As someone who has always lived a stone’s throw from London, I wasn’t too keen on spending my year abroad living in Paris.
I did, however, take full advantage of the opportunity to visit one of my friends, who had been lucky enough to bag herself a flat 10 minutes walk away from the Eiffel Tower…
I visited just a few months after the awful 2015 terrorist attacks on the capital but the city’s resilience was both inspiring and astounding. Despite attacks having wreaked havoc on the city just a few months prior, French spirit filled the air and we had a truly Parisian weekend.
We began my munching on divine confit de canard (Duck confit – I know, it sounds better in French) and visiting the coolest tiki bar in town.
I always prefer being shown cities through the eyes of locals – there’s no way I would have known about all the hidden Parisian gems otherwise!
Then we climbed the Arc de Triomphe and sauntered down the Champs-Élysées, before catching the metro to the oldest bookshop in the city.
Shakespeare & Co. is a writer’s paradise.
Friday evening was finished off in perfect style with a late-night visit to the Louvre, followed by a Marks & Spencer’s curry night.
The perfect example of British students pretending to be classy and then revealing their true colours, if ever there was one.
Saturday brought along with it the opening of the Six Nations rugby, which our group of friends had managed to nab tickets for.
I can’t lie, despite having lived with two rugby players, I had about 10% idea of what was going on when I first sat down.
The atmosphere was incredible, though, and it was an incredible experience to be present at the first sporting event since the Stade de France had been shut down due to the ongoing terrorist threat.
The crowd’s rendition of La Marseillaise was awe-inspiring and I can now proudly say I understand a lot more about rugby, which can’t be a bad thing!
For a truly Parisian end to the day, we grabbed some galettes for dinner and then sipped on fancy (well, on offer) cocktails at a local bar.
Our final day in Paris was spent meandering through Montmartre and the Musée d’Orsay. The perfect end to a weekend in a city which is bursting with creative energy.
The one thing I still remember about Paris though, is the incredible spirit you find around every street corner. Just three months after the heinous attacks on the capital, it’s admirable how full of joie de vivre the city continues to be.
All in all, Paris is always a good idea.
What’s your favourite thing about Paris? Let me know in the comments below!