Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Travel Diary: Je t'aime Paris (Part 1)

Day 1
Our train to Paris was delayed for roughly 20 minutes. The queue to check-in wasn’t that bad, the security was just very tight. Despite the delay, which was quite acceptable due to the amount of passengers that day, Eurostar didn’t disappoint. Our seats were comfortable enough—near the toilet and the restaurant was located in the coach next to ours. The train left just before 10am (BST).

It’s amazing how the Euro tunnel was built. Wouldn’t it be awesome if all the continents were connected and accessible by underground trains? A wanderlust could dream!

Far from the sad weather in London, Parisian weather was happy and sunny when we arrived at around 1:30PM. It was hot – but not humid. No border control whatsoever – we got off the train. Taxis on the right, Metro/RER on the left. Since it was our first time in Paris, and also for convenience & safety, we took the taxi. The queue was starting to build up when we got to the taxi rank – we waited for about 30-45 minutes.

Our taxi driver didn’t really speak English much but was kind enough to spare us 20 cents as we didn’t have coins. From Gare du Nord to our hotel in Rue Cler, we were charged €20. I think it’s a decent amount as the traffic was actually pretty bad.

Parisian traffic was shocking! I don’t think I would dare to drive in Paris, ever.

To get a better view of the city, I recommend taking a taxi instead of Metro on your arrival. Sighting Tour de Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, for the first time was surreal! It felt like a dream…

We arrived at the hotel at around 3pm. Our room was located in the second floor. We settled and rested for an hour before heading out to meet our tour operator. I highly recommend booking group tour/s ahead of your trip (especially if it’s your first time in Paris)! It’s so convenient! We didn’t have to wait for too long in the queue to get tickets to the Eiffel Tower since we had priority access. Book a tour here - they're a lovely bunch!

Hopping into the lift to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower was a surreal moment! The view all the way up was breathtaking! We paid extra 6 Euros to get to the summit. It was worth it! Same view but definitely a different experience! I felt like I was on top of the world!

On the way back to our hotel, we found a Japanese restaurant and ate there since both my sister and I were craving. After that, we went to a convenience store just a few minutes away from our hotel. We bought snacks to munch on overnight.

Day 2
We were ready to start a long day at 8am.

Another first – we took the Metro to get to the Louvre Museum. It was very convenient and easy to use. I like it more than the London Underground. We didn’t need to exit the station. We were lead straight into the ground floor of the Louvre. The queue was not there yet when we arrived.

I would recommend getting a Paris museum pass! You can buy here. It’s worth it! The queue for ticket holders is separated and way shorter than the queue to get tickets + security check.

As we got through the security check, we went straight to see Mona Lisa before she gets mobbed. Luckily, there weren’t many people yet when we got there! I even managed to take a selfie with her, lol! Mona Lisa was stunning and tiny! Across the tiny Mona Lisa was another masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci – The Wedding Feast at Cana. It was massive and brilliantly done! The Louvre was massive; we didn’t get to go around that much.

On the other hand, we met up with our relatives from America who were also visiting Paris. I think it's been more than 10 years since the last time I saw Lolo.

Paris has bigger Metro stations than London! I swear! I prefer it more than the London underground!

Sissy travel buddy

We were in Paris the same time as the Euro Finals.

Tito Danny, Tita Nini, Lolo & Tita Rosie - After Paris the last stop of their European tour was London. They stayed with us for a few days before flying back to New York.


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