Bonjour la France!
We spent 5 nights in Paris and 3 in Bordeaux, and we made sure to include a few nice day trips in between - most of them wine/champagne related :D
I'll start with the highlights in Paris:
1. The Airbnb place we stayed at was at an outstanding location, the 2nd quartier, right on a lovely and buzzy pedestrian area full of bars and shops - Montorgueil. We really loved the place, even though we had to climb up 5 floors with the bags :P
2. The fanciest meal of our lives in La Tour d'Argent. Paul made this booking a couple of months in advance, as we had always spoken about the day when we would go to this restaurant together. It was our first night in Paris, which made it all that bit more special and magical. I was sort of afraid that I would be disappointed with the food, or to find out that this restaurant has its reputation based on price and tradition only. But no - service was outstanding, the 5 courses we had for dinner were all very delicious, the wine was great and the views, breathtaking. And at the end they gave us a beautiful blue box each as a gift - it contained an orange cake, to have at home. Isn't that cute?? That was along with a postcard listing the number of the duck we had. They have this thing that they have been numbering each duck they serve since 1860-ish. Pretty amazing. Lots of V.I.People have eaten there, presidents, celebrities, us (!!) and also Pelé and Ronaldo Fenômeno.
3. Given that I have lived in Paris before and Paul had already been there, we weren't keen on the full-on tourist agenda. So we enjoyed the beautiful sights of this incredible city riding the public bikes! This was a massive highlight of our days in Paris, highly recommended to everyone.
4. One of our day trips was driving to a small town 2h north of Paris, where there's a memorial for the Australian Imperial Force, in Villers-Brettoneux. In WWII, 1200 diggers died in a fierce (and victorious) battle against the Germans. To this day the Australia and France flags are seen side by side in a beautiful monument and cemetery incredibly well preserved - the French way to say 'thank you'.
The visit was followed by a nice lunch with typical local food (this extremely thin crust "pizza" (called sth else!), where the French crème frèche and onion replace the tomato sauce. Really tasty!
From there we drove to the Chatêau de Versailles - which was closed 'cause it was a Monday..! We could still visit the majestically beautiful gardens. Paul was really tired from all the bike riding, so he thought it was a great idea to lie on my lap on a bench and take a 45min nap! :) it was quite enjoyable given the nice weather and the magnificent views around us. We returned the hire car in Versailles and caught the train to Maria's place - my Paris flatmate who lives close by, in Viroflay. About 7 years ago we were interns living together in Paris, now I'm newly married and she is a 'Mrs.' too, with 2 kids! Adina, who was also an intern at our time joined us for dinner with her 2y-old boy. It was great to see them!
My next post will be about our trips to the Champagne region - another massive highlight of our French adventures!