I was in Paris in 2013 hunting for my future french husband for a personal holiday alone and spent Christmas without family members for the first time in my life. Whilst we don’t celebrate Christmas, it has always been family time to me and the only time of the year where we eat ham and prawns in the same meal. As in many cities, I was bracing myself for what would be open that day but some research narrowed it down to the Effiel Tower and Centre Pompidou (contemporary art museum).
After skyping home that morning (whilst my family were having their ham & prawns for dinner) I set off for Le Tour Eiffel. I thought that as it was Christmas day, I would be able to avoid crowds and the first thing I was going to do was to go up the Eiffel Tower. Oh how wrong I was. Those that have been will know that the queue to go up the lift is loooooooooong and Christmas day was no exception. The shorter line was to walk up via the stairs so 704 steps later, I am wheezing, I’m on the 2nd floor over looking the city and have the option of taking another lift to the very top of the tower. I was walking around trying to decide whether to pay for another ticket to go up. In the end, YOLO took over and I joined the queue. The views from the peak are definitely worth the extra ride (more on this later) however, the wind chill on one side of the tower was not.
After finding paella (complete with a prawn) at the nearby Christmas markets, my next stop was Centre Pompidou. I’m a fan of contemporary art but I think exhibitions can be very hit and miss and this museum visit for me was a bit average. It did keep me readily entertained for a while though.
I had bought some wine and spice biscults at the Christmas markets the day before to share with whoever was on reception at my hotel (to spread a little joy, who wants to be working on Christmas day?) so decided that I really needed to drink the wine and eat the biscuits this day. My hotel receptionist agreed and even had some chocolates to share. So we were in the hotel lobby surrounded by the hotel’s christmas decorations. We had a great conversation about life in France and being away from family on Christmas Day.