Driving to Paris from Belgium via Laon

Driving to Paris from Belgium via Laon

We say goodbye to our lovely friends in Belgium (you can read about it here), and hop in our little car we called “Vegemite” and we are heading to Paris.

We have booked an apartment on Airbnb.

I’m driving. It is remarkably easy, but then I have driven in other countries so am getting used to driving on the right of the road.

After an hour I need a coffee, so we stop in a little town.

In Belgium and France coffee is often served at a bar.  Usually, there is a patisserie nearby.


Exploramum and Explorason – stopping for croissants and coffee

As we take the back roads and not the toll roads, it is also a much prettier drive.

We see a sign for a medieval city, so we head off and decide that might be a good place to explore.


Exploramum and Explorason – by the car park at Laon entrance

Laon is about 1000 years old and as soon as you arrive you see how gorgeous it is.

There is a free car parking spot right front gate. Loads of places. So park there and walk up, as parking is hard to find and costs in the city, and it isn’t far to walk either.


Exploramum and Explorason – the entrance to Laon

As we walk up, an old lady comes and greets us. This is like stepping back in time.  She stands at her doorway and watches as the world goes by.


Exploramum and Explorason – A local lady of Laon comes out of her doorway to see who is passing by

We are alone walking the streets on this quiet morning. We then came to what seemed like a bit of town life, near a huge old church.


Exploramum and Explorason – Lunch in Laon

We were all pretty hungry and loved the idea of crepes for lunch.


Exploramum and Explorason – crepe time in Laon

The funny thing was that they were not making savory crepes until noon, so she wouldn’t take my order, but when I passed by the kitchen a short time later the next customer must have ordered at noon and had success. I get a little frustrated as a traveler that maybe if they had asked me to wait 5 or 10 minutes I could have eaten, so instead, I just sipped a coffee.


Exploramum and Explorason – one of Laon’s Cathedrals #1

So next stop was the cathedral – which had a free entry which was great.

The stonework was amazing. Full of intricate figures.


Exploramum and Explorason – one of Laon’s Cathedrals #2

There was gorgeous stained glass too. Really pretty bells chimed too.


Exploramum and Explorason – one of Laon’s Cathedrals #3

It was strange to see a mix of saints, angles and protective gargoyles at their feet.


Exploramum and Explorason – one of Laon’s Cathedrals #4

Hanging baskets. Potted plants. Cute archways that lead down little lanes were all part of this magical medieval city.
We were sad to leave. In fact, we decided to walk back to the car and take a drive through the cobblestone streets.  We were so glad we did, as it really was eye-opening.


Exploramum and Explorason – wandering through the back streets of Laon

Laon would be worth a stay overnight.

As we left and resumed our road trip down the back roads, the scenery changed to fields where crops swayed in the breeze. Poppies were also showing their rouge circles amongst them.

We found this little ‘moulen’ or windmill and I thought this was my favorite photo.


Exploramum and Explorason – Windmill and poppies on the way to Paris

We have rented an Airbnb apartment in Paris. It has a car parking on site which really sold it to us.

So I must admit I had no idea how I was going to handle the crazy Paris traffic.  It was mid-afternoon and I expected the worst.

Well, I actually survived quite well.

After a bit of a wait and an emergency run into a hotel toilet while we double parked, the girls who were to show us to the apartment arrived.

The owner was away, and they were very sweet.

We had to do a little tidy-up on arrival, but we soon settled in.  It was a one bedroom apartment, but as there were a sofa bed and a spare mattress, we decided that Explorafriend should have the bedroom and some privacy, and we would use the lounge – perfect!


Exploramum and Explorason – Paris AirBnB apartment #1

There was also a rooftop garden with lovely herbs, so we picked a few flowers and the place felt like home.

Explorason had done a great job of tidying and setting things out for us. I was really impressed.


Exploramum and Explorason – Paris AirBnB apartment #2

We had purchased boxes of food in England at Aldi, and were so glad we did, as all we had to do was unpack and Explorafriend was straight in the kitchen cooking.

We have an arrangement – I drive and she cooks and seeing I am not a great cook – and she is, I love it!

So here we sit. Our first night in Paris.  It is a balmy evening, and we have a curry for dinner.


Exploramum and Explorason – Paris AirBnB apartment – rooftop dinner

“Cheers” or should I say “Santé”.

We can’t wait until tomorrow to explore Paris.

Questions and Comments

  • What do you find fascinating about Paris?
  • What do you make of my visit to Paris?
  • How was it seeing the Eiffel tower?
  • Do you believe dreams come true in Paris?
  • Do share your comments with us below.

2 thoughts on “Driving to Paris from Belgium via Laon

  1. My Mom and I did a road trip from Paris to Florence through Southern France, and it was one of the best experiences we’ve had! I love that you’ve driven on your journey, it means you get to see so much more 🙂

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