As we arrived at the grand station of Gare de Lyon, after negotiating a long and tedious conversation of Fran-glias with a furious ticket conductor about being on the wrong train (when in fact being on the correct one). My friends Gary, Sean and I made our smug way towards our Paris apartment, to re-fuel for our tour of the French capital.
Armed with a croissant and freshly brewed coffee, we headed out to our first destination of Notre Dame.
Making our way through the bustle of tourists that swarmed the magnificent 11th-century building, we couldn’t fully take in the amazing structure by simply standing under it. So we leapt over to the other side of the road, through the crazy French drivers who seemed to possess the driving skills of my half-blind 70-year-old grandmother. By doing so we were able to take this spectacular photo.
After reflecting on our near-death experience we decided it might be best if we went underground for the time being.
When scanning a French metro map it seems to look like a confusing labyrinth of colours and lines, but believe me the metro isn’t as daunting as it looks. A word of advice – to save yourself a little bit of extra cash, buy yourself ‘carte 10’, which entitles you to 10 journeys for half the price of what you’d pay for 10 single journeys. A worthwhile investment if you’re staying for a couple of days.
When in Paris you can’t avoid paying a visit to the Eiffel Tower, so we duly made our way to the monumental structure that towers over the entire city. We realised that you’ll come across many inevitable things as you tour the city of love – like public displays of affection, reckless abandonment of cars and long queues at landmarks…and this one at the Eiffel Tower was huge! However with some perseverance and Gary patiently crossing his legs for 30 minutes we made it in, and it was definitely worth the wait.
Night time was descending at this point, and from the views of the tower we were able to spot a large church in the distance. From our map we could collectively gather that it was the Sacré-Coeur, and just to make sure we asked a man standing on his own and led with the previous phrase.
And not surprisingly received a response “Ehh…sorry mate, im not Fran-say
After our failed attempt at breaching language barriers we got back on our trusted metro and travelled north of the city towards the gorgeous church of the Sacré-Coeur. Just before the sun was about to set, we climbed up the numerous steps that took us to the top. Then once we caught out breath and waited until our faces changed from a bright blue colour back to normal we proceeded to sit down, open a cheap bottle of white wine and enjoy our last couple of hours taking in the views that Paris had to offer. Viva la France!