I posted my Paris to-do list a month ago at the beginning of February and I'm extremely proud to let you know that I've ticked off all but 2 of the items! I'm abandoning the one about visiting the Musee Picasso sadly - the buffoons running the renovation have pushed back the grand re-opening yet again, and now it won't be open till June, which is no good for me as I'll be back in Blighty by then. I guess I'll just have to come back after graduation for a long weekend or something to finally get my Picasso fill... needs must you see!
The only things left on the list for me to do are visit the Place des Vosges and eat proper Parisian moules, I think I'll be able to manage it. I like to set myself little goals though and have something to work towards, and having lots of things to motivate me through hard university work is essential for me. So I've been giving some thought to more things I can add to a new and improved list. Before I reveal what I've come up with, I'll fill you in on what I got up to at the weekend.
This Sunday I found myself back on the sensational Champs-Élysées weaving myself up to the Arc de Triomphe again, except this time I had company, and this time I wasn't just going to stand at the bottom and admire the view from the ground looking up. I've always known you can go up the Arc, you can always see little heads poking over the top looking down at you, but I had never gotten round to doing it myself. I also had no idea that it is free for under-25s, so when I found out last week I knew I had to get up there as soon as I could! My boyfriend Jules and I have been going out for 3 months now, so we decided to take a break from our work and met up to go together as a little celebration and treat.
The only way to get up to the top is via the spiral staircase, so get ready to do a bit of huffing and puffing! Honestly though, it isn't really that bad and only takes a few minutes, and the view, just wow. It's so worth a little work out...
360 degree views of Paris. The light was just beginning to fade when we reached the top, making the traffic lights on the avenues look so beautiful.
It's utterly breathtaking from up here. The only thing is that they're doing some renovation work here too, and the scaffolding on the corner of the Arc blocks your view of the Eiffel Tower, hence the lack of photos of that. However, you can see the Tower through the scaffolding going down the stairs on the way out, though, and reading about what they're doing to repair the Arc in the little exhibition at the top of the Arc was interesting (making it more watertight, just so you know). It's deceptively big inside, and there's even a really good gift shop at the top selling all kinds lovely but over-priced Paris-related stuff.
Paris is an amazing place to be at dusk, it's my favourite time of day here. Everything becomes illuminated and starts to twinkle. We lucked in on the weather again, a chill in the air, but no rain and more importantly no wind. I hope that things have finally calmed down back home in the poor old UK in the storm department!
So now for my updated to-do list! Making this was easy-peasy thanks to my wonderful friend Polly, who got me this brilliant little book called 'Paris Select' full to bursting with cool little tips and hints of things to do in Paris once you've done all the obvious touristy things. Admittedly some of these things will be a bit more touristy than others, but the thing all the items have in common are that I've never been to/eaten/done the following and I definitely need to do so before my time studying in Paris is up!
1. Musee Carnavalet
2. Macaroons from Laduree
3. Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise
4. Hot Chocolate from Angelina
5. Porte de Clignancourt flea market
6. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
7. Moulin Rouge
8. Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
10. Tuileries Gardens
I can't wait to get cracking! I've already been, but if I have time to re-visit the Louvre and the Pantheon I will try to drop by there also. I'll keep you posted on how I'm getting on!