Paris

Oh Paris, where shall I start? I have always wanted to go to Paris since I was a little girl watching the Olsen Twins eating snails and saying that they taste like balloons. I always put the things I want to do in the ‘future’ and say that I’ll go there when I ‘grow up’. I guess that worked when I was 14 and couldn’t even look after my own passport without losing it but I’m 21 now and have been working for years so the excuse doesn’t work now.

In August I was going through one of my midlife crisis’. My mother thinks I have been going through a midlife crisis since I was born and I have to agree so whenever I get a bit stressed out I just say it’s another midlife crisis. Anywho, so back to August… I was being super dramatic and said “I’m going to Paris!”. At the time I said it I was very much in my feelings and the thought of going to Paris made me feel better but I didn’t actually think I would do it. I booked a flight and a bed in a hostel (for the first time ever) and 7 days later I was in Paris. I still cannot believe that I went abroad alone to beautiful Paris. For someone who is anxious to even go to the shop this was a major accomplishment for me.

So I stayed at Generator Hostel in Paris which is fabulous. I used to think that hostels were gross and the thought of ever staying in one was the further thing from my mind but I gave it a go and I do not regret it! The décor of the hostel was very modern and cosy. Checking in was easy and within 10 minutes of arriving I was in my room putting my suitcase away. I stayed in a female only bedroom and there were 4 bunk-beds in the room. When I arrived there was only 1 girl in there asleep and I saw a messy bed which made me aware that there was another girl staying in there. By the time I went home there ended up being 6 of us in total from all over the world.

On my first night I decided to visit Café des Deux Moulins which is the restaurant that Audrey Tautou works at in the film Amelie. I walked from the hostel so that I could see a bit of Paris on the way and it took me about 45 minutes (bare in mind I was taking a slow stroll, reading a map and stopping off at shops so it could easily be less than that). I went past a kebab shop and I wish that I remembered the name but it is on the strip where there are a lot of sex stores and it sells Slushies. THE BEST SLUSHIES IN THE WORLD! I was only getting a drink because I felt dizzy and the man who worked there gave it to me for free so I assumed it was going to taste like rubbish but no, it was delicious. So delicious that when I arrived at the café I had to stand outside for a while so that I could finish it and it was raining! I went inside and instantly felt like I was in Amelie but that only lasted until the food arrived. I decided to have a Nicoise Salad, I wasn’t a vegan at this point, and it was disgusting. It tasted like it was cooked 48 hours prior to my arrival and put into the fridge and then taken out and given to me, just like that. I also had a hot chocolate which was quite nice but it was only half way full and the cup was already small. They gave me bread on the side as well and it was too hard to eat. I was extremely disappointed which is a shame because the environment in the café was lovely. I stayed for a while just people watching and then I was ready to go. I asked my waitress for the bill and after about 15 minutes she came back with it. I gave her some money and waited for my change of about 9 euros. I waited for about 10 minutes until I saw her wave at me and thank me for coming. She stole my change! I wasn’t sure if this was just a thing in France so I just left.

I went for a stroll around the area and went to find the Sacre Couer. The area near the Sacre Couer is so nice, I bumped into numerous couples who asked me to take pictures for them, I bought 2 delicious crepes and even had a woman draw a picture of me (that I didn’t ask for). Although a strange man kept trying to whisk me off with him to go and see a flower garden, down a dark path, after 10 at night, I finally made it to the Sacre Couer but then my phone battery died. My phone had my map on it so I was lost and I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was lost because I have watched Taken about 20 times and did not want to get kidnapped so I decided to try and find my hostel. I won’t go into all of that but let’s just say it took me 3 long and tiring hours to finally get back.

On the next day I tried to do as much as possible. I went to the Louvre Museum which I would recommend to anyone who wants to visit Paris. It is so beautiful I cannot put it into words. I didn’t have to pay because I am from the UK and I had my passport with me so be sure to have your passport with you if you want free entry. I loved everything about the museum, I was walking around for hours just taking in all of the art work and I still don’t think that I saw everything. The awkward part was having to ask strangers to take pictures of me but it was worth it to capture the moment. The only thing that disappointed me at the Louvre was the Mona Lisa. I expected it to be bigger and to stand out more than it did but oh well.

Then I went to Pont des Arts to see the love locks. There was a cart selling crepes right next to it so I order a crepe and sat reading the love locks one by one. The crepe wasn’t nice like the others but hey, the love locks were beautiful and I got emotional. There were also two men bothering me a lot at this point, one kept asking me to go with him and the other was following me around from a distance only for me to find that they were together. I felt weirded out so I left.

I decided to go to the Eiffel Tower and after walking through the 7th arrondissement and finding a train I made my way there. I found another beautiful slushie as I was walking to the Eiffel Tower and I felt amazing. I met a little girl who wanted to take a picture with me, I’m not sure why but she was super cute so I did it. Then, typical L style, I fainted. Right in front of the Eiffel Tower. How embarrassing?! But a lovely guy called Nic found me and helped me in return for a selfie (bargain!) and also showed me the way to the canal so I could go on a cruise. I am scared of boats so going on the cruise was a big deal for me but I was still feeling a bit off from fainting so I relaxed until it was time to get off.

I went back and slept! I was starting to get super ill so literally was in bed for a lot of time but by the next evening came around I just knew that I had to make the most of my last night. I went to the rooftop terrace of the hostel and had a salad and a mocktail. I sat there enjoying the view, the drink, chain-smoking until the boy next to me started speaking to me. His name was Anand and he was from India and we exchanged cigarettes, I smoke Vogue’s and he smokes these black cigarettes from India, and I guess that is how you make friends these days. He had just arrived and found that the people in his room were all out and he was just trying to make friends. I’m not really the type of person that likes to make friends but I felt bad that he was alone so I offered to show him around Paris with what I knew. Off we went. We went to the Notre Dame so he could take some pictures, I became his photographer, and then I wanted ice cream so we went to find some. I found a banoffee ice cream and I absolutely love anything to do with banana’s so I was psyched! We then decided to just keep walking around and see if we could find somewhere else to go and we came across a cool little bar/club. The music was actually really good and everyone was having the time of their lives in there. I introduced my new friend to a Virgin Mojito, that is my favourite drink as I don’t drink alcohol and he enjoyed it. We went back to the hostel after that, shared pictures and parted ways. Back to sleep for me.

The next morning I woke up early to get my flight back home. I was way ahead of schedule and made my way to the train station and then my train was delayed! I was almost having  a panic attack, I waited such a long time for my train and by the time it got me to the airport I had 15 minutes to get on my flight. I was running around the airport to find out where I could print my boarding pass. I found the machine and then it told me that I was too late to make my flight. My heart was racing, at this point I just wanted to go home and see my mother. I went and spoke to a worker who informed me that I had to queue up to get a later flight, after queuing for about 3 minutes that felt like 30 I was told that I could actually make my flight and she printed my boarding pass. I had about 6 minutes left to find my plane, I still hadn’t had my bags checked or anything. I was running around the airport like a headless chicken but guess what, I made it! Usain Bolt who?

And that was the end of my journey. I got off the plane and walked outside and hearing all of the Birmingham accents was so comforting for me. I enjoyed Paris and I will definitely be going back but maybe I’ll go with someone next time.

 

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