Series of events that occurred from the moment we got off our lovely RyanAir flight to the moment we stepped into our hostel:
-French people have no consideration for personal space while in line for customs (or in line for anything basically).
-Our passports weren’t stamped 😦
-Paid 17 euros and got on what was supposed to be an hour bus ride from the airport to Paris but turned into almost 2 hours. The bus ride took a while because there was a hella lot of traffic going into the city. This made me realize that if you think America has terrible drivers, Europe is 100x worse.
-Once we got off the bus in a random parking lot, we noticed even more traffic, police cars and empty taxis EVERYWHERE. My roommates and I are extremely confused at this point.
-Got yelled at by police officers in French because we’re dumb Americans :0
-Since there are no taxis running at all, we’re left with finding an Uber or make an attempt to figure out the metro system in a city we just arrived in and have no familiarity with.
-Stranded, we find a pub with English speaking servers (& wifi!) and enjoy a much needed beer and dinner.
-Since our data wasn’t working, we spent 20 minutes and did our best to TRY and find an Uber. Little to no wifi connection. Taxi strike mess. Nada.
-Luckily, our server from the pub helped us figure out what metro to get on and off at to find our hostel but just our luck, we got confused and got off at the completely wrong stop and had to get back on the poop scented metro to find our hostel.
-Finally found our hostel and free wifi and quickly regretted making a reservation in a 10-person hostel room.
All of this happened in the course of three hours upon arriving in the City of Lights.
Besides all of the craziness that happened in our first few hours in Paris, we brushed it off our shoulders (aint got nothin’ on us), and prepared for an exciting weekend. On Friday, we slept in (except me because two people in our hostel woke up at 6:30am and decided that was a perfect hour to organize their belongings and make their beds) and enjoyed a nice breakfast a small cafe down the street from our hostel. After that we decided to figure out our itinerary for the day and decided to go to Notre Dame, The Lourve, Laduree (that famous macaroon place) and then play it by ear for the rest of the day. Two of our other friends were also flying into Paris that afternoon so we were going to meet up with them later that night.
Notre Dame was beautiful. The architecture was unbelievable, we walked around the grounds and took pictures, etc. My tush probably flashed a couple times to some other tourists because I made the ‘smart’ decision to wear a skirt on a windy day 🙂
Next up was the Lourve. Unfortunately we weren’t willing to pay to go see Mona but at least I got a selfie on my GoPro standing on a post in front of the museum that got over 100 likes on Instagram so yeah priorities right?
Next up, we went into Laduree which is a famous and delicious macaroon shop. I bought a package of 8 macaroons. We later met up with our two other friends, shopped around a bit in the fashion-y part of Paris and at one point, walked into Chanel and saw a watch that cost about half of my college tuition! 🙂
To end the first day, we made our first trip to the Eiffel Tower. I gushed like a little girl when I first saw it in person. You see the Eiffel Tower in movies, in pictures but it is NOTHING compared to seeing it in person with your own eyes. It’s so beautiful. Fun Fact that I read on a brochure: the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the entire world, about 7 million visitors each year. Wowzas. To end the night, we ate a late dinner at a restaurant near the metro station.
The next day, it rained on/off all day long. Luckily, I was prepared with my trusty zebra printed umbrella. We ate breakfast at the hostel and made a trip to the Love Lock Bridge. Since I do not have a significant other (hit me up boys), I made a lock for my parents and me. The tradition is that you get a padlock, write you and your partner’s names on it, lock it on the bridge, then throw the key into the river because it symbolizes that your love is forever. Next up, my roommate and I decided to sightsee and went to the Arc de Triomphe. It was pouring rain at this point so trying to take pictures was a struggle unless you were actually under it.
After the Arc, we went to the Eiffel Tower again but this time to walk closer to it and get more of an up close view. Still pouring rain at this point and not too long after we got there, we stopped at a cafe and enjoyed some French onion soup (in France!) and some wine. We then later met up with our other friends and went back to the hostel to rest and get ready for the dinner cruise we had a reservation for that night.
The dinner cruise was amazing! Unfortunately we almost missed it since our Uber dropped us off three blocks away so we RAN to find the ship. To say that we ran is an understatement because we ended up on the wrong side of the river of where it was boarding. After all the huffing and puffing once we finally found the ship (about 9 minutes before it was to set sail), we were greeted with a specialty cocktail upon boarding and a window table. After interning at a cruise company last summer, I have some insider knowledge on how dinner cruises work and if you’re getting your money’s worth. We had a special 3-course plated meal, a bottle of wine for the table and an unbelievable view of the city from the Seine River.
After our dinner cruise, since it docked near the Eiffel Tower, we decided to walk around in that area. We took some night pictures of and in front of the Eiffel Tower. After walking around for a bit we then noticed some candles in a heart shape with some music playing nearby. I embarrassingly thought that the candles were a memorial for someone who died but after noticing a man in a suit getting his pictures taken by a professional photographer, it clicked that this was a setup for a marriage proposal!!!! At this point a large group of people were starting to circle the area and some Ed Sheeran music starts playing. Everyone’s looking around trying to find his girlfriend and then she finally walks out from the crowd in tears. He gets down on one knee and everyone starts cheering. I wasn’t able to get any good pictures because I wanted to witness this amazing moment in real time. This was definitely a great way to end the night since it put me in a good mood.
Lastly, Sunday was a quick day back to tour around the Eiffel Tower for one last time and then make our way to the airport. Paris was fun and a once in a blue moon kind of trip. Some highlights: I bought a new watch, gained some ultra frizzy hair, ate 8 macaroons, made 4 trips to the Eiffel Tower, received 7 snapchats of my cat from my mom, averaged about 14,000 steps a day and got yelled at twice by an annoyed tourist in our room to be quiet in our hostel.
IN A NUTSHELL, here’s what I’ve learned from this weekend in Paris:
-Don’t speak Spanish. (because I’m used to it all the time in Spain).
-If you don’t know French, that’s okay. Getting by with just knowing “hello”, “thank you”, “excuse me” and “good-bye” is fine. (just don’t attempt to speak French in a Spanish accent because then you’ll sound like an idiot).
-If you plan on traveling to Paris, go with people who will PAY for you (like parents).
-Take the metro everywhere. Even though it’ll take a bit longer to get where you need to go, it’s so much cheaper and more resourceful.
-If you want water, ask for tap water otherwise you’ll accidentally spend 5 euros on an actual bottle of water at a restaurant (my roommate made that mistake).
Stay tuned for more detailed blog posts ahead about more of my adventures around Europe! Down below are some more pictures.