Finally, we’ve arrived in Europe! We had planned our Eurotrip for so long, it was surreal to finally touch down.
We had a tight budget for Europe, since a) we wanted to come home with savings and b) we had a lot planned. So, we turned to CouchSurfing for this leg of the trip. CouchSurfing is a website where people basically let you crash on their couch (or spare room) for free. It’s a great way to meet locals and see a different side to each city. Luckily, Kamil accepted our request, so we headed to his house, which was just outside of Paris.
Our first order of business: meat and cheese. As we headed out on day one, we stopped by the nearest bakery for croissants, then stocked up on various meats and cheeses at the grocery store. We had missed eating these sorts of luxuries in SE Asia! We had a picnic outside of the Louvre before heading in.
The Louvre was massive and definitely a bit overwhelming for us. We had no idea what we were doing as we wandered around. The Mona Lisa is a mob of people with selfie-sticks trying to catch a glimpse, which was disappointing. We walked around until our feet hurt and decided to head out for dinner.
We headed towards Montmartre area for dinner and loved walking around the cobblestone streets and visiting the “Love Wall”, which has “I love you” written in every language. We enjoyed a three-course prix fix dinner (which is a must-do in Paris) and grabbed some gelato for dessert.
At sunset, we headed up the Montmartre hill to see the birds-eye view and the stunning Sainte-Pierre church. There’s plenty of benches on the hill, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun go down. Just be careful of the scam artists trying to tie string onto your hands – they want money! And, as always, watch out for pickpockets.
The next day was Bastille Day, French National Holiday. We got lucky, since this meant it was the day they set off the iconic fireworks on top of the Eiffel Tower. We grabbed picnic stuff, a few bottles of wine, and set out our blanket early to get a good view. A orchestra played and there were people selling anything you needed, making it perfect for laying down and relaxing.
The fireworks were spectacular, which was to be expected. The orchestra played two songs synchronized to the fireworks, which was really beautiful. We’re not sure how we’ll ever be able to look at fireworks the same again.
Our trip in Paris was short, but it was the perfect amount of time for us. Walking around, enjoying bread and coffee, was a great welcome to Europe and what was to come for us.