There is something magical about Paris. Whether you are marvelling at the gleaming Eiffel tower at night, enjoying a picnic at Place des Vosges, shopping at Rue Saint-Honore, or walking towards the Musee du Louvre and seeing the glass pyramid for the very first time, you will feel the tidbits of magic in the city scattered around like pixiedust. She (Yes, Paris is a she!) is chic, elegant, and cultured. We arrived Paris late afternoon, and our first order of business was to have dinner and wine. London was hectic for us because it was the first leg of the trip and our excitement and energy were off the roof. Jet lag kicked in so we regularly dozed off early and subsequently woke up before dawn the following day. We didnt really get the chance to drink and unwind because we were constantly exploring, hence, when we arrived Paris, we just wanted to relax and take it easy. (or so we thought..)
After dinner, we went straight to the Eiffel tower! I love that it twinkles at night!! Truly magical!
Our first full day in Paris was devoted to shopping! I took advantage of the low conversion rate at that time. If you are getting the tax refund, it can be claimed at the airport when you exit Europe, before returning back to your country. A tip is to be at the airport 4 hours before your departure time because lines can get crazy long!
Our first stop was Chanel, Rue Cambon! (Coco Chanel opened her first shop at Rue Cambon in 1910!)
The moment I laid eyes on the Le Boy, I knew it was meant for me! I love its edgy and structured appeal, while still maintaining the elegance of the classic flap bag. I was so ecstatic to find this one with the gold chain. It added a tad bit more touch of femininity, which really suits my style. It was the last piece in the store, and I never saw one again in any other Chanel shop during our trip, so I am happy we bought it at the drop of a hat! It was truly love at first sight! Chanel is one of the few bags I can really call an investment, the prices always go up!
The next morning, we left Paris via train and traveled to the South of France in high hopes of finding lavender and sunflower fields. We traveled for about 3 hours from Gare de Lyon to Avignon Station. Once we got to Avignon, we walked towards the tourist office near the train station and booked a tour to see the lavender fields in Sault.
The tour guide led us to Sault, situated in Provence Region, which is known for having abundant number of lavender fields. We were fortunate enough to catch the last week of the Lavender blooms. We arrived on August 1 and many fields have been harvested, and most blooms were on the brink of drying. They aren’t as vibrant anymore, but they still smelled truly delicate and divine! As soon as we stepped out of the van and walked towards the fields, we immediately smelled the lavenders! The scent was as lovely and evocative as it could get. If you want to see the lavenders at its peak, it is best to visit mid July.
We rode the train back to Paris that evening so we were exhausted when we got back. If you plan on traveling to the South of France from Paris, I suggest staying the night there at the very least so you can explore some more and maybe even do a wine tour in Avignon while you are there. On our fourth day in Paris, we went to the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triumph, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame Cathedral. So much for trying to relax and take it easy!
Travel Tip: Avoid long queues at the pyramid entrance and buy tickets at the Porte des Lions entrance. Mona Lisa is closer to this entrance as well.
Arc de Triumph
Travel Tip: There is an underground passage going to the Arc. Do not risk your lives like we did by crossing the street! lol!
Travel Tip: Go down Trocadero station to get the best view of the Eiffel tower!
Notre Dame Cathedral
On our last day, we had brunch at Angelina which is a famous tea house known for their thick hot chocolate (but to be honest, I’m more of a Swiss Miss kind of girl. haha!) It was frequented by Elite parisians like Coco Chanel.
To wrap up our Paris trip, we decided to have a picnic at Place des Vosges! We went to the grocery and bought rose wine and cold cuts! I reckon one cannot leave Paris in the summer without having a picnic at any of their beautiful gardens or parks. Glad we lived near this place at the Le Marais area, just walking distance form our hotel.