Paris 2014 – Day 5 – Louvre, Jardins des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Shopping

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Bidding au revoir to a city you love is never easy. Only the promise of returning as soon as possible can lift you out of the sadness of packing your bags, checking out of your hotel, and heading to the train station.

Luckily for us, leaving Paris meant jumping onto the Eurostar towards London, but with one final day left, I spent the entire time trying to soak in the French air and memorizing every small detail of the city I could see myself living in for the rest of my life.

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After checking out of our hotel in the morning, we ate a quick breakfast at a café within Gare de Lyon before jumping on the metro towards The Louvre. I had to capture just how ginormous the pain au chocolat my brother consumed was. Only in Paris.

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Because it was a Tuesday, The Louvre was unfortunately closed. Truthfully, I didn’t mind so much. I had visited the last time I was in Paris, and I actually preferred to spend as much of the day outside as possible. That didn’t stop me from admiring one of the many glass pyramids at the museum, though. This one is La Pyramide Inversée, which is really just a gorgeous skylight for this underground mall.

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We headed upstairs to begin our trek of the day. Although it was cloudy, the air was still warm and enabled us to enjoy the exterior architecture of The Louvre Palace.

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My brother taking this classic tourist photo with the Louvre Pyramid was absolutely necessary.

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Just south of the Louvre is the famous Pont des Arts, otherwise known as the bridge with all of the “love locks”. Lovers have come here to attach a lock with their names to the bridge and then toss the key into the water as a symbol of their everlasting love. The city of Paris isn’t as in love with this idea as tourists are, and it appears I am one of the last tourists from the summer to have seen the bridge before a few of the panels were replaced with glass. Apparently, the weight of the locks has caused quite a bit of damage to this bridge and others around Paris.

Sorry, lovebirds. You’re going to have to start expressing your undying love some other way.

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Still, the Seine stretches serenely underneath you as you walk across the first ever metal bridge built in Paris (although the one you walk across now was actually recreated after bombing damage following the two World Wars).

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We headed back north to the Louvre so that we could continue our walk across and towards Jardins des Tuileries, passing under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.

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My Outfit of the Day:
Custom T-Shirt, Shorts – Urban Planet, Purse – H&M, Sunglasses – Ardene

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Along our walk, we spotted La Roue de Paris. It’s a transportable Ferris Wheel that has actually been erected in cities like Amsterdam, Bangkok, and Antwerp.

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Featured within Jardins des Tuileries is a large octagon-shaped basin that visitors can lounge around in reclining chairs, enjoying the open sky and vibrancy of locals and tourists alike that visit the garden. The water looks a little too green for dipping your feet in, though!

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Just beyond the basin is Place de la Concorde, where the Luxor Obelisk stands in the centre. This obelisk actually came from Egypt to Paris in 1833 and was previously situated outside the Luxor Temple. It was given to France as a gift by Muhammad Ali and is decorated with hieroglyphs all over.

From here, we began our walk north towards the famous high-end shopping malls. On our way, we stopped at Café Madeleine just across from L’eglise de la Madeleine to grab a late lunch.

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I couldn’t leave Paris without having one of my favourite dishes one last time – a mouthwatering fresh salad with shrimp and avocado. Here it was paired with delicious smoked salmon. Beautiful, non? No matter how many times I try to recreate it at home, it’s just never quite the same. My dad and brother opted for sandwiches.

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After eating, we concluded our walk at Galeries Lafayette. The crowds along the sidewalks quickly thicken as you approach the mall and its neighbour, Printemps Haussmann, both homes to a multitude of luxury brands. Galeries Lafayette is also known for its beautiful interior architecture. The central atrium boasts a large stained glass dome with regal balconies on each level.

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After currency conversion, the prices aren’t much different from what we find in North America, and I wasn’t able to tell if the selection was any better. Needless to say, we didn’t buy anything, but there were definitely an abundance of tourists who weren’t afraid to go all-out here.

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A small bridge connects the upper levels of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann.

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When we passed the Ladurée booth, of course I had to take one last photo of those beautiful pastries. They’re certainly the best treat to enjoy while shopping for luxurious clothing.

Finally, our last day was done. We headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags before heading to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar to London. The ride was extremely comfortable and trip was just about 2 1/2 hours. It’s such a great way to go between the two cities, and depending on your day and time of travel, it can be very economical, too.

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St. Pancras station was our final destination when we arrived in London. Because it was late in the evening, the station was quiet and still as we walked along the platform towards the main concourse.

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This platform area was absolutely gorgeous. We particularly enjoyed the statue of the embracing couple titled “The Meeting Place” by sculptor Paul Day.

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We took the Underground to our hotel and were impressed by the very new subway trains that were clean and air-conditioned (my brother’s favourite part of anything). It was a welcomed change from the older metro trains in France.

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While we had stayed at a relatively small boutique hotel in Paris, we had decided on the Novotel Tower Hill for our time in England. It’s tucked away in the quiet neighbourhood of the financial district and provided us easy access to Tower Hill and the Tower Bridge, which we were looking forward to seeing. Our room was also clean and spacious and my brother was especially amused by the voyeur shower. We were impressed.

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After being in Paris for five days, it was definitely strange to be in London – a city that is, at its core, arguably more modern-feeling. But we were excited for all there was to see and I was just happy to finally be there, after wanting to travel there for years!

If you hadn’t noticed, this post comes much letter than I had hoped to post this. Life has been fairly crazy, but at least posting about the Paris leg of the trip is done! I’m going to wait to post about our London adventures until the anniversary of our trip, but in the meantime, look forward to some other adventures I’ve been having in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago!


Follow along on my 2014 trip to Paris and London!
Day 1: {Paris} Notre Dame, Île de la Cité, Eiffel Tower
Day 2: {Paris} South of La Seine, Jardin du Luxembourg, Arc de Triomphe at Night
Day 3: {Paris} Versailles & My Dad’s Birthday
Day 4: {Paris} Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées

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