Exploring Paris, A walking tour of our own – Day 2

Day 2 and we were off again walking everywhere!

Before we headed off on this days exploring we had a little lay in and then headed to the supermarket across the road from our Ibis to get Croissant fillings! We got a packet of Pain Au Chocolat at the same time, as well as some crisps and cheese and had our own continental breakfast in our room. Then it was off to the tube station again for another day exploring!

Our first stop? the Arc De Triomphe! One of the most beautifully detailed pieces of architecture we had seen on the trip. The details in the statues and the sculptures is phenomenal. You have to walk underneath the roundabout to access the building and once we had a full look around we realised they were offering for people to go up to the top. NO BRAINER. Instead of standing in the huge queues in the underground pathway ticket office we bought our tickets online straight away for €13 each, perfectly reasonable! We jumped straight into the queue and headed on up. 300 winding in circles steps later, we made it. And the views were something else. Before we headed up to the terrace we entered the main section of the building where you could learn about the history of the Arc Du Triomphe before taking another 10-15 steps up to the terrace! The views were beautiful. You could see all 12 avenues coming from the roundabout of the building, the Eiffel tower, all the taller monuments and statues and especially the commercial sector. The ONLY Sector with skyscrapers!

After doing the 300+ spiralling and dizzying steps down we headed for a walk down the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees! Loads of shops and shopping malls, we even saw some super cars which you could pay to be driven around Paris in. Plenty of designer shops and non designer shops dotted all the way down the Avenue! The only thing I couldn’t shake was the police presence. They were everywhere. Lined up down every street. On every corner in groups of 5. On patrols walking or on horseback. It wasn’t quite intimidating as they all had huge guns and batons. They all appeared smiley enough though.

We dipped into one of the shopping centres to try some Macaroons! Neither me nor Brad had ever tried them before some bought a pack of 3, Vanilla, Chocolate and Caramel. They were AMAZING. I was actually sad it had taken me this long to try them! We both thoroughly enjoyed them and once we had a taste for food we had to go get something tasty. SO I don’t know about you guys. And don’t judge me here. But I will always go to a McDonald’s in another country. BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS HAVE DIFFERENT THINGS! I could’ve got a dessert BURGER. A DESSERT BURGER. Like how sick but also literally sick is that? haha! So we enjoyed a quick Macca’s for lunch and carried on!

We walked past the beautiful Grand Palais – RMN, again we wished we coddle gone in but this wasn’t the case. We did take some glorious pictures outside the beautiful golden gates of the building though. It was an opportunity not to be missed! Once we were done the space was taken by some top bloggers and photographers so we felt we hit a good one with that! We then walked over the Pont Alexandre III bridge. With 4 beautiful golden sculptures, 2 at each end of the bridge, crossing over the river Seine it was lovely. Another piece of beautiful architecture of the list.

We then took a leisurely stroll down to the Musee De L’armee, the Army museum and also home of Napoleons grave. We again would’ve loved to go inside but it was closed once more due to Covid-19, another smart move. So once we enjoyed the beautiful golden gates and cannons outside we headed on our way back to the hotel early ready for our night out in the Latin Quarter!

We arrived at La Defense tube station and as we left we played around on some Lime scooters for a bit! Personally I wish we could’ve used these every day everywhere but i didn’t have the confidence. These motorised scooters were activated by QR code on your phone on the app and charged €1 a minute. Seems quite expensive? NOPE. NOT with how fast these bad boys went. We did get a few looks as we were fucking about in the area but hey, all fun and games. After getting ready at the hotel we then fucked about AGAIN on the scooters before heading back in for dinner!

When we arrived at the latin Quarter we headed for a drink before dinner! We went to Bulls Brothers Paris for beers, the atmosphere was awesome and the pints were decent! We sat in their indoor/outdoor(?) area. We noticed that a lot of the pubs had half in half out areas where you could sit and drink and smoke but also be off the street and in the restaurant/bar. It was really nice and I like their outdoor culture.

We then headed to Rosies smokehouse for the most BOMB dinner. It was honestly amazing, we both got meat platters with 3 different types of meat, a salad and chips, as well as Meaty beans!!! The two of us were in our element. We said we would get more traditional food the next day on Sunday and try some proper French cuisine. We did think that France had been particularly quiet about their Covid-19 actions. Literally as we sat down for dinner our server informed us that from 12am that night every bar and restaurant will be closed for the foreseeable future.

We didn’t mind too much of course. Covid-19 is incredibly serious and they were taking the right precautions. We enjoyed our meal and our drinks and we also made friends with another Irish couple and we had a merry old time in the outdoor area of Rosie’s Smokehouse drinking away! Come 12am the restaurant owners told us we could drink inside as long as they closed the area. A couple of moments after we sat down they started handing us plastic cups saying that the police were doing rounds. With that it was our time to leave with our drinks in tow. It was still a fantastic night, one I won’t forget!

With that being said when we arrived at the hotel we were made aware there would be no food served at the hotel as well. We were lucky to have picked up our own breakfast the day before because the supermarket was also shut.

This lead to us leaving Paris a day early which you can read about in my final post!

Amsterdam – New experiences, 'Over the Edge'.

I am choosing to write about some of my Amsterdam trip but not all of it as we have visited Amsterdam, Netherlands, before!

Mainly the bits which I haven’t covered before I want to cover this time! So the ‘Over the Edge‘ experience, Hippie Fish, Loetje steak restaurant, Amsterdam River boat cruises and getting the ferry to A-dam Nord all to come in future blog posts! All new things experienced on my second trip to Amsterdam with Brad, but this time with Mel, Stan and Kaat as well! My best friends and university housemates.

We had the absolute pleasure of staying in Stan’s families flat in the centre of Amsterdam. Stan himself is Dutch and from Haarlem! Perks of having friends in other countries hey?!

Big up Stanimal.

I’ll be honest, the Over the Edge experience was not something I had ever heard of before until Mel mentioned it, then we just had to go! So we headed on the tube to the main Amsterdam station and got on the ferry to cross over to Amsterdam Nord! You can see the building, the A’DAM Lookout, from the ferry area, and even further as it is so very tall!

We jumped off the ferry once we had crossed the water and we also found the iAmsterdam sign! I thought this was something they had gotten rid of! So it was a nice treat and lovely photo opportunity, especially as Brad and I had the same photo on our first trip to Amsterdam about 4 years prior but in a different spot.

We headed into the A’DAM lookout and as we were queuing saw the Gibson Throne made out of Guitars! Would have been rude not to take a seat (Its funny because I didn’t). We then all had pictures in front of a green screen of us sat high up over a city on a metal building structure and a picture of us falling backwards. All part of the fun!

Then it was into the totally psychedelic lift which had a light show the entire way up the lift shaft as you reached the top! It was beautiful to watch and definitely unexpected, I didn’t realise until Mel told me to look up as we started our climb up!

We came out on the floor below the terrace. This consisted of a bar, restaurant and floor to ceiling windows, also an entire aerial view map of Amsterdam Centre. The view was absolutely beautiful, overlooking the water and the Amsterdam station and centre. Plus it was also a beautiful day and the skies were blue, we couldn’t have picked a better one if we tried.

After doing a lap of the inside viewpoint we headed upstairs to the terrace where the wind was blowing and the sky was beautiful and blue and we could see all across Amsterdam! We walked around to the ‘Over the Edge‘ Swings excited for our turn!

They’re huge red swings that as they are swinging backwards and forwards it takes you over the edge of the building! You are of course firmly strapped in with a metal harness across the belt and it really is an exciting feeling. They take photos of you both on the swings (but I definitely let Mel take some of our pictures because she’s the real pro) You definitely have the urge to swing your legs as you would on a normal swing and it is very hard not too!

I found that my heart was in my throat and I loved every second of it. Mel and Stan also did it and once we had all had our turn we headed to the outdoor bar they had for beer and tea, enjoy the pictures below of our experience!

Highly recommended and for only 5 Euros per person for the swing, but for the 360 degrees look out also it is around 10-13.50 Euros! Well and truly worth the pricing.