July 7, 2014

Hidden Paris

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

On our last morning in Paris, we guided ourselves on an unforgettable walking tour of hidden Paris. The streets and locations we visited were quiet, secluded, and off the beaten path, yet still breathtakingly stunning, and gave us a glimpse at the hopelessly romantic, even more beautiful side of Paris. The GPS locations for all the photos you see on this tour are included in a map at the bottom of this post, in case you’d like to take this walk on your own. :)

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Au Vieux Paris… The Old Paris…

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

To dine at this romantic, picturesque Parisian cafe would be a dream.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

 

And look what’s right next door… A charming cupcakery.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Of course we had to try one, with it’s velvety, decadent, irresistible buttercream frosting.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

 

Shopping and pastries on this secluded corner.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Quiet breakfast at the St Regis Cafe.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

People watching all afternoon at Le Bistrot Beaubourg Brasserie.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

A bouquet of roses.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Wander into this mysterious blue door, for an unexpected surprise on the other side…

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Colorful doors, a mermaid, and the most charming umbrella repair shop, Pep’s Umbrella.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Be sure to visit Pep’s on a day when they’re open. You’ll know by the bright yellow umbrella they have opened and displayed like a flag on the wall of this hidden passageway.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

I wonder if this is where the writers got the idea for the yellow umbrella on How I Met Your Mother.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Find unique craft stores and antiques at Passage du Grand Cerf.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

This shopping arcade is filled with gorgeous shops and flooded with natural light.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Colorful spinning rack of embroidery thread.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Ribbons galore. How fun would it be to buy fabric, ribbons, or skeins of wool here for a craft project to always remember Paris by?

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Door knobs and draw pulls.

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

So many to choose from!

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

Dying over this shelf of antique lanterns!

Hidden Paris Photography Walking Tour. Site has GPS locations for every photo on the tour so you can find them yourself for free! #paris #photography #photowalk #france

I wanted to take this one home with me.

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July 3, 2014

Sightseeing in Paris

Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

Our last full day in Paris was a quiet Friday, and since we had good weather we decided to run around hitting a few of the major landmarks we hadn’t seen yet.

View from Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We started at Notre Dame, and got there at 9:30 in the morning, thirty minutes before the tower opened.

View from Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

There was already a line to get up to the tower, so Kevin went and grabbed us a spot in line, while I took a look around inside the cathedral.

View from Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

At this point there was no line to get into the cathedral, so I just went right on it. There was mass going on, and the choir was singing, so that was neat experience. But it was very dark inside and I could hardly see anything. I didn’t even take any pictures.

View from Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

I spent probably 10 minutes or less inside, but by the time I got out (9:40am-ish), there was already a huge line forming outside to get in the cathedral. So if you don’t want to wait in line, be sure to get there early. :) If you don’t want to go up to the tower, the cathedral opens even earlier, at 8am.

View from Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We stood in line for about one hour total to up to the tower. (Again, we got there 30 minutes before the tower even opened.)

View from Notre Dame, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

The views were nice (as you can see from the photos above) but you only get to spend 5 minutes at the top. It seemed like a bit of a let down and a bit too rushed after waiting in line for an hour. By the time we made our way down from the tower (10:45am-ish) we were dying at how long the lines had become. The line to get in the cathedral was snaked around back and forth, back and forth all the way across the lawn, and the line to get to the tower was just blocks and blocks and blocks down the street. It was unbelievable.

Pont des Arts AKA The Love Lock Bridge, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We grabbed a croissant to go, then had a lovely walk through the Parisian streets as we made our way to the famed Pont des Arts.

View from Pont des Arts AKA The Love Lock Bridge, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

The Pont des Arts is a a pedestrian bridge over River Seine.

View from Pont des Arts AKA The Love Lock Bridge, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

It connects the the Institut de France and the Louvre.

Pont des Arts AKA The Love Lock Bridge, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

It’s also been widely popularized as the Love Lock bridge, where couples attach padlocks with their names written on them to the railing, then throw the key into the River Seine below, representing their commitment to unbreakable love.

Pont des Arts AKA The Love Lock Bridge, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

Now I am not one for big romantic gestures (just writing all that out is making me pukey ;)), but as you guys may have guessed by now, Kevin totally is, so of course he wanted to do it. :)

Pont des Arts AKA The Love Lock Bridge, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We didn’t plan ahead to bring a lock, but fortunately for us there were any number of peddlers selling padlocks up and down the bridge, and at actually a fairly reasonable price (5 euro or less, depending on the style). They’ll even let you use a Sharpie for free. ;) So here is our lock! :) Not sure if it is even still there, since I hear they frequently have to go through and cut them all off because the weight of the locks is crushing the bridge! But it was a very fun gesture and I’m glad we did it. :)

The Louvre Museum, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

After that, we walked up the bank of the Seine, and over to the Louvre courtyard.

The Louvre Museum, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

Seriously could not get over how MASSIVE the Louvre is!! It covers an area of nearly 15 acres. Fifteen!! And I thought Versailles was huge!!! (3 acres, comparatively.) We were planning to go if we had a rainy day, but it was sunny every single day we were in Paris, so we’ll have to save the Louvre for next time. :)

Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We walked from the Louvre through the Tuileries Garden, then down the Champs Elysees (arguably one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the entire world, like Rodeo Drive but in Paris) all the way to the Arc de Triomphe.

Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

Surrounding the Arc de Triomphe is an eight-lane roundabout with NO lines on the road to keep you in your lane. It’s the only place in Paris where car insurance won’t cover you. On our way to Charles de Gaulle the next day, our driver drove right on through like it was nothing, lol!

Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

There was hardly any line to get up to the top of the Arc, and since you could stay as long as you wanted, we decided to go for it.

Stairs at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We definitely got our exercise in this day with all the stairs, towers, and walking!! :) We climbed 387 steps to the top of Notre Dame (and back down), walked 4 kilometers from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, and then climbed another 284 steps to the top of the Arc.

View from the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

Loved the view from up here!

View from the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

We could see all the way down the Champs Elysees…

View from the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

To the right was a great view of the Eiffel Tower, and then the Sacre Coeur in the other direction.

Sunset in Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

That night we made our way back to Pont Notre-Dame to watch the sunset.

Sunset in Paris. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france

Our last sunset in Paris. Thank you so much for looking. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday weekend!

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July 2, 2014

Garden of Versailles

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

After we explored the Palace of Versailles in the morning, we made our way out to the expansive and opulent gardens, which sprawl over nearly 2,000 acres of land surrounding the palace.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The vast gardens hold a lake where you can rent a row boat and paddle around in beautiful weather during the spring and summer.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

In one section of the gardens is Marie-Antoinette’s Estate, built for the queen in 1783.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

It was a place where she could escape from the rules and formalities of Versailles, and return to simple, rural life.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Belvedere Pavilion in the English garden of the Petit Trianon served as the Queen’s music room.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Inside it looks just like the gazebo where Liesl and Rolf sing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” in The Sound of Music.  :)

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Be sure to bring comfy walking/hiking shoes if you plan to wander the gardens, they are massive and filled with endless, colorful tree-lined paths to explore.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

One of my favorite parts of the garden was Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet houses.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Hamlet was built for Marie-Antoinette in 1783, so she and her ladies in waiting could entertain themselves with the charms of country life.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Hamlet was styled to represent a typical village in Normandy at the time, and was made up of eleven houses encompassing a large lake.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Each house had its own garden planted with cabbage, cauliflower and artichokes, surrounded by a hedge and enclosed by a private fence.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Five of the houses were used by the Queen and her guests: the Queen’s House, Billiard Room, Boudoir, Mill and Refreshments Dairy, where milk was skimmed and churned, and creams and cheeses were tasted by the Queen.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Four other houses were reserved for the peasants who ran the farm and its annexes, the mill, the barn, and the Warming Room, where the dishes were prepared for the dinners given at the Queen’s House.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Mill is located at the edge of the lake, and its wheel was used to grind the grain for bread.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Queen’s House, shown here, is composed of two separate buildings joined by a wooden balcony. On the right, the ground floor contained a dining room and a games room. Upstairs was was a large living room, a small living room and a Chinese room.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

On the left, the ground floor housed a billiard room and a private apartment upstairs.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

From the balcony, the Queen could oversee the work being done in the fields.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The banisters of the staircases and balconies were adorned with colorful climbing plants all over the Hamlet.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Boudoir is the smallest structure in the Hamlet, and was nicknamed “the little house of the Queen.”

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Marie Antoinette would retire here by herself, maybe joined by one or two of her friends.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The small boudoir is made up of a living room and a wardrobe and is surrounded by a closed, private garden.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Outside is its charming thatched reed roof, dormer window, and old stone staircase.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Malborough Tower is located on the banks of the lake and was the point of departure for boat rides or fishing outings.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The Farm was home to varied livestock such as cows, goats, sheep, chickens, and pigeons.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

According to the Queen’s wishes, animals brought from Switzerland were raised on the farm.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

The farm included three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room. It was well stocked with animals and vegetable gardens, whose crops led to agricultural and culinary experimentation at Versailles.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

Seriously so gorgeous.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

It was like stepping back in time.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

This was one of the beautiful houses in the village of Versailles that we passed on our walk back to the train station.

You can't go to Paris without seeing Versailles. Tips for planning a Paris Vacation. www.kevinandamanda.com #paris #travel #france #Versailles

I’d never ridden a double-decker train before!! :) See this post for step-by-step instructions on How to take the train from Paris to Versailles

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