10 Year Challenge In Paris

It was ten years ago when I went to Paris, France, with my mother. It’s hard to believe how much time has went by since I still remember a lot from this trip. I remember arriving to the airport and being greeted by my mothers best friend, Vita, who was allowing us to stay in her apartment during our 9-days in Paris. She immediately went in to greet me with a kiss. I wasn’t used to the french way of greeting so I stubbled a bit not knowing which cheek she was going to. I remember being slightly embarrassed by it at the time.

Looking back, I don’t think I realized how successful my mothers friend was. I knew she lived in Paris, which to me meant you’ve made it. You’re cool if you live in Paris. But not only does she live in Paris, she is also an entertainment director who’s in charge of musical events and performers from all over Europe. To add to her coolness, she also speaks four languages. 

Paris - Ayla Boswell

The first thing I did after getting settled into Vita’s apartment was have a nap. I always have to take a nap right after getting off a plane. It was about 5pm when I woke up but it was still light out because it was summer. My mom wanted to go someplace since it would be a waste to spend the entire first day in the apartment. So the first thing we decided to do was go, of course, to see the Eiffel Tower.

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Eiffel Tower

I remember seeing the Eiffel tower for the first time like it was yesterday. We took the metro from Champs-Élysées to the stop “Trocadero.” When we got out of the metro we started walking towards two large buildings. (I now know they were the Maritime Museum and Museum of Architecture and Monuments). As we walked along one of the museums, I started to see a large open area (Palais de Chaillot) and suddenly…the Eiffel Tower came into view. It was like a scene from a movie where the characters of been on a long journey and to their surprised, through the mountains, standing on a cliff, they finally see what they have been looking for their whole journey.

Paris - Ayla Boswell
View from second level of the Eiffel Tower
Paris - Ayla Boswell
Seine River & Bridges

My mom and I walked through the park and crossed the Pont d’lena to get closer to the Eiffel Tower. It was larger than I imagined. I thought it would be half the size, but it was actually huge. I wanted to climb up it so we went to the ticket office to see how much it was. The price to take the elevator was expensive but the person working there told us we could also take the stairs for free (or maybe it was for a few euros). We decided to take the stairs even though she said we couldn’t go to the very top without an elevator. Going up the stairs was easy for me at the time. It probably wouldn’t be if I went now. I quickly climbed up to the second floor leaving my mom in my dust.

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Champ de Mars

We went up another level and by that time the sun was beginning to set. We stayed up there until my mom received a call from Vita. She called to tell us that the metro would be closing soon and her son wouldn’t be able to come get us if we stayed any longer. It was almost 11pm and it surprised us how late it was because there was still some daylight. I guess daylight lasts much longer in France than it does in the US.

Paris - Ayla Boswell

When her son came to get us, I was shocked to learn it was his first time seeing the Eiffel Tower too. He’s lived in Paris his whole life and only now saw it. I guess it isn’t as big of a deal to see it if you were born in Paris.

I remember the next important thing I wanted to do was see the Mona Lisa. The line to get inside the Louvre was long. It was also summer so that could be why it was so packed. Once inside, I was on a mission to find the Mona Lisa. I didn’t care about anything or anyone else except for her. I followed the signs that were placed all over the museum. “Mona Lisa this way” with an arrow. I felt like they were purposefully putting me through a maze because I had to walk down many halls and rooms until I finally reached the room with Her. It was a large room and a crowd was gathered in the center. I wasn’t expecting so many people to be standing in front of Her. All the other paintings had no one stopping to take pictures. She was also in a glass case and the other paintings were not. Thinking back, I was really dumb. I should have appreciated the other works of art in that museum. I’m sure there were much prettier artworks, but I was too focus on the most famous one. I don’t even know why it’s more famous than any other painting.

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”

In my photo you can see glares and light flashes from cameras because of the glass case the painting was protected by. At least I didn’t get a hundred hands holding up cameras in this picture.

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Louvre Museum

After walking around the museum, we walked around the parks near the Louvre. The whole area where the museum is located is beautiful. It was a lot of walking and my legs were sore the rest of the trip.

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Notre-Dame from the river

While on this trip we did a few things to get around and see all the sights. We used the metro, the hop-on hop-off bus for 2 days, and a Seine River cruise. My mom really likes going on river cruises when we are in places that have them. I could probably do without the cruise because seeing things and taking photographs while moving isn’t ideal. Pictures always turn out better on land. I also don’t appreciate the wind blowing my hair around. I do however like Hop-on Hop-off because it saves you a lot of time. Taking a metro to every spot and walking can be time consuming and exhausting. 

Paris - Ayla Boswell

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Pont Alexandre II
Paris - Ayla Boswell
Les Invalides

Paris - Ayla Boswell

Paris - Ayla Boswell
Galeries Lafayette’s Dome
Paris - Ayla Boswell
Paris - Ayla Boswell
Army Museum
Paris - Ayla Boswell
Institut de France

I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip from 10 years ago and seeing some of the sights in Paris. A #10YearChallenge was going around social media in January so I thought it would be fun to talk about a trip I took in 2009. What trips were you on 10 years ago?


10 thoughts on “10 Year Challenge In Paris

  1. We were on a trip to Japan 10 years ago (actually in September for our anniversary). We were in Paris for our anniversary 12 years ago. Paris is an amazing city to visit. Just hope the Yellow Vests leave some of it intact. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Ayla. It was our third trip to Japan. We were on tour for a week in 1982, on our own for a month in 1985. On the latest trip, we spent most of the time in Tokyo, but did a side trip to Mount Fuji and Kamakura. We were lucky to have two friends there to show us around. Great place to go. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

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