The morning of the 2nd day was, to say the least, a bit of a mare – but hey! It all adds to the experience, right? We had booked a boat tour down the River Seine online for midday, so decided to go get breakfast somewhere in the region of Bastille first. The little vegan café my friends and I planned to go to only opened for lunch (we realised that this is actually very common in France!), so we then went on a trek through the Parisian streets looking for vegan-friendly cafes, which, unsurprisingly (in a country who pride themselves on their cheese and meats), was mission impossible. Luckily enough, we stumbled upon a high market where my friends were delighted to find fresh crepes being served, whilst I was greeted with an abundance on cheap, fresh fruit. The very charming stall holder convinced me into buying a palm –sized bucket of strawberries, a twig of dates, a juicy doughnut peach and a freshly squeezed orange juice – that was definitely breakfast sorted.
It was more or less one straight diagonal road to the boat pick up at Pont Neuf, and judging by our map, we thought 30 minutes would gibe up plenty of time to catch the cruise. We were wrong. Halfway through our leisurely stroll down the beautiful streets, we realised we needed to run, fast. Long story short, we carried out the most exericise we’dve done this whole year (you can tell none of our are fitness-junkies) just to reach the boat as the rope was being untied, carrying the punctual passengers away from the deck, to begin their trip. Thankfully, we were allowed admission on to the next one, free of charge. (I think the assistant felt sorry for us upon seeing our panting red faces and inability to say anything in French other than ‘yes, no…hello, goodbye.. 1, 2, 3’.
The boat tour was definitely worth the expense. It allowed us to see al the parts of Paris we couldn’t manage to squeeze in to our two days there – the Notre Dame, the Musee d’Orsay, the Pont des Arts (the love lock bridge to you and me) and many more.
We later visited the absolutely incredible Luxembourg Gardens – definitely the highlight of the trip. The beautiful gardens were perfect for locals, who set up deck chairs and just sat in the grounds, letting the day pass them by.
Before our 9pm Eurostar back to London, we managed to fit in one more must-see tourist hotspot – the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. The Sacre-Coeur is a catholic church, which is positioned at the highest point of the city. It truly lived up to its reputation, with beautiful panoramic views of the whole of Paris, and the architecture and paintings within the church equally as stunning.
Without a doubt, Paris stole my heart and I cannot wait to return.