Last week I turned 25 in Paris and fell in love with the city of love with my favourite people. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled to lots of cities so far this year but Paris I think, is always going to be my favourite.
The city offered me art, culture, amazing views and all the crepes a girl could wish for! And after a hearty breakfast of fluffy crepes and pastries every, single morning, I’d become an explorer for the rest of the day visiting all of the tourist hotspots.
When you’re going to Paris for the first time (and you love art as much as I do), it makes sense to have visiting The Louvre up quite high on your itinerary…but my goodness was that place booked up! 😭 In the end, the only way to get in was to pay extra for a guided tour (which began at 9.30am).
I’m so grateful we visited The Louvre (even if my eyes were struggling to open up for the first half an hour ahaha). With it being the biggest museum in the world, we saw A LOT of art. As the world’s largest collection of art, they say it would take 100 days to see all of the art in the Louvre!
Visiting The Louvre wasn’t the only time we stopped to look at art on this trip. Photo-journalist Steve McCurry had an exhibition on with some of his best works and while he was really lacking in his description of his works, the photography itself was rather breathtaking. Here are some of my favourites:
Something that sets the tone for any of my vacations is the hotel that I stay in. My hotel stay in Paris was the best experience ever and I couldn’t believe our luck when (on the hottest day of the year), we discovered their beautiful swimming pool and spa facilities were completely empty and got to enjoy it all to ourselves!
One night we noticed a long line of people queuing a one-minute walk away from our restaurant and we realised then that we were staying a minute away from a famous Parisian restaurant, known for serving a set menu of steak and fries.
I love steak (A LOT), so it didn’t take much convincing to get me to join a queue behind 45 people and queue an hour for dinner! The steak did not disappoint and the dining experience was unique. That is to say, the waitresses (deliberately) wore grotty aprons and were sort of in a rush to serve you and have you vacate your table for the next customer. (And from what I’ve read online, I think that’s meant to be part of Le Relais de l’Entrecote’s charm).
On my actual birthday I had quite the opposite, although equally enjoying dining experience. I wasn’t told what we’d be doing and was surprised to a dinner cruise. We had dinner while passing all the famous landmarks as the sun set, with lovely live music playing in the background. The views of the city were absolutely gorgeous!
As much as the city is gorgeous in itself, I realise lots of thought was put into my birthday trip and that’s why this trip and Paris in particular, holds lots of sentimental value to me. My input in planning this trip was 0% and yet, I had the perfect birthday trip because so much thought and planning went into this trip.
The day before my birthday, when we explored all the touristy spots, saw Steve McCurry’s exhibition and raced to the Eiffel Tower at midnight to watch it light up as I turned 25, was one of my most favourite days ever. It made my heart so happy!🥺
And while I’ve neglected to write a travel diary for any of the other cities I have visited so far this year, I thought I’ve got to write something for this one, if only to remember how special it was to me.
I think for all of my upcoming birthdays, I’m going to catch the Eurostar/fly out again and go and make the best memories. This tradition of living my absolute best life must live on!
P. S. If you were one of the people that was part of my birthday and you read this – I love you ❤️