I was sure nothing could top my time in London but I still had a quick stop in Paris to wrap up my trip and I fell in love with a city all over again. Out of all the places I travelled to during my time in Europe, Paris was the city that took me by surprise and I definitely mean that in a good way!

My family and I took an early morning Eurostar train out of London, non stop, very smooth ride and in less than three hours we had reached our final stop before heading back to Warsaw. From the moment we stepped outside from the train station I couldn’t believe my eyes, Paris really is as picturesque as you can imagine! Our time here was very short I don’t even think we had 48 hours total in the city so we had zero time to waste! We spent our first day taking advantage of a hop on hop off tour and out of all the ones I’ve been on it was here in Paris where I was in awe the most. Everywhere I looked there were beautiful old buildings, no towering skyscrapers and no big city hustle and bustle like you would find in New York City or even London, but instead the modern world adjusted to fit into the beauty the city has already offered for centuries. I swear almost every iconic building I saw, The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, The Palace Garnier, the Musee d’ Orsay, everything was just stunning and I don’t think I’ve ever said “wow” so much in such a short period of time. Each building was so pretty, maintained very well and many of which are decorated with such detail AND grand statues all over as if those are so easy to make on their own but y’know they are all over so no big deal!

I wasn’t ready for the beauty of Paris and I don’t know why I thought it would be any less. I was so happy to see most of the main parts from the bus on our first day and in the evening we enjoyed a lovely walk down the Champs Elysees happily window shopping the high end brands. What I didn’t realize before we arrived was that our first day there would be Bastille Day so there was a lot of celebration going with a lot of road closures but that became a blessing in disguise as our bus tour tickets were extended another day because of the inconvenience. My one regret was not getting to see the fireworks show at the Eiffel Tower in person that night but it was such an early travel day and I had an even earlier day ahead of me by the time we got back to the hotel there was no way I was leaving.

I admit Paris was never too high up on my travel list but because we were going to London, it became a no brainer to stop by since it’s so easily accessible via train. But for the history lover in me, if I was going to Paris visiting the Palace of Versailles was a must. Versailles is about an hour outside of Paris but very easy to get to and since we had didn’t have a lot of time in general I made sure to do all my research for this excursion well in advance of our trip, after all we were going to be there at peak season, I wasn’t about to wing it. After reading countless amount of reviews almost every traveller’s concern was the huge line up to get inside–I couldn’t afford to be stuck in a line up so for an extra 7€ each I made sure to get the guided tour that would meet in a designated spot at 9:30 am, provided separate entrance into the palace as we were going to areas closed off to the main public and after the tour was done we would already be inside and could now roam around on our own completely skipping the enormous line outside. Huuuge win and highly recommended if you ever think of visiting!

Versailles Palace always came up in my studies over the years and it easily became a bucket list item for me more than any other place in France so if I was making a trip to Paris, I was going to make it to Versailles no matter what and I have zero regrets about it. This palace is absolutely beautiful and I feel like that’s an understatement. So extravagant, so ornate, soo stunning and massive it was everything I imagined it would be, I mean the history buff in me was screaming with joy and it was honestly just another dream come true for me. Pictures don’t do this place justice but I’ll leave a few here and you’ll see why my face was basically the heart eye emoji all day!

 

It was impossible to see all Versailles has to offer in one day, the grounds are truly massive. After all the time we spent inside we walked the gardens as much as we could, had lunch and shared a small bottle of rose with my mom, perfect day and afternoon! We rounded out the day taking lots of photos with the rest of my family at The Louvre, Eiffel Tower and ended it with a cruise on the Siene River just as the sun set and the lights on the Eiffel Tower turned on–I even got to watch it sparkle at midnight to ring in my birthday, can’t imagine a better way to wrap up my trip! Paris may not have been high up on my travel list before this but I promise it’s become a city I can’t wait to come back to again and again.

The next day we travelled back to Warsaw and the morning after that we headed back home to Toronto. The most hectic and amazing 12 days I’ve ever had and I can’t help but look back on it all with a huge smile on my face. The places I got to see and time I was able to spend with my family, so many great memories and I am so grateful that everything went off without a hitch. I may be back home and back to reality but you can bet I’m waiting on the day I can plan another trip so I can do it all over again!

Amanda 🙂

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