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Anniversary trip to Paris

Anniversary trip to Paris day one

View Anniversary trip to Paris on ToonSarah's travel map.

On the banks of the Seine

Our first trip abroad for 18 months started early in the morning, as extra Covid-related checks meant that we were required to check in 90 minutes before the Eurostar train departure at 8.01. But all went very smoothly and there was plenty of time for a coffee while waiting to board.

As this was a special trip, celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, we had treated ourselves to an upgrade on the train. We had the luxury of more space and breakfast served at our seats – yoghurt, roll, croissant, juice and coffee.

We'd left London in cloud and at first when we from the tunnel under the Channel the weather looked much the same. But as we approached Paris the clouds broke up and we arrived in bright summer sunshine. And bang on time!

We had to queue for a while to buy Metro tickets, then caught the Metro to Pont Marie from where it was a short walk across to the Ile St Louis and our hotel in the heart of the island, the Jeu de Paume. Set in a former real tennis court, this is a building soaked in history and has been beautifully converted. We last stayed here in 2005 and found it little changed and just as lovely as we'd remembered.




Although it was still only a little after midday our room, on the first floor, was already available, so we were able to settle in before going out to enjoy a first afternoon back in one of our favourite cities.

We had a light lunch at a brasserie at the western end of the island, by the bridge to Ile de la Cite, with a view of the Pantheon from our terrace table. We then had a walk over to the Left Bank, along the Quai past the rather underwhelming sculpture park. Still, it was good for some street photography!

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On the banks of the Seine

We then cut through to Jussieu to check out the Arenes de Lutece, but a children's football game was in progress so we didn't stay long.

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Near Jussieu

On the Ile Saint Louis

We followed a different route back to the Ile St Louis and stopped for a delicious ice cream (the island’s Berthillon ices are rather special), before going back to our hotel room to take a break, both of us weary after the very early start.

So far it seemed that the Covid pandemic was making only a small impact on how we travelled. Masks were required on the Eurostar, the Metro and inside all public spaces in France, including the public areas of our hotel. We had downloaded the French health app, the Passe Sanitaire, and uploaded our NHS vaccination record to it. This was scanned by our waiter at our lunchtime restaurant even though we were sitting outside, but not by the cafe where we had our ice cream. Apart from this, Paris seemed unchanged, although the sight of Note Dame surrounded by scaffolding and cranes was a sad reminder that this wasn't exactly the case.

Notre Dame under reconstruction

In the evening we enjoyed an aperitif on the terrace of the cafe where we'd had ice cream earlier and then had dinner at the small and friendly Au Vieux Paris, a little further along Rue St Louis en Ile. The well-priced menu had lots of options – I enjoyed an aubergine mousse, magret de canard and tarte takin, while Chris had a Roquefort and walnut salad and lamb chops. Then, after a short stroll to see the river after dark, we were more than ready for an early night!

Au Vieux Paris

From the Pont Marie at night

Posted by ToonSarah 14:07 Archived in France Tagged restaurant paris hotel river anniversary street_photography

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Sounds like it will be a wonderful relaxing trip. For our 40th, one of the kids had a pot luck at her house in Columbia MD.

by greatgrandmaR

Congratulations on Anniversary. Interesting to hear how you cope with restrictions.

by alectrevor

Thanks Rosalie and Alec :)

by ToonSarah

Happy Ruby Wedding Anniversary.

by irenevt

Thank you Irene

by ToonSarah

Paris ... mais oui!!! :)
It is a joy reading it ... now that things are busy again, I don't always have time, but it was nice to read how you enjoyed it! :)

by Ils1976

Thanks Ils. I've been neglecting TP a bit recently because I'm focusing more on my WordPress blog, but I want to continue to write trips up here 😀

by ToonSarah

Happy anniversary if I haven't said it already! :)
So awesome that you were able to celebrate it by travelling!
Beautiful picyures as always!

by hennaonthetrek

Thank you Henna 😊

by ToonSarah

I can understand, but don't stop writing so that we can still dream about the destinations ... I visited the city a few times myself, but it is always fun to read about it and suddenly you see something different as well ... your blogs give me more inspiration to travel even not so far ... once covid is conquered I hope we can travel even more! Fingers crossed on that department! :)

by Ils1976

Oh don't worry, I have not stopped writing but I post so much on WP that I have less time to do so here. I do think things are improving regarding travel and we will be able to do so again soon, but maybe it won't be quite as it used to be?

by ToonSarah

Hi Sarah. So glad you got to Paris for your anniversary. We did our 40th in Assisi, 50 and 55 in Paris. I hope you can get to La Bonne Excuse while you are there. That's our anniversary restaurant but I know most people like something much more fancy.

We're in Brittany now and a lovely young pharmacist voluntarily got us our Passes Sanitaire. We had been getting tested every three days and he asked if we were vaccinated. We replied we were and showed him our cards and told him we'd applied for the Pass Sanitaire Aug. 16 and still hadn't gotten it. He cheerfully told us he could do it and five minutes later they were loaded onto our TousAntiCovid apps. Bless his heart.

Have a wonderful anniversary . . . and please do keep writing here. I always look forward to your posts.

by Beausoleil

Thanks Sally. Good to hear things are going smoothly for you in Brittany and you have your Passe Sanitaire sorted. We found it a very good system and would have no problem having something similar in the UK, but I can't see it happening.

This is a retrospective blog and we were only in Paris for a few days, but I'll check out that restaurant for a future visit. You'll read about our anniversary choice in due course ...

by ToonSarah

As I might have mentioned on one of your WordPress posts, my German vaccination certificate was accepted in Paris with no problems, but at that time only the museums had to check, not restaurants or cafés.
(Now, strangely, it is temporarily not valid because I just got my third jab, and the software insists on a two-week waiting period.)

by Nemorino

That's interesting about the temporary issue with the Passe, Don - I can sort of see why but it seems a bit crazy too.

by ToonSarah

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