the morning of my first day in paris, i pulled out a list of all the places i wanted to visit over the next few days and quickly began planning the day. after a delicious pain au chocolate to begin the morning, we visited the musee du louvre where we explore all three wings and found the mona lisa. (and an overwhelming crowd around it, we named that the mona lisa mosh pit) i found the museum (and trains) was incredibly hot compared to the chilly winter temperatures back home. i must admit, i really wasn't ready for summer yet and was looking forward to a white winter too.
i emerged from the subway and ta da!~ my first sighting of the tour eiffel!~ our next stop was lunch at laduree on rue royal but it was so packed with people we decided to buy some macarons and find lunch elsewhere. after searching for a cosy little cafe, we finally found one and stopped by for lunch. i had a salad because i needed something refreshing after an entire day of plane food. after lunch, we decided the macarons needed to be eaten (or else they'd melt) so we opened the box and tried our famous laduree macarons! i had chocolate, salted caramel and raspberry. they were indeed a bit melted and crumbled between our fingers. i found the salted caramel wasn't salty enough but the rest were perfect!
we found galerie lafayette nearby and decided to take a look around the shops. it was densely packed with shoppers and tourists but we weaved out way through and found pierre herme's macaron shop where we picked up a couple more macarons to try. i opted for another chocolate one and a choco caramel one. the shell was harder and the ganache was much denser making the macaron feel heavier and richer. i preferred laduree macarons.
as we continued upwards, we found a tea salon i had on my list. angelina is famous for their rich african chocolat chaud and so for a hefty sum of 8E/person and a 'you only live once' attitude, we both ordered the hot chocolate and four macarons (to add to our list of macarons in paris) i tried chocolate and coffee flavoured macarons. they were quite small and honestly, i forgot what they were like. the hot chocolate was far more overwhelming and memorable! served with sweetened whipped cream (which i didn't use because it was too sweet) the hot chocolate was thick and bitter (in a good way). i really enjoyed it, but it took a long time to finish the small jug. it's a very rich and intense drink, but i'm glad i experienced it.
after a decadent lunch, we decided to walk it all off by taking a look down the famous champs-elysees. bustling with people, we weren't too interested in any of the shops down the avenue so we quickly made our way to the end where the lovely arc de triomphe awaited us. we climbed all 200 and more steps to the top of the monument and stared down at paris while the sun set to the west. the view was breath taking and no matter how many photos i took, it doesn't look nearly as impressive as it did through my eyes.
after a day crammed with so much walking (and so many stairs) we made it back to the apartment and rested our blistered feet, ready for the next day ahead.