our Montparnasse Tower at night this time

28th of March, 2015

We headed out in the morning for a little exploring of Paris. We took the metro (which was cheap, efficient and far better than our experience of the London Underground) into the main tourist area and went across the famous bridges, walking along the tree-lined streets to stop the famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower.

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After a lot of wandering and some silly photos we decided to go the Laudree store on the Champs Elysees. This was my first macaron and it was a good one although it was difficult to choose the flavour out of all the options.

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I eventually decided on a Raspberry Rose one. We took our macarons to go and then found a cute little cafe on a side street off the Champs Elysees to have a spot of lunch (well if Crepes can count as lunch). The cafe was called Cafe Victoria – I already knew it was going to be good because it had my sister’s name in it. Again it had very traditional French decor with deep red furnishings.

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Over lunch we had a little look at the map and decided what to do the rest of the day – next up was Notre Dame.

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We asked some other tourists to take a photo for us – this was one out of dozens in the burst they accidentally took

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We then walked to the Love Lock Bridge. Some of the bridge was sectioned off because it was getting too heavy and they did not want additional locks to be added there.

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We walked through the Louvre area and the surrounding gardens and parks, which was actually one of my favourite parts of the trip. The sun had come out at this point which was wonderful for March.

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We then went to The Montparnasse Tower for 360 degree views, which was pretty convenient as it was near our hotel and it was recommended by a friend of mine who had been to Paris a few months before on a school Politics Trip. The offered a reduced price for students, there was no queuing, we went up in a quick lift and the view was amazing. In my opinion (controversial one maybe) I actually preferred the Monparnasse Tower to the Eiffel tower for a few reasons:

  • The view was through glass so it was not cold or windy
  • No queuing
  • Cheaper than Eiffel Tower (only €12 each)
  • Not as many tourists (there were probably only 30 other people up there when we went)
  • You get to see the Eiffel Tower in your view
  • Better information about what you are looking at
  • Going up in the lift was painless unlike the Eiffel Tower where there was a lot of queuing and not enough lifts for the volume of people.
  • No need to book in advance unlike Eiffel Tower (allows you to be more flexible and will not lose money if plans change)

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We went right at the end of March at the beginning of the Easter Holidays in the UK, so if the Eiffel Tower was packed then I dread to think what it would be like in the summer. Yes, the Eiffel Tower is so famous, but I would say if you are only in Paris for between a day or a long weekend, opt for the Montparnasse Tower because you’ll get to see the Eiffel Tower from the top and from ground level and it will give you much more time for other activities.

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We were already near to our hotel so we headed back, got changed and dumped off our bags and headed out to dinner. After dinner we went to a Au Metro bar for a couple of cocktails and got talking to a team of Australian sportswomen who were telling us all about their travels and swapping stories. They are quite relaxed about drinking there – not asking for our ID when we had only just turned 18. The restaurant we went to was a lovely Italian – Paris had a great variety of cuisines which was ideal!

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27th of March, 2015

So for my 18th birthday, instead of a big party or something, I asked for a bit of money that I could put towards the EuroStar and Hotel for a trip to Paris with two of my closest friends.
So after school on a Friday we headed to London St Pancras International and boarded our train to Paris. Already there was a little drama at the station … Martha left her phone in the security box and it was going round and round on the conveyer belt so we had to talk to security and track it down.

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We got out of the airport and got into a slightly dodgy taxi. Since this was the first time any of us have been out of the country without adults (school trip or family holiday), it wasn’t the best start. The events in Taken movie kept coming into our minds…

We checked in at Hotel Ariane Montparnasse, dumped our bags (we all too small carry on suitcases) and headed out for dinner. We went to a restaurant just around the corner from us recommended to us by the hotel staff. It was just what we wanted, quick, charming and right round the corner so we did not have to be traipsing round an unknown city when we were tired and hungry from the journey. We went to Chez Felicie (174 Avenue Du Maine, 75014 Paris), a Partisan Bistro, with very french decor and charm. I had grilled chicken on a bed of pasta, and of course we had some french bread to start.