Also apologies in advance, this is a long one.
After a little bit of a worrisome time working with a woman at the station, she called a whole list of taxi companies and eventually got us a driver who was not only willing to take us there, but also bring us back when we were all done. Whew.
(Excuse my blurry and grainy night photo but it was the only one I took)
Everyone has this sort of brilliant and romantic and perfect picture in their head of the Eiffel Tower and to say the least, it sure wasn't what I expected. The structure itself blew me away (its always looked much smaller in photos lol), I could stare at the criss-crossing beams for days.
The downside (which really wasn't a bad thing, just unexpected) was that the park at the base of the tower isn't the romantic intimate grassy park they show you in movies. At least it wasn't on the nights we visited while we were there.
Don't get me wrong it was still an amazing sight, just as long as you're looking at the tower, I just really can't picture people proposing with the hundred peddlers buzzing around around them.
Afterwards, we returned to Notre Dame to see it up close and actually go inside. had never realized that I've only ever seen the front of the cathedral before. The sides and back (in my opinion) are more intriguing to look at architecturally than the front.
The second hostel we stayed at in Paris, Le Village Hostel Montmartre ($33/night) just steps away from the Sacre-Coeur. Even though it wasn't very far from the first hostel the immediate neighborhood was vibrant and noticeably more upbeat and most importantly safer feeling.
Once we dropped our bags off we headed to the train station to begin our next adventure, which was only a 4 hour train ride and 30 min bus ride away. We got a ticket from Paris to Rennes ($98), and then hopped on a bus to the Mont Saint Michel information center about a mile and a half from the island.
So a very brief explanation of Mont Saint Michel:
An abbey was build on the top of this island and over the years was expanded upon and a town was built winding down to the base. It's surrounded by a quicksand that floods every night with the tide.
(Bless you anonymous navigator)
Regretfully we only made it a few minutes into the gardens and realized you simply cannot wander both the palace and the gardens in the half day we scheduled. They seemed to go on FOREVER, and I wish we would have built in more time to leisurely meander through all of it.
We booked a pub crawl through the same company as our walking tour, Sandeman's New Europe ($17), and I cannot stress how much I recommend going on a pub crawl whenever you go somewhere new. It really a great way to see the city from a more lively perspective and meet all sorts of people who are in the same boat.
We almost walked by the little shop, but walked in and were warmly greeted by the woman behind the counter before she helped us hand pick out our favorite flavors to bring along with us.
Soon enough it was time to gather our bags and head to the Louvre for our bus to the airport (only $3!).
Taxi from airport - $50
Travel to Pierrefonds
Train - $14
Taxi - $50
Admission - $6
Hostel 1 (2 nights) - $68
Walking Tour - FREE**
Hostel 2 (3 nights) - $99
Mont Saint Michel
Train - $98
Admission - $6
Château de Versailles - $20
Pub Crawl - $17
Bus to airport - $3
*Not including food, sorry I couldn't keep track of how much all the noms were.
**Still should tip the guide