Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A rather different Valentine's weekend

Paris & Zurich
y Valentine's weekend definitely wasn't the typical nice meal, red roses, cute presents weekend. It was definitely not relaxing either, but it was amazing
Tom and I did the clichéd V day last year, which being a hopeless romantic, I do love too, but this year we both fancied something different. Neither of us have much money being students and everything, so we said no to getting each other presents. Then we looked into going away for the weekend, as we haven't done any travelling since being back in Germany, and still wanted to do something.

We ended up booking an overnight coach to Paris.

Paris for Valentines Day, perfect!

We then went to book the train back and it had skyrocketed in price (in the space of 15 minutes). We tried everything, clearing cache and cookies, different browser, different laptop, tried booking it at work and absolutely nothing we tried managed to get the price back to that original one we spotted.

So we had travel to Paris booked, and no way to get back.

Paris & Zurich
I started to get a bit creative, looking at different routes and modes of transport. It wasn't looking hopeful, so I had to really think outside the box. I ended up booking another overnight coach and another 6 hour one. So our route ended up like this:

Frankfurt 11pm - Paris 7am
Paris 11pm - Zurich 9am
Zurich 5:30pm - Frankfurt 11:30pm 

2 cities, 2 countries, 24 hours on coaches in 48 hours.

It sounds crazy, and trust me, we wondered what the hell we'd signed ourselves up to, but it actually went incredibly smoothly apart from only 1 very minor hiccup and we had such a great time.

Apparently sleeping on coaches isn't that bad when you're only 5ft tall and have got a boyfriend for a cushion.
We arrived in Paris around 7am, and it was raining and dark. We quickly scouted out a McDonald's though and had a coffee, a snack and a freshen up before setting off to explore as the sun came up and Paris was awakening.
Paris & Zurich
Arriving so early in Paris meant that we got to see the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and other places before the tourist swarms arrived. We didn't queue for long to climb the Eiffel Tower, though the rain and wind decided to batter us as we did, omg it was so cold. We had a wander around the first floor, and then ducked inside the café to grab a hot chocolate and warm up. We didn't end up climbing further up as it was still raining and the cloud was so low that visibility was probably 0.

We then did some more wandering, and found a Pierre Herme macaroon store. Obviously I was not leaving without a box. After grabbing some lunch (mmm croque monsieur) we headed to the Louvre Museum. The queue was crazy long and as the heavens had opened again, we seriously debated skipping it, but we did both kinda wanna see the most talked about piece of art in the world, so we stuck it out.

It actually went quite quickly and then we were even happier to find out that, being under 25, we got in for free! We headed straight for the Mona Lisa and found yet another queue. However I managed to grab a spot pretty close to the front but with a side on view so I definitely got a decent look. I'm so glad we did see it though, it's pretty amazing seeing the incredibly famous painting. We spent quite a while in there, and saw many other stunning pieces of art.
Paris & Zurich
Paris & Zurich
After the Louvre, we had another walk about. We saw the Pantheon and wandered down some side streets - I absolutely love the Parisian exteriors! We walked up the Avenue des Champs Elysees which is full of designer shops wishing we had loads of money and discussing what we'd buy if we did. We also found an M&S, and being British like we are, had to go in and reminisce alll the food you can't get in Germany. We somehow managed to leave with only 2 red velvet cupcakes.

As it was getting dark, we headed to the Arc de Triomphe again to get a view of Paris from the top of that. After another queue, yay queues, but free entry again, we got to the top as the Eiffel Tower was sparkling. It was so beautiful!

Paris & Zurich
Paris & Zurich
Paris & Zurich
We went for dinner on Avenue des Champs-Elysees at Chez Clement. I believe this restaurant is one of a chain in Paris, but it was cheap (for Paris!) and I honestly couldn’t fault it! The restaurant had a lovely atmosphere with live music, our table had a gorgeous view of the Arc, service was excellent, the Mojitos were so tasty, and the food itself was delicious. I had beef bourguignon and a salted caramel crepe for dessert. So good!
Paris & Zurich
Paris & Zurich
Tom found his meal really good too, but for some unknown reason, and here comes the aforementioned minor hiccup of our weekend, decided to completely empty his full stomach only half an hour later.

We boarded our bus at around 11pm and settled down for a 10 hour bus ride to Zurich. I don't think I slept as well as the night before, but somehow felt quite refreshed in the morning. When we got off the bus, we stopped at Starbucks opposite the bus station to grab a drink and download a 'what to do in Zurich guide'. We also picked up a booklet with a map at a tourist information kiosk near the bus station. We started off with a walk down the famous Bahnhof Strasse, and exploring some quieter side streets. At the end of the street is Lake Zurich, and it was such a stunning view!
Paris & Zurich
Paris & Zurich
While the weather was alright, we decided to visit Uetilberg (a small mountain overlooking Zurich) as we read it has some stunning views. We grabbed some lunch on the way and made the 20-30 minute train journey right to the top.

However, when we got off the train, it was snowing. I was so happy to see some snow that I forgot why we'd come up there, and when we'd made the 10 minute or so walk to the viewing platform, we realised our problem.
Paris & Zurich
Paris & Zurich
We couldn't see a thing. Absoutely nothing more than about 100m in front of us. But that made it kind of amazing! It felt special and the snow coming down made it feel kinda magical. Though I would like to visit on a sunny day so I can actually see the apparently beautiful view.

After that, we went on a boat trip, as the snow at the top of the mountain had turned to rain at the bottom. The boat trip around Lake Zurich lasted 90 minutes and was surprisingly cheap (everything in Zurich is incredibly expensive!). It was soo nice and relaxing, and there was some really pretty views of the mountains!

When we got off the boat it had stopped raining so we decided to walk around the old town and accidently stumbled across a massive party in the streets, which was apparently ZüriCarneval. It was so much fun to watch.

Paris & Zurich

After grabbing another drink and something to eat, we headed back to the bus.

We had such a great weekend. Even though Zurich was originally a cheaper way to get home, I'm so glad we got to see some of the city as it's so pretty, and I'd love to go back again. It is very expensive because of the Franc but everyone we spoke to in the city was super friendly and nice, and it was just really picturesque.

Paris also lived up to it's romantic descriptions, and I absoutely loved it. Again all the locals were very polite despite our British nationality, and even on a grey, cold rainy day, Paris was beautiful!

P.S I'd just like to say thank you to Tom for being patient while I try to get the perfect angle for every photo, letting me use you as a pillow on the bus and always agreeing to my crazy travel plans. You're one in a million!

Paris & Zurichpost signature

2 comments :

  1. Beautiful photos! The boyfriend & I went in October, and it was beautiful! Such a lovely city, and hopefully we will get back for another visit!

    Jemma | http://thesweetpea-life.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! It's so pretty isn't it?! Hope you had a great time! x

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