From Cologne, Germany to Paris, France

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We got up early and had free breakfast at the hotel in Cologne. It was a delicious spread of cheeses, pastries, breads, fruits and meats. We checked out and headed to a cafe near the train station and Cologne Cathedral to wait for our train. The cafe served us the most amazing cappuccinos we’ve ever had. They were perfection.

We ended up going from Cologne to Brussels and then from Brussels to Paris by train. As soon as we entered into France the French police came around to check everyone’s ticket now that we were on their soil.

Devon checking out the Seine River

Soon after we got off the train we hopped in a cab to get to our Airbnb. We’d decided before the trip we would try to spend the least amount of time possible in train stations due to threats that were happening in Europe around that time.

Our Airbnb was amazing. Perfectly located in the 1st arrondissement we were only a few minutes walk from The Louvre and other major attractions. You can check it out HERE.

Devon tried to haggle with a man selling locks at the Love Lock Bridge and looked to me for help when his limited French didn’t help him

We spent the afternoon wandering around exploring the Ile-de-la-Cite, Notre Dame, and we stumbled upon a Bread Festival. It was like everywhere we went our favourite things kept popping up. Reisling in Cologne, bread in France…Just perfect!

Devon really got into the bread
Notre Dame

We went to a small French cafe and Devon got his first taste of French indifference (I experienced this once before on a trip to France in 2010). The waiter was not very pleasant to us from the beginning so it made for a bit of an awkward meal.

Day Two in Paris
Waiting in line for The Louvre, watching newlyweds get their pictures taken

The next morning we got up early and hit up the local Boulangerie for croissants for breakfast before walking to The Louvre. Luckily, we arrived early and were near the front of the line.

Devon enjoyed checking out the Egyptian Art collection
Egyptian Sarcophagus

This was my second time to The Louvre and Devon’s first but I think you could go 100 times and not see everything. We spent a lot of time in the Egyptian art section before going to check out my favourite piece.

Me and other tourists with my absolute favourite artwork The Nike of Samothrace (sometimes called the Winged Victory)

Despite the fact that I’m typically drawn to paintings (and studied painting) The Nike of Samothrace always draws me in.

The crowds in front of the Mona Lisa. I find the constant crowds taking selfies instead of looking at the art to be so disappointing.

As you can see a lot of the people in this crowd aren’t even facing the painting. The hype has caused it to be inaccessible because it’s a small painting and its blocked off for such a distance. It’s really a shame. In another part of the Louvre someone actually tried to push me out of the way so he could take a selfie with a painting. He rudely asked me to move so I said I would when I was done observing the painting with my eyes, not my camera. Do other people find this discouraging? What do you think of this?

The Military presence was high when we were in Paris
Long Lines Everywhere

We left the Louvre and took the Metro (underground subway system) heading towards the Catacombs. We stopped at a cafe for lunch and then waited in line for THREE HOURS. People actually made a business of waiting in line and then selling their spot when they got close to the entrance. Did we do this? No. Devon didn’t want to and I learned afterwards that he thought the price they quoted us was per person, not for both of us, haha. Oh well. It was worth the wait.

Entering the Catacombs in Paris

I went to the Catacombs in Rome before but this was totally different. Definitely creepy.

Heart made out of skulls
Skull placed in amongst other bones

I’ve never seen so many bones. The bones made up the walls on either side and went probably 6 feet back on either side. It was dark and damp down there, and the lighting was dim and so I was happy when we got to the end!

Bones everywhere and you can see the low ceiling as well
Skulls with a suspicious hole in it

Once we got out of the tunnels we walked for a bit as it started to rain. The day after we left Paris the entire country experienced massive flooding from the rain.

We headed back towards our place to freshen up and then took the Metro to see the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. It was pouring rain and Devon put up with me whining a bit! Such a trooper. 😉

Arc de Triomphe in the rain
Paris has one of the easiest subway systems to navigate. It’s efficient, easy to understand and pretty inexpensive

Overall, we had a fun time in Paris. We had to leave the next morning which is always bittersweet!

-Dayna

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