Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Alien's day out in Paris (Pt 2)

Warning: this is gonna be a looooong post with tons of touristy photos that you might find rather boring, but there are also some photos of yummy vegan eats dispersed throughout, so I hope you'll stick around!

Well, I've been in Paris a few days now, and to put it simply, I am in love with this city. Even though I visited here when I was younger, seeing it this time around as an independent adult is like seeing it for the first time. It is so beautiful and contains so much history and culture, as well as effortless style. There is truly no place like Paris.

My sister and I tried to do most of the big touristy things in the first two to three days, before being looser with our schedule and exploring more off-the-beaten-track areas of Paris, so we got a 2-day museum pass and hit up as many museums and tourist attractions as we could. Here's a summary of our first few days:

Day One was a packed day of touring three main spots, each location far-exceeding any expectations. It's weird because I so many photos of these places, and studied them in great detail in several Art History courses, but seeing them in person was truly an incredible experience. First, the Notre Dame:

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Next, the Sainte Chapelle:

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And finally, the Pantheon:

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We also just walked around the bustling streets, admiring all the cafes, bakeries, and fruit stalls. I just love all the activity that goes on along the sidewalks of Paris.

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A snack of olive bread from one of the many Paul bakeries.

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For lunch, we ate at this Maoz falafel joint on Rue Saint-André des Arts.

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Here's my falafel sandwich with eggplants. I love that you get to load it with as many salad components as you can stuff in the pita pocket. :)

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The tabouleh, tomatoes, and carrots were fresh and flavorful, the bread was soft, and the falafel balls were crispy! However, the eggplant that went in my 'Maoz aubergine' was far too oily... even oilier than the deep fried falafel balls. It was really dripping in grease and sort of ruined the sandwich for me. Next time I will just get the regular sandwich, or even a salad.

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We walked around so much! Good thing I wore my sneakers, for maximum comfort and power-walking ability.

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We also took a break at the Jardin du Luxembourg, where we snacked on some fresh pears and figs.

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Then for dinner, my sister went off to have dinner with a friend of hers, so I went in search of Paris' one and only Loving Hut! :) When I saw the familiar 'Loving Hut' logo from a distance, I was so happy. haha.

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I ordered a savory mushroom crepe!! At 13.50 Euros, it was rather pricey, especially compared to LH prices in Korea, but it was a pretty average price compared to other restaurants here. Besides, where else would I find a savory vegan crepe?

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The filling was soooo deliciously creamy, and it had pieces of 'meat' which I think was meant to be chickin'... or fish? it's been so long since I had meat, I can't even identify them by taste. oops. The crepe itself was also really great, with slightly crispy-fried edges for added texture and flavor. The salad and dressing, as well as the small basket of bread was also a nice accompaniment to the dish. I'm so glad I've gotten to have both sweet and savory vegan crepes on my Paris trip!

I also got to chat a bit with the vegan servers there who super friendly and were excited to meet a vegan from Korea. Since they were all vegan, I thought I'd ask where I could find vegan pain au chocolat, and to my sheer delight, one of them whipped out a bag of packaged pain au chocolat from a display fridge that was hidden in the corner of the store! Ahhhh!

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In addition to the pain au chocolat, they had a bunch of vegan products like croissants and several different blocks of cheese for sale. I was tempted to get it all, but exercised some restraint and went with the pain au chocolat, since it's the main thing on my Paris food bucket list. Vegan dessert crepes, savory crepes, and now pain au chocolat! Not bad. Not bad at all~

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On Day Two, we visited two art museums, the first one being the Louvre. Yes, we saw the Mona Lisa, but it was surrounded by such a tight crowd of people, that I didn't really get to enjoy the painting or take it in before I got squeezed out. The painting itself was also rather underwhelming... especially compared to some of the other incredible paintings and sculptures there.

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The Louvre is so huge that touring it definitely worked up an appetite! So for lunch, we grabbed sandwiches from 'Aux Pains Perdus' and enjoyed it on the lawn out front. I got this Mediterranean sandwich with juicy sun-dried tomatoes, eggplants, and roasted bell peppers, etc.

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juicy and flavorful~

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Next, we went to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs because my sister is studying Interior/Architecture and this is her scene. :)

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Then we walked all along the Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe. So grand and impressive. We really wanted to go to the top of it, but were too tired to go any further, and my sister had other plans to get to, so we just called it a day. My feet and back were so sore after walking around allll day long! So that concludes Day 2.

On Day 3, we finally got up close to this hunk o' steel:

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This wasn't my first time seeing the Eiffel tower, but it was still exciting none-the-less. Whee!

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For lunch, my sister and I wanted to have a mini picnic, so we stopped by a boulangerie where I got a pre-made salad of lettuce, corn, tomatoes, asparagus, beets, and olives. It came with a packet of salad dressing, which just happened to be vegan! :) I also brought along a pear and some of vegan pate that I got from the supermarket. We sat on the grassy lawn by les Invalides and had ourselves a great lunch. This was one of the best salads I've had in a while!

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Then we walked around les Invalides.

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We also hung out at one of the sidewalk cafes while writing postcards, reading, and savoring some of the raw chocolate 'Om Bar' I got from Amsterdam. Drinking coffee and people-watching in Paris is so much fun!

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After that, we took the metro to the Notre Dame area and visited the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore.

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There are so many adorable and picturesque nooks and crannies, this place makes you want to sit for hours and hours, and lose yourself in a good book.

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And last but not least, not too far from the bookstore, we found this organic, all vegetarian and vegan health food store called 'Holy Planet.'

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It was pretty small, but still had some awesome vegan products like Cheezly cheese, vegan sausages, tofu, spreads, milks, etc. The lady at the counter was also so kind and cheerful! Ah, I love health food shops!

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Here's what I bought to enjoy while I'm here. A mini carton of hazelnut milk, vegan deli meat slices, smoked tofu, and vegan basil tartiner (cheesy spread).

While eating out is fun, I've noticed that most sit-down French restaurants have rather limited veg*an options, if any. Also, they're quite pricey, and since I'm trying to travel on a budget, I haven't been eating at restaurants much... . It doesn't bother me though because I actually prefer browsing through grocery stores, buying random vegan items and assembling my own meals. That said, there are a few noted veg eateries that I would like to hit up before I leave~~ I'm already half-way through my vacation, and there's still so much to do, see, and eat! More updates to come... .