I got an opportunity to visit the City of Light for my mother’s birthday. Winter in Paris, France. Sounded like unique beauty since everyone usually goes in the spring and summer. It was beautiful, but not exactly what I had expected.
Upon arriving Charles DeGualle Airport, we stepped outside to see it was very dark around 8:30am. I felt like we were in a huge dark bubble. It made me even more confused with the time change. Standing there waiting for the Super Shuttle to arrive was tiring and slightly annoying. Airport employees kept giving different directions on where to catch the Super Shuttle. That caused a walking back and forth with luggage half asleep and standing outside in the cold.
I finally gave in and turned my cell phone on to call them. Thirty minutes later I found them in an unmarked van, rather than the blue van they are known for. My mom fell asleep on the ride from the airport to the hotel. I was just looking out the window and listening to some people speak French in the van.
Finally we got dropped off at our hotel, Hotel Saint Augustin . The hotel is located in the 8th Arrondissement. Once we got to the hotel to check in we found out that we had to wait for a room to be ready. Exhausted we sat in the small lobby on the couch fighting to stay awake. After about an hour or so we finally were able to go to our room.
The room was very nice. It had two twins sized beds that were next to each other. The beds were very comfortable. The room even had a small balcony that you could go through the window and step out on to. It was very Parisian. One of the other highlights to this hotel was the free wi-fi which came in handy for communicating with people back home as well as researching some last-minute things.
The hotel also had breakfast every morning, which wasn’t free, but it was nice with scrambled eggs and such. They also had snacks and soda in the afternoon and evening, which were complimentary.
Being jet lagged, all we did the first day was explore the area we were staying in. There were tons of restaurants, businesses, and we were close to Champs Elysees. We stopped into a restaurant just to grab a small bite to eat. I of course had to order Creme Brulee and some water. My mom ordered a small coffee and onion soup. I was a bit shocked when it all came to 28 euros.
The next day we decided to go out to see the sights despite the massive snow that came down. The people at the front desk told us they had never seen such a bad snow fall like that one. We decided to trek out into it anyway and walked about 5 minutes or so to the train station.
Apparently shoveling isn’t what they do in Paris. Snow was everywhere and all I saw was men putting salt down on top of the snow packed streets. We walked over to the Eiffel Tower which was such a sight. Due to the snow and ice they shut down the top so we were unable to go to the top, but we did walk around the area in the snow. We were going to do one of the hop on hop off tour buses, but I guess because of the weather the police shut them all down. Good thing we didn’t buy tickets for that. I am pretty sure the people who got put off all the buses in the middle of their tours were pretty upset.
Instead we walked across the street to the Seine River. They have a bunch of inclosed boats where you can take a tour of the sights via the river. Even better you can get a ticket that includes lunch. My mother and I decided to grab lunch before the boat ride. It was pretty amazing sitting in a restaurant on the Seine River with a view of the Eiffel Tower. I put my feet on top of a heater in there because my feet were freezing while we ate.
Afterwards we walked outside so we could board the boat. We got to see all the sights on the boat, Notre Dame, the infamous Love Lock Bridge, the Louvre, and more. It was a great alternative to the hop on hop off bus.
Although a very quick trip and one that had a ton of snow involved it was a great one. Saw a lot in a small amount of time under the circumstances. We enjoyed ourselves and brought back tons of souvenirs. We even enjoyed their airport. It is very high-tech with video games and more. I bought some macaroons that were very good before we left as well as some chocolate.
Looking forward to a return trip sans the snow. Have you ever been to Paris during the winter?