After this past long weekend, I feel rested, recharged and ready for the coming week (and weekend away at a music festival in Squamish – make sure you enter to win my survival kit if you haven’t already!). After settling back into my at-home routine faster than expected (usually I’m one of those annoying types who don’t unpack for 3 months), it’s particularly hard to believe that I was only boarding a plane to come back home less than a week ago! Having said that, I’m missing my travels quite a bit lately, particularly Paris as that was a full month ago now. So without further ado, I’m so excited to share my first travel diary from undoubtedly the most beautiful city in the world – click through to see it all!
After recuperating from our jet lag at my mum’s best friend’s place (thank you again Donna!) before moving into our Airbnb in the 11th, we spent our first day taking in the sights you kind of need to see, even if you’ve done Paris a million times before – swing by Trocadéro for an up-close view of the Eiffel Tower (apparently if you get creative and have the energy, around here you can scale some stairs for a much more quiet and beautiful view of the tower), walk through Champ de Mars, visit Pont Alexandre III (the most beautiful bridge in the city, IMO), meander around Jardin des Tuileries (stopping for a rest at this point on one of its famous green chairs!) and finally, taking in Palais Garnier (which we returned to later in the week because there was a show underway).
I was visiting Paris with one of my best friends, Emaan, who was a total angel about taking my pictures! She also put up with my travel style which I’ve realized now can be a bit tiring to deal with. I have this bad habit of being able to go a long time without eating, which is weird for someone who loves to eat so much. If I get in the zone (be it work, sightseeing, etc), I literally can just keep going on and on without stopping ever – it’s not unusual for Matt to come home to me sitting with breakfast dishes still around me after a particularly packed work day. Not good! I also am a big walker whether at home or travelling, but combine a love for walking for hours with the ability to not eat for awhile and it results in a general sense of hangriness for all parties involved. Having a travel buddy in Paris this time was perfect because she would give gentle reminders for us to stop and rest, to get a snack, a drink, etc.
So with that being said, a few tips I learned this time around for getting to explore Paris by foot without completely bottoming out by the end of the day!
1. Have a really big, nutritious breakfast in the morning. I love a good brunch but usually if I’m having a proper breakfast, I make it a light one. When travelling though, stock up now and make sure you drink plenty of water a couple of hours before you leave – washrooms are hard to find in Paris so best to eat well, hydrate and do your business before you hit the streets.
2. Include one must-visit bakery (Blé Sucré and Angelina’s are two suggestions!) or neighbourhood must (L’As du Falafel in Le Marais is always popular and both Marché d’Aligre and Marché des Enfants Rouges have great food options) as part of your loose itinerary for the day – not only does this guarantee that you’ll stop to eat at some point, but it saves you from having to eat somewhere overpriced or low quality out of desperation if you do your research ahead of time and pick a good spot!
3. In that vein, make a rest break part of your itinerary too – later that week after I realized I needed to make some adjustments to my go-go-go zone I get into, we had a lovely two hour break over some rosé at le Square du Vert-Galant (which is a must, on the western tip of Île de la Cité). It made the whole day better to have that little rest, not to mention having these moments to stop and people watch is pretty much one of the most special things you can do in Paris.
4. Bring footwear you’ve already broken in. Try it out at home if you need to beforehand – walk to work, do a couple extra errands, etc. All my shoes were great because they were all broken in already so with a couple preemptive bandages on those first couple of days, my feet were in good shape!
5. When you do stop at a cafe or bistro to grab a drink or espresso, make sure you drink plenty of water there and make sure you hit up the washroom – as I mentioned in point 1, unless you’re willing to stop into Starbucks and the like all the time, it’s best to make your snack breaks pit stops for everything (caffeine, toilets, etc).
Can’t wait to share more of my travel diaries with you guys over the coming weeks! On top of the diaries, let me know if you want anything else at all travel-related – let me know in the comments!