Ooooh do you like that little pa-hip artwork I made?! That’s from the little Christmas lights by our AirBnb bed. So pretty. Paris in Flames is a reference to an old song by one of my favorite emo bands in high school, Thursday.
Our second day in Paris was dedicated to an 8-hour tour I booked thru Localers once again. We took a shower, dressed up, and set off to find our meeting point.
I know that when most people hear “PARIS,” the Eiffel Tower comes to mind. I’m the same, yes, but when it pops in my head it’s always far away. Just in the background. I’ve never had a longing to touch it or climb it like I wanted so badly to enter the Louvre and Versailles. That’s why I’m glad I booked a tour with Localers because we only went to the spot where we could best appreciate it — far from all the other tourists that would have just kept pushing us aside.
In 1889 there was a World Fair to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille which played a huge role in the French Revolution. The Eiffel Tower, named after the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, was built to serve as the fair’s entrance. It took 2 years to finish it and just like the Louvre pyramids, its construction was protested by many at first. Today it’s the most visited paid monument in the world. It was originally supposed to be torn down after 20 years but it proved helpful to scientific experiments and communications during war that the government didn’t continue its plans of demolishing it.
Then we went to the Arc de Triomphe which was built to honor the people who died for France during the wars.
Something very interesting that I had no idea about is the Axe Historique (which the Arc de Triomphe is a part of) — I learned about this when we were at The Louvre standing by the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. If you stand at a certain spot, you will see all the amazing monuments exactly lined up. You can click here to see a photo of it. How amazing is that?
The tomb of the unknown soldier sits under the Arc. It has a flame that is re-lit every morning by a war veteran. The tomb is for all the soldiers who died and were left unidentified.
The slab on top bears the inscription ICI REPOSE UN SOLDAT FRANÇAIS MORT POUR LA PATRIE 1914–1918. Translation: “Here lies a French soldier who died for the fatherland 1914–1918” (via Wikipedia)
Then we visited the Tuileries Garden where we took lots and lots of photos because DUH
Next stop was another controversial art installation: Les Deux Plateaux, created in 1985.
People play this game of trying to get their coins to the center of the column for their wish to come true.
We just kept walking around while getting to know each other. We were a group of 8 tourists, 2 Hawaiians, 4 Americans, 2 Filipinos.
Our bubbly tour guide Marie (who’s gorgeous just like our guide from the previous day) told us that their Mayor has been trying out different fun stuff for the city like just last September she banned the use of cars for one whole Sunday and it greatly lowered pollution. I know she also mentioned that the museums and malls had to stay open all night for one night, I don’t know if it already happened or if it’s just about to happen. I can’t seem to find anything on it online so maybe I heard wrong haha. But I’m pretty sure I saw posters for it too – just can’t seem to remember the name of the event.
We stopped for lunch at this tiny, cozy restaurant where we had the best onion soup of our lives.
We walked off the busog hehe
Next stop: NOTRE DAME!!!
I had no idea that Christ’s Crown of Thorns is believed to be kept in Notre Dame. I only found out through our tour guide and she explained that it’s brought out every first Friday of the month for people to touch. The rest of the time it’s kept in this container and displayed in a corner of the church.
There’s an angel and demon in the middle and you will have to pass between them on judgment day. Look at the detail of the dark side. That’s haunting AF.
We had a snack at Odette, a quaint pastry shop along Saint-Michel.
Right across Odette is a famous pub called La Guillotine. Underground the pub is a small jazz cave called Le Caveau des Oubliettes (the cave of the forgotten).
I was so happy to see a couple of Invader creations!
Our last stop was Marie’s friend’s wine shop where we did a bit of wine tasting. Good ending after an 8-hour tour!
I highly recommend this tour especially for your earlier days in Paris. Well worth it. You can click here to check it out on Localers.com.