So for those of you who follow me on Instagram - 1. You a real Homie. 2. You'll know that I recently visited Paris, France for the day because I have been spamming you with pictures from my trip. (If you don't follow me - @matt_tapley)
I thought I may as well write a post just outlining what I did in my total of about 7 hours in France's beautiful capital city as well as letting you know what's worth doing should you choose to visit! Obviously I cannot give you every single detail of Paris after a 7 hour trip but it'll be the best whistle stop tour you're going to find.
The first thing I decided to do was head to the Stade De France. Being football mad I was so excited to find out France were playing against Denmark on the same day as my trip, I thought maybe I could watch the game at a fan park or even just soak up some atmosphere at the national stadium. Apparently not. It turns out the Stade De France was absolutely dead and isn't particularly pretty, so unfortunately it was a wasted trip. The mob of French fans on their mopeds later in the day made up for it though.
With only having a short amount of time I tried to choose places that were either "must sees" or geographically close or both. So an easy place to get to on the train from the Stade De France was Notre-Dame, perhaps best known from the Disney movie. The Cathedral looked gorgeous bathed in sunlight, sat on the banks of the river Seine. It's a photographers dream with a lot of tourists pointing huge telescope like cameras at it. If I went back to Paris I'd definitely look into taking my time to explore inside and climb to the top and enjoy the views.
The next thing on my agenda was to find a park nearby park and I quote "chateau looking building" to feature in my Paris City Runs blog post and found the Jardin Du Luxembourg nearby. I ran there through the streets which didn't take too long at all and it turned out I had found the prettiest park ever! Perfectly pruned flowers, large neatly trimmed shrubbery as well as a large water feature with cute mini sail boats that you could rent. This would be an ideal spot to grab a coffee or actually an ice cream with the weather being so warm, and as Eminem would say - "lose yourself" and wander around the park.
The last three things on my check-list I managed to roll into one and tick off all in and around the final place. I wanted to eat a proper french èclair and macaroons, as well as get the typical tourist money shot by getting a picture (or 12) with the Eiffel Tower. The chocolate filled èclair I managed to stumble upon on the way to the Eiffel Tower was just pure bliss. It tasted out of this world, fluffy, melt in your mouth pastry crammed full of chocolate cream topped with chocolate icing. It also gave me the chance to dust off my GSCE french skills. The owner of the shop barely understood me but, hey, learning the french for "I don't understand" to use in my french speaking exams, finally paid off when I realised she had no clue what I was talking about. I had no idea how to respond to that information but at least I understood it.
The Eiffel Tower surprisingly was not as impressive as I'd have hoped, it is still great but I think viewing it with an awesome picnic and macaroons in the park made it into something more than it would have been otherwise. I imagine the view from the top is insanely good but you have to pay to go up and book in advance. I grabbed the instagram pic that I wanted and suddenly the early morning flight caught up to me. With my belly full of truffle salami and olives and the warm sun on me, I fell asleep while relaxing in the park beneath the Eiffel Tower.
By the time I'd woken up and processed the fact I had not been mugged by a person or one of the 35 crows surrounding me it was time for a sweaty metro ride back to the airport.
Paris was incredible. The architecture, the food, the abundance of things to see and do makes it a great city to visit and one which I'd definitely recommend to you. It's also one that I'd love to go back to and explore more. Ate some great food, saw the Eiffel tower, saw Notre-dame, had a run, had a nap. All in a days work.