Paris in the Springtime

I love Paris in the springtime…

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I’ve been to Paris many times (I’m lucky enough to have a friend who moved there after college and hosts me whoever I visit) but had never been in the springtime before now.

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I went to Paris for the marathon, which I didn’t end up running, but since I’m on spring break I gave myself a few days to sightsee before and after the race. I’ve already done most of the major sights and museums so I wanted to do things that I either hadn’t done in a while, or were more off the beaten path.

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And obviously, I wanted to eat macarons.

On my first day in Paris, María Laura and I went for a short run in the park near her apartment, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.

Springtime in the Parc de Buttes-Chaumont

Springtime in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Then I took a day trip to the Palace of Versailles!

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I visited Versailles with my parents the first time I came to Paris in 2000, so I was overdue for another visit (as an adult, with more historical context.) 

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The crowds were insane (as I guess they often are) so it made the rooms tedious to go through. Also, I as disappointed that the Queen’s Rooms were closed for renovations. But it was a beautiful day to walk around the palace grounds, which was my favorite part.

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After I saw the palace, I walked through the gardens to get to the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s village. I remember this so clearly from when I was a child, so it was fun to visit again! 

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Marie Antoinette’s Village

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The next day, I went inside Notre Dame and lit a candle for my friend Jillian who passed away in January. I also climbed to the top of Notre Dame, which I hadn’t done before. The line was endless but so worth it – it was a gorgeous day and the view of Paris is incomparable! 

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The Bells of Notre Dame

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I met María Laura for lunch and we walked around the Latin Quarter, then got gelato topped with a macaron, for good measure.

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In the afternoon I met up with Kat, my friend from London who was visiting for the weekend, and we sunbathed in the Parc de Belleville, enjoying the view over the city.

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The next two days were full of marathon festivities, including the Expo and Breakfast Run on Saturday, and the Paris Marathon on Sunday. On both Saturday and Sunday we picnicked in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, carb-loading on Saturday and refueling on Sunday!

We weren't the only ones who decided to have a picnic...

We weren’t the only ones who decided to have a picnic…

On Monday, I forced María Laura to go for a long recovery walk to help heal her legs after the marathon. It’s so important to keep moving (albeit slowly) the day after a marathon! It increases blood flow, which helps with recover, and prevents your muscles getting too stiff.

We went for a walk along the Canal Saint-Martin, and then to La Coulée Verte, an elevated park on an old overpass, very similar to The Highline in Manhattan.

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That night, we caught the sunset over the Seine, and went out for a dinner of moules frites (mussels and fries) and wine.

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The next day, I went to Shakespeare & Co., Paris’s famous English-language bookstore which has been in operation since the 1920s. I met María Laura for lunch and we also got choux à la crème: cream puffs!

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I went for a walk in the Jardins du Luxembourg and sat for a while in the sun, before then heading to Gare du Nord to take the train back to London.

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As always, a trip to Paris was a treat! It’s one of my favorite cities and it never gets old.

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