My birthday in Paris, Part 1

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April has been one of the craziest months I’ve had in a long time. There’s so many upcoming changes in my life, including a move to another country in a week! I will definitely be filling you guys in on everything in the upcoming days/weeks!

Anyway it was my birthday on the 18th and keeping with the tradition of traveling somewhere fun with my boyfriend for my birthday, we decided to go to Paris this year. I visited Paris a few years back when I went to Europe for the first time, and while I liked the city enough, somehow the last time, I didn’t fall in love with the city like I thought I would.

Having only been there once a few years back, I thought Paris would be fun to revisit for my birthday. Since I’m was turning 26 (yikes! I’ve approach the age where I no longer qualify for youth discounts!), I thought it would be fun to revisit all my favourite impressionist art museums while I still qualified for all the discounted rates. (And of course being in Germany for so long, Paris is always a nice escape!)

Yann has been to Paris a few times as well, especially since his dad taught at a university there for five years. Somehow he also just “liked and not loved” the city. This time when we went together though, we loved the city so much we even debated moving there (as the question of where we’ll live after I finish my Master’s still remains!). Sadly moving to Paris (at least long-term) doesn’t sound feasible since I’m horrible at speaking French and am still quite traumatized from learning the language after years of horrible french teachers I’ve had in Canada (which seems to be something every Anglo-Canadian experiences)

Anyway, I thought I’d divide up my posts about Paris into 4 parts…one for each day we were there!

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The Train Ride 

We found some pretty cheap train tickets to Paris although it unfortunately meant leaving Munich at 3am! It ended up being a pretty eventual night with us hanging out with some friends at a craft beer bar in Munich, to taking a short nap at our apartment, to trekking in the rain to the nearest tram stop to get to the main station before our trip. We only got to sleep for about 3 hours until we had to change trains, so we really didn’t get much sleep that night!

Our Hotel

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Yann found a really good deal with one of the Ibis chain hotels called Ibis Paris Porte d’Italie. Technically this hotel wasn’t in Paris but rather in a northern suburb of Paris called “Gentilly” but getting to the city centre was quick and still within zone 1 of the Paris subway! The hotel was only 50 euros for both of us per night (which is quite amazing in Paris!) and our rooms were super clean, all the furniture looked really new, and our beds were super comfy! You can bet that we slept like a baby that night!

Normally when we travel, we stay at hostels quite often, so this hotel was a nice change. The last time I visited Paris, I think my less than glowing perception of Paris is largely due to this horrible hostel I stayed at – it was dirty, overly expensive and in a pretty sketchy neighbourhood!

Musee Marmottan Monet

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The last time I visited Paris, I spent most of my time visiting all of the impressionist art museums but didn’t have time to visit this one. I was pretty surprised that they actually had a not of different artists on here and not just Monet, like Berthe Morisot, who I also really love especially since she was one of the few famous women painters in the Impressionist circle. Although that can also be seen as less than ideal for those who come mainly for Monet’s paintings.

This museum is also much further from the city centre than all of the other ones, which s something to keep in mind. I would recommend visiting if you’re a huge Monet fan (they have some interesting paintings like his Norway series which I never knew about!) however, I still feel like the best Monet paintings are still the ones in the Musee d’Orsay (my favourite museum in the world) and l’Orangerie.

Dinner at Marché des Enfants Rouges

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This market reminds me a bit of the one in Barcelona which I became a bit obsessed with when I was there for two weeks. There was a Moroccan food stand with really amazing looking food that we knew we had to try once we saw it. Since there’s quite the Moroccan population in France, the food seems very authentic as well. As an added bonus, I’ve also never had Moroccan food before!

I got the dish with lamb, veggies and couscous and Yann got one similar with chicken. Each dish was about 10 euros, which is a bit expensive for market food prices in general, but considering it was Paris, it ended up being a very reasonably priced dinner. I highly recommend it!

One thing I found shocking was how one of the men  who worked at the stand would bring us our dishes to our table when it was ready. The food was put in these hot clay bowls which was super hot to touch (I accidentally brushed my finger against it and pulled it back quickly in pain!), and somehow he managed to bring it to us with just his bare hands! I don’t know how he did it!

Stay tuned for Part II! 🙂

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11 Comments

  1. April 23, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    I’m glad you loved Paris (my almost-hometown) this time! Moroccan tajine is delicious, did you have a Moroccan mint tea with it? I can’t wait to read what else you were up to on the other days!

    • Michelle
      Author
      April 28, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Aww almost-hometown! 🙂 Yes I had so much fun! No didn’t have it with any Moroccan mint tea with the meal, but I did have it on one of the days I was in Paris. It’s so good!

  2. April 24, 2015 / 7:08 am

    So happy to see you in Paris. I remember how excited you were to be going here when we met!! Awwwww 🙂 I bet you had a lovely time! Happy Birthday, girl! P.S. My bike is ok 🙂 although I had to fix few things 🙂 Kisses!

    • Michelle
      Author
      April 28, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      Aww thanks Agness! Good to hear about the bike 🙂 Leaving for the Netherlands tonight! Can’t wait to hang out again with you 🙂

  3. April 24, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Happy belated 26th birthday! I’m also starting the tradition of celebrating my birthday by travelling somewhere outside of Canada 🙂 I LOVE thinking of new destinations/places to hit. Glad you enjoyed your time in Paris – I feel like I should give that city a second chance (after disliking it the first couple of times I went).

    • Michelle
      Author
      April 28, 2015 / 12:15 pm

      Thanks Pauline! 🙂 I think that’s a great tradition to have! It’s weird but I’ve met a few people who feel that way too – I think it’s a city that has to grow on you 🙂 I hope you’ll love it the next time you go!

  4. April 27, 2015 / 7:56 am

    Belated happy birthday! 50 euros a night? yeah, that’s amazing! I’ll remember that hotel’s name! thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to more of your lovely Paris experience. 😉

    • Michelle
      Author
      April 28, 2015 / 12:17 pm

      Thanks Sofia! Yes that hotel was a steal! I’d def recommend it! 😀

    • Michelle
      Author
      May 11, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  5. May 13, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    Paris is so beautiful city and you won’t regret moving there! 🙂 I find French pretty hard too though I have a solid background from school. Greetings

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