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My Second Date with Paris

It was the perfect prologue to the Camino de Santiago and to the start of the great adventure that is solo travel; less than 24 hours in Paris.  My mom and I spent four days in The City of Lights just over a year before, but I never imagined I would be back so soon.  Paris flirted with me then, and this time I flirted back.

With the usual rounds already checked off my list, I was able to slow my pace and just feel the heartbeat of the city I already loved.

I give you, my afternoon in Paris.

My hotel near the train station, Gare Montparnasse, was only a short walk from the Luxembourg Garden.  I had to peel myself away from the fountain, where immaculately dressed Parisian children raced toy sailboats.

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Hardly tired of the gardens, I walked up the street to the Panthéon and detoured into the church of Sainte-Etienne-du-Mont, enticed by the wedding car parked on the cobblestone street in front.

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Now in the Latin Quarter, I meandered towards Saint Germain, where my mom and I stayed the last time.  I soon found the café where a particular server had taken to my mother and I.  I had to peer through the pastries to see if it were him or not, but when we locked eyes, he beamed with joy, ushered me in and presented me with a chocolate crepe.

From there, I was just a stone’s throw away from Notre Dame.  I passed over the bridge where lovers attach locks and throw away the keys.  Click here to read how Parisians view this love ritual.

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At Notre Dame, I unknowingly I stood in the wrong line to go to the top for a classic view of the city.  When I realized my error, it was closed for the day.  My third date perhaps…

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I allowed the Seine to carry me along the remainder of the day.  For a perfect half-hour, in complete happiness, I soaked my toes in the pool in front of the Musée du Louvre  as I watched a bride taking wedding photographs. Clearly I joined in.

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I continued along the Seine, dipped in Midas’ touch towards the Eiffel Tower, browsing at the timeless bookstands, postcard images of Paris themselves.  The anticipation of inching towards Paris’s crown and glory from afar is by far my favorite part.

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After a late lunch, I hurried up to Palais de Chaillot for that picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower.

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Night fell on the city as I boarded the Bateaux Mouches for a cruise down the Seine. I drank French wine out of a plastic cup surrounded by tourists living out their travel dreams beside a sparkling Eiffel Tower.

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love that you went to some of the more off-beat monuments. I still have the Green Guide I used for an art history class and am looking forward to my fourth date with Paris, whenever it may be!

    December 1, 2012
    • I hope you get your fourth date soon. Don’t you feel so lucky to even be able to say that?! Sevilla is my number one, but Paris is a close second!

      December 1, 2012
  2. So cool! It’s too bad you didn’t get to go up the Notre Dame towers, but it looks like you saw tons of the city. I love your photos, especially the second one in.

    December 2, 2012
    • Thanks Jessica! I felt good about the ground I covered in what little time I had. I think it helped to be alone to really soak it all in. I feel like you actually see and remember more without someone by your side. Top of Notre Dame…. next time. And maybe I’ll finally go to the top of the Eiffel Tower too.

      December 2, 2012
  3. Kiwi #

    Love these photos, definitely takes me back. It is definitely a magical place and has that special something in the air. All the best with the Camino de Santiago trail!

    December 5, 2012
  4. Wow, you were able to squeeze a lot into one afternoon!

    I saw Paris in the winter and am itching to go back when the weather is nicer. I love your garden shots and the Notre Dame pic!

    December 15, 2012
  5. codowd #

    What a lovely post and such beautiful pictures! I had one of those perfect ‘one day in Paris’ days last year as well. Made me fall in love with the city all over again 🙂

    December 20, 2012
  6. Great pictures and a great post! Such a contrast from the Camino!

    January 3, 2013

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