Sunday, December 29, 2013
Here we are with a quick preview of Paris! Nick and I were fortunate enough to have a view of the Eiffel tower from our hotel room, so here we go! At night it lights up and sparkles for about five minutes every hour, on the hour. Beautiful sight to see!
Thursday, December 26, 2013
|The view from our hotel room of the Eiffel Tower|
|photo from First Hotel Paris|
When Nick and I visited Paris for Christmas this past year, we did our research on the web and stayed at First Hotel Paris- Tour Eiffel. Neither of us had ever been to Paris before, so we weren't sure exactly where the best place to stay is. We decided that we wanted to be near the Eiffel Tower, as that and the Christmas Markets were the main attraction for us in Paris.
Upon arriving at First Hotel, the concierge, Antoine, was incredibly helpful to both of us. He found our reservation, and was even able to upgrade us to a corner room on the fourth floor with a view of the Eiffel Tower. It was incredible to have a view of the Eiffel Tower at all times of our stay! After we had dropped off our luggage in the room, he provided us with a map of the city and directions to the Eiffel Tower, as well as umbrellas (a little bit rainy in Paris that weekend!)
Our room was very nice, and I would say a standard to large size for European hotels. The hotel had a very modern feel to it, and was relatively newly renovated. The only complaint that Nick and I had from the hotel was that with the black walls, it was often very dark unless you turned every light in the room on.
The location of First Hotel Paris- Tour Eiffel was perfect. For those using the metro, it is right outside a metro stop that is only 3 stops until the Eiffel Tower. For those looking to walk, like Nick and I, it was only about a ten minute walk to the Eiffel Tower and other sites, including the shopping. Around the hotel, there were plenty of cafes, bakeries, and restaurants for us to choose from within just a couple of blocks. Overall, I would recommend First Hotel Paris to anybody looking to go to Paris. We had a great stay, and would definitely return for our next trip to Paris!
One note that we had no problem with was the potential noise from the subway. If you sleep with the window open, it can get a little noisy at times- as long as you close the windows, the noise was never a problem for us!
|Entrance to Tivoli|
Last weekend, Nick and I headed to Copenhagen for the night to stroll around the Tivoli Christmas Market. Of course, after the train ride there we were both starving- so we opted to stop in at the Hard Rock Cafe for some classic American food! It was delicious, and the customer service was so refreshing-- definitely one of the things I miss the most about the USA!
Once we made it inside Tivoli, we were able to have a lot of fun experimenting with our new camera and the different settings on it. Plus, of course, I wanted to get a TON of pictures from Tivoli! The entrance was beautiful- pictures don't do it justice- and right as we walked in I spotted the first great photo op! After this, it was time to grab some Glühwein- Nick's favorite, a spiced German wine- and start our stroll! Tivoli has an amusement park inside it- complete with a rollercoaster, swan ride, and arcade games. In addition to the amusement park, there are various themed areas of the park- an Indian village being one.
One of my favorite parts about Tivoli was the "love" theme of it. As we walked, we saw three giant blue hearts (picture time!), a tree filled with heart Christmas lights, and later the giant hearts had turned red!
After a cup of Glühwein, we stopped by the arcade area to play Robin Hood and attempt to hit some targets with our arrows. Of course, shooting with a plastic bow and plastic arrows, between the ten arrows we got I think two hit the target!
Overall, Tivoli was a very nice Christmas market and a great first stop on our Christmas vacation! Nick said Tivoli was much more like the Christmas markets he has experienced in Germany. We left the market slightly before it closed at 11 and headed home to warm up and rest up before heading off to Paris the next day! For you readers, what are some of the best Christmas markets or Christmas traditions you have?
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
As we walked along, there were TONS of opportunities for great photos! Bubbetorp is a very pretty area in the winter, with the snow falling everywhere, a few rolling hills, classic Swedish-style red buildings, and a cute little creek running through. One of the attractions I had heard about at Bubbetorp were the alpacas- apparently, some of them were even for sale! I really wanted to pet one, but after hearing that they aren't very nice and will sometimes bite you, and probably spit at you- I passed on my opportunity!
Right after the alpacas is when the rain really started coming down, so we ducked into the food tent. The highlight to me was definitely the "frosting-like" creations! You can see all of the different creations there were-- hippos, snakes, pigs, mushrooms, carrots, and unidentifiable elf creatures! As we checked out the food tent, Nick and I each had a glass of glögg- somewhat disappointed that it was non-alcoholic, but it helped to warm us up nonetheless! Glögg is something Nick has made back in the US for me- it is a type of spiced, warm red wine; occasionally mixed with rum or brandy; usually served with raisins and nuts inside. Absolutely delicious!
Afterwards the food tent, we explored the rest of Bubbetorp, bought some chocolates, and headed home! Personally, I think Bubbetorp was a cute, quaint little Christmas Market- although not exactly what Nick has described to me! However, I will be experiencing both Tivoli (Copenhagen) and Paris Christmas Markets this weekend! Stay tuned for those posts :)