Well this post took a bit longer to get up than I would have liked. I changed some things on the back end of the site and it caused my little blog (and my portfolio) to go down for week, and then life got busy. But it’s back up and running!
On our last day in London, we really only had the morning available before we needed to check out of our AirBnb and head to the train station. We headed to Balans SOHO Society near the High St. Kensington tube stop for brunch. I had the The High Society Eggs Benedict (eggs benny with lobster and avocado) while Tim had the 2 Eggs Anyway with sausage and a fruit smoothie. I thought my meal was delicious. It didn’t look like the dish in the picture on the website (what food ever does?), but that didn’t stop me from enjoying my meal.
After brunch, we headed back to our flat, packed our bags and headed to the St. Pancras station. Of course we stopped by the Harry Potter store in the Kings Cross station for Tim to check out. There was a crazy long line at the Platform 9¾ photo op. We didn’t realize that we had ran right by it our first morning in London. We were so focused on catching our train to Cambridge that we missed it – and the fact that there was no line! Next time, right?
Next stop: Paris! I’ve taken the train between London and Paris before but didn’t remember much about it other than you’re only in the chunnel for about 20 minutes. It’s just dark the whole time and you don’t see anything. It would have been cheaper to fly between the cities, but Tim really wanted to take the train so we did. We booked directly through EuroStar‘s website, and the trip took about 2 hours. I read (and re-read) this page about train travel between London and Paris before booking our spots. I found it incredibly helpful.
Finding our AirBnB once we arrived in Paris was definitely more challenging. I would go as far as saying it tested our patience with each other. Once we did find it, we discovered that we had to climb 5 stories to get to the apartment. The apartment itself was great (and the courtyard was the cutest). We just weren’t prepared for the mountainous climb every time. We stayed in the 2nd Arr. with the Bourse subway stop being our closest. The general location to every in the city was great, but I don’t know how much I loved the overall area to be honest.
After getting settled into the AirBnB, we walked up to Montmartre for the evening. I loved that area the first time I was in Paris so I was excited to be back. I wasn’t expecting the amount of people though! We walked around Montmartre’s winding streets and had gelato from Au Petit Comptoir. I would have loved to spend more time in the area during the day.
We didn’t realize at the time of moving our trip that we would be arriving in Paris on Bastille Day. (Hence all of the people EVERYWHERE) We missed the big morning parade and most of the day festivities, but we did get to see a fireworks show! I read that Montmartre would be a good spot to see the Eiffel Tower fireworks show, but it actually didn’t have the best sight lines. However, we managed to find a spot and got pretty decent views through the trees and buildings.
We got back to the apartment at the end of the night and turned on our phone’s wifi to be surprised with a bunch of messages from our friends asking if all was okay in Paris. It was the night of the terrorist attack in Nice and we didn’t find out until that moment. We got updated with the news and let everyone know all was well with us. It was such a terrible thing to hear about on a day when the country should be celebrating. It definitely made me feel like I was on high alert the rest of trip.