Paris Surprised Me

I expected to love Paris. I mean, it’s Paris. How could I think I would feel anything but awe while exploring the city that I’ve heard about since I can remember? That said, though, I also felt like maybe I’d heard too much about Paris – I’d argue that it’s among the most famous tourist destinations in the world, which just made me feel like perhaps it was overdone.

Despite my odd mixture of trepidation and excitement to finally set foot in Paris, I fell head over heels in love for the City of Light. From a picnic in a packed Parisian park (how’s that for alliteration?) to a busy afternoon hitting the highlights, my sister and I couldn’t stop exclaiming over just how gorgeous this city is. Pictures can’t do it justice – after all, I’ve certainly seen enough photos, and I was still blown away.

Perhaps the best part of our stay was the fact that our accommodation was free. My last post was about our incredible night cruising the Seine, which featured some gorgeous photos from Catherine, my sister’s old classmate. She was kind enough to let us crash with her, which was amazing in such an expensive city. She even picked us up at the train station, which was lucky since I had never been more sleep deprived and would have gotten completely lost in the maze of tunnels we found ourselves weaving through.

We emerged into a very authentic area of the city, which Catherine described as a student ghetto: it was extremely vibrant, filled with immigrants and of course students. Our personal tour guide then proceeded to show us all the highlights of her adopted city from Montmartre to the best street art to icons like Notre Dame and the Louvre.

Now, before we go on – I did not go into either Notre Dame or the Louvre. I know, a travesty. Multiple people have given me disdainful looks when I tell them this, especially about the Louvre. My sister and I are in agreement – art museums are boring. Sure, if I had two weeks in Paris and the museum was free, I’d go in for a bit, but it wasn’t and I didn’t. No regrets! So don’t judge us.

We did, however, walk by the Louvre, which was gorgeous. Catherine took us along the perfect route from her apartment to Notre Dame, the Love Lock Bridge (which is apparently very controversial, I just thought it was pretty), and through the magnificent Jardins Tuileries.

To cap off this amazing day, we headed to a supermarket, grabbed supplies for an evening picnic (naturally, including wine) and headed to a park near Catherine’s house to indulge in this commendable Parisian tradition. I don’t know why North Americans don’t have as many picnics as Europeans, but I think it’s a terrible oversight.

To sum up this rambly post, Paris surprised me. Two days there was not enough, although we managed to pack a remarkable amount of things into our whirlwind trip. As soon as we got on the plane I was plotting when I could return for a much longer period of time.

LrMobile0605-2015-070150575972961968 LrMobile0605-2015-070150635540633560 LrMobile0605-2015-071250646484493868 LrMobile0605-2015-071850472906741330 LrMobile0605-2015-072350477765245338 LrMobile0605-2015-072850482770272160 LrMobile0605-2015-073050604137089144 LrMobile0605-2015-073550549611741614 LrMobile0605-2015-075150625279803147

Have you ever been to a city that surprised you? What about Paris – have you been and was it like you expected?


  1. Lindsay @ Frugal Frolicker says

    This post is so encouraging! I have the same excitement/trepidation about visiting Paris someday (remind me again why I still haven’t?), but now I’m hopeful that I’ll love it as much as everyone else does. Picnicking in a Parisian park looks like such a blast! 😀

  2. Polly says

    I love visiting the un-touristy bits of cities – it takes a lot of the stress and expectations out of travel! Sounds like Paris was a great success 🙂

  3. MissLilly says

    I have to admit I didn’t fell in love with Paris the first time, maybe because (even though it was June), it was raining cats & dogs. After 2 hours queuing for the Eiffel tower, we’ve decided to take a walk to Notre Dame while raining. I was so exhausted I had a nap in Notre Dame. But, after returning to Paris in different occasions for work and with sunshine I’ve started to appreciate the city, especially the little stores or walking along the Seine. Still hate the smelly underground, which everyone tells me it’s improving a lot by now. Ah, same as you, I never went into the Louvre, yes that’s right. Maybe one day I’ll go in, but first I like to explore the city than stay 1 day at a museum, even if it’s as famous as the Louvre

    • bethanydickey says

      I totally agree about the Louvre! Glad I’m not the only one! It’s too bad you had a rough time in Paris…it’s crazy how much weather can affect your opinion of a place!

  4. Valerie says

    I’m glad you enjoyed Paris — my first trip in November 2011, I HATED it. I then went back in the summer and found it much more enjoyable (also, I had already seen all the touristy spots, so I just did the local living type thing, and really enjoyed it).

  5. Katherine says

    So happy you liked it!!! Paris is my one true love but it’s hit or miss with a lot of people. Glad you “get it”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *