Paris Trip: Day 2 – A Thrilling Adventure Conquering the Eiffel Tower in Paris

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This day did not go as planned. We accidentally slept in until 11:00am and decided to just take our time getting ready for the day. Due to this, we didn’t end up leaving Vibha’s apartment until after 1:00pm. Surprisingly, I’m very pleased with our decision to “take the day as it comes” instead of choosing to rush and try to stick with the agenda that I had originally prepared for this day. Embracing spontaneity led to an incredible first-full-day experience in Paris!

While getting ready for the day ahead, Vibha prepared a wonderful breakfast spread for us to enjoy and I was able to spend a lot of time chatting with her. As I mentioned in Paris Trip Day 1 (Part 2), Vibha is one of my husband’s cousins who was born and raised in Paris. Despite being just a few years older than us, she exudes the vibe of the ultimate “cool auntie” that everyone loves to spend time with. This marked the beginning of our daily morning conversations with Vibha about life, which quickly became something I eagerly anticipated each day!

Upon leaving for an adventurous day in the city’s center, we made a pit-stop at a local general store nearby to get some Xerox copies of our IDs made. Okay, so it might sound a bit odd, but trust me, these were essential for snagging our week-long metro passes. Turns out, in Paris, they’re pretty serious about putting your photo on your metro card to keep it safe from sneaky swipers! Later on during our trip, we learned that police will actually do random checks at metro stations, asking to see your metro card to confirm that the photo on the backside is, in fact, of you. This happened to us more than once and was very interesting to experience as foreigners!

Once we grabbed our metro cards, we jumped on the line heading straight to the heart of Paris, ready to kick off our first grand adventure! First stop: lunch. We settled on dining at Le Petite Pont, a charming restaurant that caught our eye as we strolled past, with its inviting ambiance and cozy atmosphere. I enjoyed the veggie crepe while Moni, my husband, selected the cheese omelette. This marked a significant moment in our journey as I discovered that most cafes and restaurants have their restrooms tucked away downstairs, a theme that would occur throughout our time in Paris.

By the time we had finished enjoying our lunch, a gentle rain began to cloak the bustling streets. Such a bummer for me as I despise rain! We had originally decided to go explore Sainte-Chapelle following our meal, but we quickly changed our minds as we were afraid we might be standing in a long line in the rain, waiting to enter the beautiful chapel. Instead, we switched gears and hopped on the metro line that would take us to Musée Yves Saint Laurent!

After exiting the mouth of the metro nearest this exquisite fashion museum, we were astonished to find the most incredible view of the Eiffel Tower! Thankfully, by this point, the rain had let up and Moni had fun taking photos of me, living my best “Parisian life”. Additionally, we stumbled upon the tunnel where Princess Diana had passed away in the tragic car accident in August of 1997 (known as Pont de L’Alma tunnel). If you’ve watched Season 6 of The Crown, this tunnel is featured as it’s unfortunately part of British Royal history. A monument has been erected above the tunnel in her honor (see photo below). It appears to be regularly adorned with fresh flowers, given those present upon it, especially considering it was mid-March at the time.

We began to feel a bit low on energy, so we decided to to grab a pastry as a mid-day snack before continuing with our afternoon plans. Luckily for us, La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac was located on the path towards the museum! Upon walking in, we were greeted cheerfully by the employees with a warm welcome. They made us feel right at home, and happily helped translate the names of the pastries as needed. Moni settled on a plain, boring croissant while I was much more adventurous in my choice of the Black Forest pastry. I was beyond satisfied with my decision (and so was Moni!).

With our hunger satisfied, we dove into an exciting adventure at Musée Yves Saint Laurent for a couple of hours. Well, it was more so an exciting adventure for me than it was for Moni, but he was a good sport! It’s a bit embarrassing to confess, especially as a fashion design student, but I really didn’t know much about this legendary designer until I stepped foot in the museum. I was captivated to find out that Yves Saint Laurent achieved many of the same milestones I aspire to reach in my own fashion career. I’ve since added him to my list of inspirational designers, alongside Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Halston and Gianni Versace. Additionally, I was thrilled to learn that there is a second YSL museum, located in Marrakesh, Morocco, as he loved this country and his collections were deeply inspired by Moroccan culture. Upon discovering this, both Marrakesh and its YSL museum have been added to my travel bucket list. 

Exploring this exquisite museum worked up our appetites, so we opted for a snack and coffee break before heading to our next adventure! We found an Italian restaurant nearby where we enjoyed a cheese platter, French fries and a couple cappuccinos before making an impromptu decision to go explore the Eiffel Tower. We initially planned for a boat tour along the Seine river, but realizing it was past 6:30 pm, we knew we wouldn’t make it to the dock in time for the last departure. Surprisingly, this change of plans ended up being fantastic!

Upon arriving at the base of the enormous Iron Lady, we found a massive crowd, most specifically for the ticket line which included a “lift” ride (known as an “elevator” ride in the U.S.) from the ground up. However, the ticket line that required visitors to walk up the stairs to the second floor then continue up to the top via the lift was basically empty. True to my impatient nature, I persuaded Moni to join me in taking the stairs to skip the line, ultimately saving us a few precious hours. Bonus: the tickets that covered the stairs were cheaper than the all-the-way-lift tickets, making it an even better deal! Besides, we are two, able-bodied people who exercise on a regular basis, so there was no reason for us not to take the stairs.

While it was cold and windy walking up the 674 steps to the second floor, it was absolutely worth it! I mean, how many people can say that they have climbed up the Eiffel Tower?! By the looks of the incredibly long line for the lift, not many! The first floor contains a few restaurants and gift shops as well as an area where you can sit and relax (which was much needed after taking the stairs!). The second floor contains a few more shops as well as a Michelin-Star restaurant, the Jules Verne. Once we reached the second floor, we immediately got in line to ride the lift to the top floor, which is the only way to get there these days are the original spiral staircase is deemed unsafe. The view from the top was absolutely stunning! It was night, the buildings below sparkled with light and it was breath taking. Under the cover of night, the city below twinkled with dazzling lights, creating a truly breathtaking sight.

After spending a considerable amount of time on the different levels of the Eiffel Tower, we made our way to a nearby bus stop. Upon realizing that this bus stop was in the perfect position to view the twinkling lights of the tower, we decided to skip the first two buses. After all, the magical sparkle show only happens at the top of every hour, and it was nearly 9:00 pm! Yet again, our spontaneity proved to be worth it!

The bus transported us to a quieter, less touristy neighborhood where we stumbled upon Maison Blanche, a cozy bistro nestled along a quaint side street lined with diverse culinary options. Here, we indulged in fondue! An exciting experience for me as I used to work at The Melting Pot, an Americanized fondue chain. This experience was much different than the Americanized version I was used to, but delicious nonetheless! The delectable melted cheese was served with breads and boiled potatoes. The potatoes were a new dipping concept for me, and they turned out to be quite delicious!

Upon finishing our dinner, we discovered that the restaurant only accepted cash, not credit cards. So, Moni had to dash off to find a nearby ATM, leaving me behind for a moment. While he was gone, a man playing a ukulele while singing some tunes walked into the restaurant and began asking the patrons at each table where they were from. The table next to ours gave their answer, “India”, and the man proceeded to sing a song to them in HINDI! The entire table erupted in excitement, obviously surprised by this as the man was clearly French-born-and-raised.

When the man finished up singing in Hindi to the neighboring table, he came to my table next, where I proceeded to ask, “kya aap Hindi bolte hai?” (“do you speak Hindi?“), which caused yet another eruption from the neighboring table of Indians. Especially considering that my Indian-born boyfriend was not at the table with me, so I just appeared to be some random, solo white girl who somehow could speak Hindi. As someone who thrives on getting reactions out of others, I absolutely reveled in all of this!

Moni eventually returned, and I delighted in recounting this hilarious tale to him, though he expressed regret at having missed it. We left the restaurant and decided we needed to delight in some dessert before heading home for the night. We found ourselves at La Cremé de Paris where Moni indulged in his favorite, an Oreo shake, and I enjoyed a delicious Nutella crepe. Such a sweet way to end a glorious day in Paris!

Published by Bailey Reber

Hi friends! Welcome to the world of Hey Bails, where you will get a glimpse of all the things I get myself into! Explore the world with me, check up on my progress learning the Hindi language, hear about my journey with mental health & bipolar 2 disorder via my podcast (Distressed to Joyful; Bailey's Way) and learn how to do a variety of DIY projects with me, such as crafting and beauty tutorials. So, what are you waiting for? Let's start having FUN!

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