On June 22, two days before our vacation ended, we took a short day trip to Paris via the Eurostar train. We arrived at 10 a.m. and were met at the station by a friend of Ben’s co-worker, Jennifer, who lives in Paris. She agreed to take us around for the afternoon.

I was grateful to have her as a guide. While many signs were in both French and English, some were not, and  navigating the city would have been difficult without her.

We first went to Notre Dame and then walked to the Louvre (below). We didn’t go inside since our time was limited (we had to catch our return train at 9 p.m.).

We walked down the Champs-Élysées, which was much wider than I anticipated and more modern, with stores like The Gap and H&M. We walked until we reached the  Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.

We had lunch at Café du Trocadéro, which was thankfully air conditioned, since it was a 97-degree day. I had a cheese plate, which was excellent, but we’re still trying to remember the names of the cheeses so that we can buy them locally.

The restaurant was just a few blocks from the eiffel tower. I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed by it as I was – it would have been stunning to see it when it’s lit up at night.

At about 4 p.m., Ben and I were on our own. We took an Uber to the train station and asked if we could board an earlier train. Changing our tickets would have cost 300 euro each, so we opted to spend the next 4 hours visiting the local restaurants in the neighborhood instead. If the weather had been less intense, we might have explored more attractions, but neither of us was up for navigating the metro or walking more than we had to.

Someday we’d like to return to France, after we’ve taken French lessons. Jennifer recommended visiting Versailles, which she said is just 30 minutes from Paris.


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