A Parisian Evening: Dinner and a Stroll

Following our bike tour my friend Jess and I met up with my friend Allyce for dinner. Allyce’s co-worker recommended her a restaurant which was absolutely delicious. The name of the restaurant was Les Cocottes which we learned a cocottes is a pot – see the photo below for an illustration. The waitress was super nice in explaining it all too us. Before I go any further though I need to mention how my friend Allyce is super modest about her French skills – she went rapid fire with the waitress with asking and answering questions. I was super impressed

 

A close up of the wine chiller bag

Allyce and I decided to be dates for the night and split an appetizer, our main courses and our desserts. This was definitely the most splurged on meal that I had while on vacation but it was absolutely worth it.

Allyce and I –> She is an amazing person to go halfsies with on meals – I am sure destruction will ensue next semester when we live together (:

Our wine for the night

Our appetizer – the chef’s special Pate

Main Course #1 – Steak

Main Course #2 – Lobster ravioli – yes under all that froth was actual substance (;

Dessert #1 – Waffle with Chantilly Cream and to-die for caramel sauce

Dessert #2 – A custard type dish with plums in it – super good but also it had a super French name that I am drawing a huge blank on

Now the pictures are a tad dark – this I know, but you weren’t suppose to use flash in the restaurant. In fact, at the table next to us was a group of people that had a local (or someone who knew French and had possibly been in Paris for awhile) and her friends who were visiting. When her friend took a picture with flash she kept saying “no flash, no flash”. Not to mention there was a pretty significant line forming outside the restaurant during our meal and it only seemed to get longer with every ticking minute. Definitely glad we got there as early as we did.

After dinner we went and watched the Eifel Tower “Sparkle Show” – not sure the appropriate name for it, but saw all of its lights flash for about 5 minutes on the hour. Pretty cool – was able to get a video of it too – but I will share this more EU inspired video with you instead that someone else has graciously posted.

Eifel at night

Eifel from underneath

We then decided to go and see the pyramid. Yes I went to Paris and I didn’t go inside the Louvre but I know I will be back one day and figure I have to leave some things unseen for my next trip to Paris. Thus, we had more fun walking from the Eifel Tower to the Pyramid late and night and then taking pictures by the lit up pyramid. Which I must say looks super cool at night.

It was then back to our box size hotel room, where you couldn’t even open the windows all the way because the bed was in the way. You just gotta love Paris and its small size everything. Stay tuned for a photo of my other room in Paris which somehow was even smaller (sneak peak – the toilet was at the foot of the bed)

Cheers from the city of small rooms (in spirit)

n

 

Paris by Bike

I started my first full day in Paris with a beautiful 4 mile morning run along the River Seine. Oh yes, it was sublime and I think I saw more joggers/runners that morning than I did my whole time in Ankara – maybe a tad of an exaggeration but I for once didn’t feel alone or feel like I was the daily entertainment. Lots of people had gotten up early to do the same thing I did – except they probably knew where they were going, versus I who was just running along trying to remember my way back to my friends. I made it though.

I continued to embrace the theme of covering lots of ground because my friend and I decided that a bike tour would be ideal to see the most of what Paris has to offer. Not to mention she needed something to keep her going since she flew into Paris from Chicago that morning. Now before setting off on a 3 hour bike tour, be sure to stock up on your energy. We found the perfect place in Paris. Well actually I researched it before hand and I sure am glad I did because it was the best gosh darn falafel sandwich I have ever had, and may just be the best on the planet – surely it has that title in Paris already.

L’as Du Falafel was heaven in chickpea form

The bomb-diggity

Huge food baby that would have to be biked off

After lunch we set off to our meeting spot for our bike tour. We had a fantastic guide – Billy the Scottish man who was a Yankee’s fan. We immediately bonded. He took us all over the city. We drove by everything – didn’t go into anything, but the weather was gorgeous so we were definitely happy to spend the day outside. Not only did I bike in a dress, but I managed to snap photos while biking too (and not crash..there were a few close calls) – that is skill though. Billy almost got me run over though when he summoned me through a red light – sheer terror was etched into my face and had him laughing for the rest of the tour. No big deal – it wasn’t like I saw my life flash before my eyes as a crazed Parisian driver was slamming on their accelerator.

Biking through Paris (Mind you my friend is on the go, there are cars present and I too am biking when I took this)

Loved all the little decor/architecture throughout the city

Elephant sign – just for you Kimber

How quaint are those windows?

Bike Fun – note the cheesy grin on Billy’s Face (in the red shirt) behind my friend Jess

The burial place of Descartes

The Towers don’t match – the church that is now infamous from Da Vinci Code because it is where the bad guy smashed up the floor – super descriptive, right?

The Peace Memorial – One of the most graffitied and vandalized monuments in Paris – Ironic?

Arc De Triumph from a distance – we didn’t bike too it – one of the most accident prone sights in Paris – no car insurance company insures accidents that happen in its round-about – aka excellent reason to not bike near it

Paris Opera – the home of The Phantom of the Opera. Interesting fact – it was built on top of a lake – yeah I am still perplexed by that little snip-bit

A fun lamp post

Me at the Eifel Tower. Wearing my running watch proudly with my dress – classy

Looks like a blown up version of all the mini ones I’ve seen throughout life (;

The Modern Museum – built inside out – not very pleasing too look at, but definitely an interesting concept

This guy gives hula-hooping a whole new meaning

One of the most original street entertainers I have ever seen

Our tour started and ended at Notre Dame – more so a parking garage under the church

One of the many stalls that line the Seine

At the end of our bike tour it started to rain (talk about perfect timing) so we took up shelter for a bit in this famous bookstore (:

My tip to you if you plan a trip to Paris – definitely do a bike tour – you won’t regret it. They are rejuvenating and you dont feel like you need to soak your feet at the end of it. A round of applause to my friend and I for not injuring ourselves during the tour and for taking no casualties.

Cheers

n

Night in Paris

Paris started off my 2 week European backpacking travels on a high note. The city was wonderful, but reuniting with 2 close friends was way more rewarding. As mentioned numerous times before, my friend Allyce spent her summer in the city of love and my visit was just in the pinch of time since she would soon be leaving for her continued adventures in Bologna, Italy for the semester.

It took me awhile to get to her apartment and it involved asking for directions, at which I intermittently spoke Turkish because of course the French understand Turkish…not the first time I have used the wrong language and it surely won’t be the last…by the time I made it to her apartment I was elated and so happy to see her. The night was spent eating dinner that she so very graciously prepared, chit-chatting at rapid speed and a midnight walk through Paris. Really putting meaning to the movie “Midnight in Paris”.

Phenomenal Cheeses, Jams, Light Spinach Salad and Salami with Mushrooms

Demonstrating the small size of Allyce’s Apartment

Her hundred plus old staircase – it was wider than I expected

Allyce being a goof in the stairwell

Walking around her neighborhood – she lived right near the Seine – super lucky

First time seeing Notre Dame – she is a beauty

Reminds me of a haunted house

My first night in Paris was perfect – great memories were made with a great friend. After that night I knew my time in Paris would be a good one.

Cheers “in spirit” from the 8X8 Parisian apartment

n