Paris, France

June 27-30, 2017 | With our time in Europe drawing to a close, we made sure to take a trip to the beautiful City of Light before we made our way back to the States.

When you’re in a romantic French city, rain adds another layer of intrigue to the overall ambience. That was certainly the case during our stay in Paris.

While the wet conditions made walking around the city slightly more challenging, the clouds created a dramatic backdrop behind Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame cathedral. They also provided a great excuse to cozy up inside streetside cafes to sip coffee, eat crepes (both savory and sweet), and observe the movement of the city.

For our first two nights, we stayed at InterContinental Le Grande (thanks to Tim’s travel hacking abilities), and that was a huge treat. It’s true that we felt a bit out of place amidst the highly fashionable business people that frequent the hotel, but we definitely didn’t let that spoil our experience.

We met up with Clara (the friend I went to Córdoba and Sevilla with) in the lobby of the InterContinental, in fact. She had recently moved to Germany, and it was so nice to see her! She stayed in Paris through Friday, so had plenty of overlap to do fun (primarily food-related) things together: we ate lunch overlooking the Seine, checked out a morning market, and enjoyed some yummy Parisian eats on multiple nights for dinner.

Market kitty

No trip to Paris would be complete without a stop at the Louvre. While we didn’t spend several hours there, we appreciated the chance to see Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, The Coronation of Napoleon, and other iconic works. And the building itself is a work of art, too!

As we walked through the museum, I began to see a theme of technology and commercialism clashing with art and history.

Along with the Louvre, we also made time to see the exhibits at Centre Pompidou. Unlike the classical vibe of the Louvre, Pompidou features contemporary art, so it was nice to experience both museums on consecutive days. We agreed that David Hockney’s exhibit was our favorite, as we preferred his bold, colorful pop art creations to some of the hyper-abstract modernist pieces found in other areas of the museum.

Paris is always portrayed as a city rich in art, history, food (especially pastries), and lovely scenery. It certainly didn’t disappoint, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we make a return trip sometime in the future.

– J