06 December 2013

Stopover in Paris

After our respective travels visiting friends in various European cities, we met up in Paris to begin the Camino journey!

Here is an immediate disclaimer: this post will not do Paris justice! Our stay was barely 3 days, and we got a little overwhelmed by the massive size of the city, the very long list of sites we wanted to see, a bunch of random pre-Camino logistics, and our very unpleasant (read: dirty and weird) hostel. All in all, though, I'm so glad we went, since I had never been to Paris before, and I'm proud of how much we saw in such a short trip! We both vow to go back someday for a proper Parisian holiday, when we have a few more Euros in our pockets and a few more days to enjoy this beautiful city.

Day 1 in Paris started with getting locked out of our hostel (did we mention they closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for no good reason?), so we didn't have much time to plan out our day before we set to the streets.  It was drizzly, so we made a beeline for the Louvre, one of the few indoor activities on our wishlist. It was the perfect way to pass a rainy afternoon!

From there we wandered into a vegan bakery, Vegan Folies. They mostly had delicious-looking cupcakes, but we asked if they had any gluten-free options. Turns out, they had a cheesecake with a chestnut flour crust. It was delectable! We also indulged in some Bionade fizzy juices... Elderberry and Litchi! What a lovely reprieve from the rain and cold.

Chestnut-crust chocolate cheesecake and bionade fizzy juices at Vegan Folies.
That evening we got lost trying to find the Eiffel Tower (don't ask us how...to our credit the Parisians we asked for directions were also confused about where the large well-lit tower was!). Finally, we arrived and had a dinner picnic amidst a slew of drunken teenagers, couples making out, late-night joggers, and a bride and groom taking wedding photos. Gotta say, it was a pretty magical place!
Our picnic was simple: baguettes and corn cakes with vegan pate, hummus, and carrots.
Our best shot with le eiffel tower

Day 2 in Paris included some errands, and some wandering, but most importantly, an epic visit to The Loving Hut. It's an international chain, but if you ever find yourself in a city with a Loving Hut, do yourself a favor and visit. The menu is customized to the cuisine of the area, with a little Asian twist. We pigged out!

Spring rolls, veggies and rice noodles

Savory soup!

Vegan, Neapolitan banana split... YUMMO

Cardamom rose lattes... yes please.

There was a lot we missed, gastronomically and culturally, but all in all Paris was a great stepping stone to the start of the Camino...........

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