Ah, Paris! It’s been a couple of years since I first went there, on a small vacation trip with a friend. I hadn’t traveled much yet and Paris was one of the first cities that I got to explore. And boy, I loved it! Who wouldn’t, it’s Paris!
We took a train to Antwerp to get on board of the Thalys that would took us to Paris in just a couple of hours. We stayed in a not-so-spectacular-can’t-even-remember-the-name hostel in Montmartre. But the location was perfect. First stop: the Sacre Coeur!
The Sacre Coeur, or The Heart of Paris, is a Roman church that was built in 1914. It really is a magnificent building and it gives you a great view over the city where you can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance!
After visiting the Sacre Coeur, we found a bookstore called Librairie des Abbesses where I bought Baudelaire’s Fleur du Mal and felt very smart.
Close to the Sacre Coeur and the bookstore, we found the mur des je t’aime, the wall of love. It was created in the year 2000 and contains 311 times the saying ‘I love you’ in 250 different languages. Of course I had to find the saying in Dutch, which I did!
After visiting the Sacre Coeur and the Love Wall, we headed back to the hostel to rest a bit, and to check in. Our room was on the 6th floor but luckily, it had an elevator. Our room had a great view over Montmartre, which was lovely!
We decided to visit the Opera Garnier. I’m so glad we did because it was gorgeous. The building has great architecture and lots of statues, but the inside of the building was absolutely breathtaking. There were paintings on the walls and ceiling, statues and golden ornaments everywhere. There was also this exposition on dresses that looked amazing.
What I didn’t realize at the time, is that this is also the opera that’s said to be haunted. It’s the setting of Leroux’ The Phantom of the Opera. Now I actually read the book and I really would love to go back someday, to see if I can recognize things from the novel.
After the opera it was time for dinner. We got lost but found a great place where I had some delicious pasta. It was a lovely first day in Paris, and some great days were to follow!