Well it’s not everyday you wake up and say “I’m going to Paris today!”
The great thing about living in Belgium is that everything is so close. Paris is only an hour and a half away, Amsterdam is 3 hours away and Maastricht and Cologne and Amsterdam are only a few hours drive. Compared to living in the Scotland, you can’t really visit another country for a day-trip.
Today, we took advance of this benefit and went to Paris on the train to see the Scotland vs France rugby match for the Six Nations Championship.
The easiest way from Brussels to Paris is by train. The non-stop journey takes only an hour and a half. Which meant we could leave mid-morning and arrive just before lunch. Booking tickets through Thalys at 29€ one-way per person, isn’t breaking the bank.
The match was at Stade de France, in the North of the city and kick-off was at 4pm. Arriving at 12pm, we had some time to wander the city, take in some lunch, shopping and sights before heading to cheer on our boys in blue.
Before going, I read lots of reviews and blogs about having limited time in Paris to get ideas about what to do, would it be possible, can you really see the city in 3 hours? We have been to Paris before, and have been up the Eiffel Tower and most of the tourist sights. So this time, we just wanted to soak up some Parisian air.
Obviously, a trip to Paris isn’t the same without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Even in the rain, it still looks beautiful. From the Trocadéro side of the River Seine, you get pop out of the metro and still get a great view – without having to walk far.
Then continuing on the metro, up to the Arc de Triomphe, we ticked another sight off the list. Did you know, if you hold a EU passport and are aged 18-25 years old, you can walk up the monument for free? Indeed we did this – because we can. The views from the top are amazing. Obviously, today the rain and clouds didn’t help, but I’m sure when it’s sunny, you could see all the way to La Défense.
As we continued are walk down Avenue des Champs-Élysées, stopping in Ladurée and picked up some macarons to take home.
Before we knew it, it was time to head off to the Stade de France and cheer on Scotland. Our friends from Belgium, that we know through french classes – one is a Scot and a rugby fan – were also at the game, but seated in a different section than us. We did manage to meet up with them at half-time and at the end of the game.
The atmosphere within the stadium, was amazing. Luckily, it wasn’t too cold and the rain had stopped. Scotland did try their best, but sadly the France were just that bit best, beating them 22-16. A surreal moment of sitting in the stands, cheering on Scotland, and being surrounded by the French.
I loved being in Paris. Even just for the day, and even in the rain it was such a fun Sunday out. We’ll definitely have to come back another day to see more, eat more macarons and drink champagne.
Until then, Au reviour Paris.