Paris few years later, and done properly this time :)

It has been about seven long years since my last visit to France and Paris. My previous job treated me well, and I was often a visitor but I never actually slept in Paris. It was always a hub with a few hours to layover, and then I’d leave toward west, south or east.

This time, we did it in a proper way, and we stayed in Paris. Main reason for that is that Dina organized it. 🙂 I did not object, I actually wanted to see and experience Paris a bit better. Since our new city of residence is directly connected with Paris Beauvais airport that’s where we touched the Europe mainland! 🙂 An hour bus trip to Porte Maillot, then two metro lines and 20 minutes later we were at Jules Joffrin metro station on the north side of Paris. We waited a few moments and then got our first AirBnB apartment. It was a lovely small 20 sq m apartment on the sixth floor in an old Parisian building without elevators. That’s what I call “active vacation”! 🙂



We left our luggage in the apartment and headed straight to Trocadero square. On the way back to the metro station, we realized that we found a great apartment on a great location. There were small restaurants and French patisseries everywhere. That was great news, as we were worried how and where will we have breakfast next morning.


When we arrived to Trocadero, it was obvious! Eiffel tower is still there where I left it seven years back! 🙂 That construction still does the same magic as when I saw it the first time. Heart starts ticking faster and a big and honest childish smile appeared on my face again. I guess I will never understand that, but it is the only “building” that makes me happy instantly. From the way it looks, is it maybe some sort of happiness antenna, but Gustav forgot to tell the Parisians what it actually is?


We walked underneath the Eiffel arches, through the park and met with Monika and Goran, then went to have proper French lunch. Some onion soup and fois gras reminded me straight away how much I missed France. A glass of French red wine was just a bonus and an additional fire starter.

Since the day was pretty nice, we decided to go straight to Champs Elysees and climb up the L’arc de Triomphe.


Even though I was in front of L’arc de Triomphe some years back, I never figured out how big that monument is. Actually, even this time I was not certain until I climbed up the stairs. 🙂 And then, when you see the magnificent Paris from the Arc… You smile again. 🙂


Actually, I was in a constant catch for the nicest photo of Paris business center for a while. Since my brother was in Paris at the beginning of 2014, and made few awesome photos, I memorized this one wrongly and had a feeling that it was a photo taken from the arc where there is a “road and the downtown”. Somehow I forgot that it is photo of Champs Elysees and L’arc de Triomphe in front of the Paris downtown. 🙂
Guess what, I was not able to reproduce this photo because I could not see the Arc from the Arc itself. 🙂

Sell Art Online

After the arc we started the walk down the Champs Elysees, and there was a first “action” time in Paris. There were some protests against some Turkish or Muslim rights. Protesters chained themselves and were yelling something in some unknown language. At one point they started pushing the Police away and it did not look too nice.


From there we headed back to the area around our apartment, and we decided to have dinner. We ended up in a small French bar where and old Frenchman fell on his back when we entered. Waiter helped him to get up, and he continued his way home, smiling and being visibly intoxicated. We set down and used our limited knowledge of French language to order food. I went for a duck, which is one of the best options in France, and my wife wanted something else. People who had a chance to read my older reports will laugh now. Eight years back, in Dijon I had a chance to try a meal that was a root cause to mustard invention. It looks like a sausage, but it is a special kind of sausage. It is pork intestine filled with intestine. That meal stinks like piss, and has very specific hard taste. I said then that trying it once is already too much. Well, problem was, I forgot the name of that meal and with bad French my wife managed to order it again. 🙂 It is called “Andouillette”! Since I can be a good person, and I know that my wife can’t eat that, we swapped the plates.


I have to admit, in some weird stinky way, it was the best andouilette I have ever had. This time I will not promise that I will never again eat it. It was just fine, and I guess I might start liking it. 🙂 Bottle of great red wine was quite a knocker and we went to bed quite early.

Day 2

Next day we had a beautiful cruise on the river Seine, walked a bit by the river through an old bazaar, where different old things can be bought. Some cool mirrors but some very odd chairs can also be found here. 🙂



After that we headed to the tower Montparnasse.
It is 210 meters high skyscraper which has open balcony on top of the building, where only thick glass divides you from the free fall, and the view is magnificent! 🙂 There’s even the Eiffel tower on the photos from this place. 🙂


From all this mountain air from the tower we started to feel the need for food, so we ended up in the close by place “L’atelier” for lunch. Waiter brought menus in English, but since I’ve learned my lessons in Dijon and I know that you will get the best service in France if you at least try to use French, I demanded menu in French language. Oh boy, that was fun. (I never learned French at all, just picked some basic phrases on the way). But, since I planned to eat snails, and they are called escargots in English language too, it was not such a hard thing to do. It was fun later on when I needed to go to the toilet, and mr. Waiter decided to tell me the way in plain French. 🙂


After lunch we ended up in Louvre, where we came just 30 minutes before closure so we run across it quickly. As all other tourists, our first destination was the most famous and most well known painting of Joconde or Mona Lisa.


When we left Louvre and walked down the Tuileries Gardens we decided to squeez a quick visit to Notre Dame cathedral and then to Sacré-Cœur Basilica (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris).


That is the best part of the Paris. It reminded me of Grožnjan, small place in Istria, packed with small bars, ateliers, and stone bricked streets. From Grožnjan you can enjoy the beautiful view over Istrian hills, and from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica you can see whole Paris. 🙂


Still, we were back in the apartment around midnight! 🙂

Day 3

We were sticking to our plan and the very next morning we headed to a Versailles. And that was a hell of a ride. I think the picture from the train will tell more then I can with words.


Packed like that in the train where air was not so fresh, after 30 minutes we arrived to Versailles, but after just a few minutes we decided that we are visiting gardens only. Waiting hours in line to visit a castle was a total no go this time.


But really. If you plan a visit to Versailles, buy tickets online and be there two hours before it opens. Otherwise you are doomed. Still, we waited maybe 10 minutes for tickets to the magnificent gardens of Versailles. As expected, royal gardens are still royal, and that means you can’t walk through them in an hour. Oh no, you need a day or two, or you can rent an electro-mobil as we did. 🙂 An hour ride across the gardens and quick visit to all main features in garden was the best move of the day. Well, at least until the evening.


After Versailles we tried to get lunch in a small quarter that is technically outside of Paris. And there we got typical French touristic help. 🙂 When we asked if we can eat around 5PM in a small brasserie we were pointed to closest McDonald’s. Heh 🙂 Was no surprise, since it was Easter and we were there in totally wrong time between lunch and dinner, and in France that means – no food! Well OK, in France, not in Paris. So we moved a little bit closer to the city centre and had a great meal. Finally I had Confit de Canard all by myself! 🙂 Here we tried some great deserts where you get a bottle of rum to fit your taste. 🙂


After lunch we headed up to grand finale. My biggest wish to climb up the Eiffel tower was about to come true. We were fed good, and prepared to wait 2-3 hours in line for that. And out of nowhere my wife shoots a sentence. “I know I will hate myself as soon as I say this and that after 3 days of constant walking this is crazy, but the line is evidently shorter in “stairs only” entrance. Should we try to walk upstairs?” Yep! That’s exactly what we did!


We walked up to the first and second part of the Eiffel tower, then waited in line and got to the top. We came at the best possible time, since from the “etage 1” we saw Paris during the day, on the “etage 2” we saw the sunset above the business part of the city.



And then we saw the Paris by night from the top of the Eiffel tower! Wow! 🙂




On the way down we figured out that our English is not so bad as French English and Google translate. 🙂


After the Eiffel we returned back to our neighborhood, had some nice wine and went back home. In front of our apartment there was a bad car accident and out of nowhere there were 12-15 people, men and women, screaming and yelling in some weird language. As we were approaching our building they started a huge fight. Some of them were on the floor, both punches and kicks were exchanged. We quickly squeezed in the building and decided not to take sides or parts in this situation. 🙂

Day 4

Next morning we packed our stuff and left our AirBnB apartment. It was our first and I guess not the last AirBnB experience. Unfortunately, the person who rented us the place was not in Paris so we missed a local chit chat, but all in all was nice. With backpacks on our back, we went to the Republique area of Paris. Had a coffee there and went to find a shop and buy some Abodnance cheese to take with us to Dublin. Speaking Croatian is not always the best option. A guy two meters high, huge and slow heard us and first asked something in French, most probably to see if we are locals or tourists and then switched to Serbian. “Brother, do you have one euro and a half”, I said no and tried not to look at him to much, and then he continued “Brother, you do not have one euro and a half? OK brother, have a pleasant stay, ciao!”. But the way he was telling this… He needed a minute for every sentence. Was not so fun. 🙂

After the shopping, we decided to have a lunch, and then on the way to the restaurant in front of us a lady that was stealing from the shop ran out. Security ran after her and when he caught her his gun fell out of his pants and flew a bit through the air then slided on the floor just a few meters away from us. We’ve seen more action in 3 days in Paris then in seven months in Dublin and I’d prefer it that way. Too much action is not needed. 🙂

Still, we had another great lunch at the Republique bar and then went to area around Canal Saint Marten.


We met there with Sonja who lives in Paris for last twenty and something years so we finally got local guide in Croatian! 🙂


We got a proper tourist ride through Republique area all the way to the Bastille then through the city, Champs Elysees to Port Maillot and then all the way out to the Courbevoie. Courbevoie is that “Paris downtown” or to say modern business center of Paris.


Since I love modern architecture, I fell in love with this part of the city straight away. Magnificent buildings but placed in line with L’arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees in a perfect harmony.

And besides that, there is a “Paul” in shopping mall here, so I finally had a chance to eat Paul’s croissants. 🙂


And macarons. 🙂


After that we caught a bus to the airport and came home tired but satisfied!

And now we have a problem since Paris is not a place to see and visit only once. 🙂

What can I say… Thumbs up Paris!


Angry birds will be glad to visit you again! 🙂


Till next time…



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