Bonjour from France.
This is it, guys. Our last freaking stop. Where did the time go? We only visited two cities in France and we savored each day in Fontainebleau and Paris. So without much further ado, here goes our last trip recap…for this trip. 🙂
At Fontainebleau, where we soaked in the great outdoors. The town is only an hour away from Paris- making it easy to get to. Plus, it’s surrounded by a ton of hiking so it was an no-brainer stop for us.
We stayed at an AirBnB that was close to a park, national forest and…a bakery. Let’s start with the bakery. I became obsessed with the fact that everywhere we went, no matter the time of day, I could always spot someone with a fresh baguette. So we ended up going to the local bakery quite often to satisfy my cravings.
Besides baguette-ing, we did a ton of walking and exploring in nature. One of our highlights was a hike Matt found called “25 Bosses.”
In French, bosses translates to bumps- meaning you hike up and down 25 bumps/hills. I was tickled by the name as it seemed like we’d need to overcome 25 bosses, like in Super Mario. Maybe I was trying to gamify our hike, but it got me through.
The hike was super fun- lots of ups and downs (no real long stretches of either) which made for a variety of views and it had us climbing over/around/under rocks. Here’s a few photos:
Our stop in Fontainebleau was during our 4 year wedding anniversary! So we celebrated with some light hiking around the National Forest (where we intentionally getting a bit lost), a bakery visit and a plan to have a dinner in Paris.
Which leads us to our official last stop- Paris! But before we dive into that, I just wanted to say our Fontainebleau days were truly blissful and relaxing. We loved being out in nature, being able to go on walks whenever we wanted and spent the time chatting about the past, present and future.
Hard to believe we’ve finally reached the end of our 6 month (and 1 day) journey. We decided to treat ourselves and stay at the Park-Hyatt Paris Vendome. Truthfully, we had 4 free Hyatt nights that we had been saving for just the right moment, and this was it. This was a very different experience than the rest of our trip. Our Airbnbs or rooftop tents didn’t offer daily spa visits or turn down service. However, we did request the mini-bar to be emptied so we could continue our tradition of stocking up on groceries =). Anyways, if you’re ever looking for a really nice place to stay in Paris, we’d highly recommend the Park-Hyatt!
Paris was a wonderful way to end the trip. I’ll divide up our blogging by famous Parisian Landmarks.
Eiffel Tower: Visiting the Eiffel Tower was the highlight of our time in Paris. We walked over to the Eiffel Tower multiple times during our stay. One evening, we picked up baguettes, salami and cheese and had dinner in Champ De Mars. We got a lot of incredible photos before scaling (at least, half) up the Eiffel Tower. After dinner, we walked as far up the Eiffel Tower as you are allowed. Then, we took the elevator the rest of the way to the top. The timing could not have been more perfect as it was right around sunset. The views were incredible and it was really one of the top “tourist attractions” of our whole trip. To top it all off, we took in a couple of light shows from the bottom.
Here’s some photos of us exploring around the Eiffel Tower:
We of course took tons of photos of us climbing up the Eiffel Tower and our views at the top:
Louvre: The Louvre is probably the most well known museum in the world. We both preferred the Prado Museum in Madrid. It was a combination of the crowds and cost. Prado was free and much less crowded. With that said, the Louvre had an unbelievably diverse collection of art work.
The Mona Lisa was a lowlight because there were hundreds of people standing around a really tiny painting enclosed in glass. Winged Victory (unreal!), Venus and Liberty Leading the People were all highlights. We stayed until closing time and got some really cool private time in some of the exhibits.
Let’s play a quick game of how to crop your photos to make your totally crowded Louvre experience seem private….
So how do you have a private experience in the Louvre??
Notre Dame: This cathedral was one of the more impressive European cathedrals. In particular, the detail on the outside of the cathedral stood out. As said before, we just as long of a history in the United States to have these beautiful buildings nearly 1,000 years old.
Food: Continuing with our Fontainebleau experience, we attempted to visit a bakery and get baguettes and pastries every day.
We also tried Ramen in Paris, had a really nice meal at La Regalade and Banh Mi. Unfortunately, the Ramen and Banh Mi were not as good as Japan/Vietnam, but still quite good! This helped ease the blow as we returned to Americanized Asian food.
All Other Activities: Excluding the highlights above, we explored a bunch more landmarks. Phi found the Thomas Jefferson statue in France! We visited the Pere Lachaise Cemetery where Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Chopin are buried. Near our hotel were the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries. We explored the international district, the bakery district, saw the Arc de Triomphe and walked along Canal St. Martin in the rain.
We’ve asked ourselves how to end this blog and we still don’t have the answer. Hard to believe how quickly the trip went. We’ll never forget all of the incredible people and experiences the world has to offer. Thank you for following us on this journey and we hope some of our blogging has inspired you for your next trip.
Matt and Phi
(Until next time?)