Well, this one’s tough. It’s the first time I’m really stumped with my writing. You guys are expecting this fairy tale story detailing my adventures; unfortunately you won’t be getting that. For those of you that don’t know I’ve been away for a 5 days, I decided to take some well-deserved time off work and venture out to Paris. You know the stories; love, excitement and happiness, unfortunately I didn’t see any of that. Paris just wasn’t what I expected. Don’t get me wrong I had a good time there but nothing really jumped out at me. I think I put the trip on such a high pedestal it just ended up flaking on me.
For most who have visited Paris you will have a completely different outlook to me however it was very reminiscent to London in my eyes. I’m going to detail how my 5 days went down for you.
Here’s the real truth about my trip to Paris.
My bags were packed, my iPod was charged, and it was time to go. We took a taxi up to our train station and our minds were just elsewhere, I remember thinking ‘god we’re actually going to Paris’ I couldn’t believe it, from booking the tickets a few weeks back it was actually happening and it was all coming together. We spent around 1 hour to get into London and then roughly 20-30 minutes on the tubes getting to the station, it was a nightmare but we wasn’t worried, we had enough time to wait around. It took us about 30 minutes from check in to the checks with the suitcases and all that jazz to get to the waiting lounge. It was really lax there, it wasn’t as stressful as I presumed. I definitely recommend the Eurostar, the service was truly excellent.
After the train arrived into London we boarded up and got into our seats. It’s humongous the train! I couldn’t believe it; my nerves were starting to crawl in now. As we sped off into the hills my eyes dropped and I napped until we arrived at Gare Du Nord. We were there! I was in Paris! After getting off the train we headed straight for a taxi to get into the hotel.
Now, this is where it goes downhill.
We was approached by some guy claiming he was a taxi driver, he didn’t speak much English however I showed him where we needed to go and he said he could take us there. Not being from Paris I didn’t know how long the taxi drive would take and usually you expect a fare type of system or some sort however this guy quoted a price straight up, €65. Us being idiots, we accepted. In reality the trip took around 10-15 minutes and should have only cost €20 or so euros. Bummer. We just got conned, asshole.
As we get into the hotel the front desk and reception looked very nice and clean, I was thinking we are in for a treat here! I paid up the rest of the hotel charges and we were set. I was room 001, bottom floor and that felt great, no long elevator waits or lugging myself up the stairs. My friend on the other hand was room 407, what a nightmare. It was fine though; we settled up and in, got over the painful attempts to open up our hotel rooms with those pathetic swipe key cards and made ourselves at home. This places was rated 3* I wasn’t expecting luxury but I wanted something half decent.
Instead I received a view of next doors window and a tiny square flat floor with three walls surrounding me. I couldn’t look at a nice clear sky in the mornings or look into the sunset at night. I got walls and a bucket, however I did get to see into next door, I’m a little bit nosy so that was a bonus you could say. Next was the smell, honestly it smelt as if someone left rotten eggs all over the place, it was horrendous. I ended up wasting half a bottle of deodorant to try clearing it out but it didn’t work if anything it made it worse. Now we move onto the bathroom, if you could call it that. That toilet was fine, the sink well was a sink but the shower, the necessity of my trip. I was beyond words. It was so small, I had to stay in one position to shower, if I moved my arm to far I risked breaking it because it was so loose. It wasn’t the best of places to say, we picked the spot because it was close to the Eiffel tower. In hindsight it was a bad move, for the money we paid (€552) I expected something better.
After we showered up we eventually met in the lobby area and decided to venture into the depths of Paris, after finally figuring out the traffic system there, which is beyond words we headed into the big attraction of course, the Eiffel tower. I’ve witnessed it in films, on the internet and on Instagram posts however it’s a sight you really need to see. It’s astounding just how big it really is (a perfect that’s what she said moment) we arrived at night time as well so it was lit up and just looked magnificent. It was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of people all laying out and just living, it was at that point I realised I should have taken a girl with me!
After our amazement and overwhelming joy we headed off into the city to get some grub, some well-deserved grub as well, I hadn’t eaten since the early hours of the morning. We found this nice little spot around 10 minutes from our hotel and ordered up. I got this fantastic margarita pizza topped off with extra cheese. My stomach loved it! We only had a small fee of €40 to pay as well, it was cheap and cheerful. After gorging on the pizza we headed back into our rooms for the night and hit the hay.
Blue skies and an early start to the day, Paris was ours. We went straight for food I believe, it’s quite hard to remember however I’m pretty sure we went straight to the Eiffel Tower again, we had to witness it and all its beauty. We ventured off deep down all the routes and saw it from so many angles; we must have walked a marathon by the end of the day. I’m pretty sure we just looked around at all the places for that day and just witnessed how daily life works there.
I don’t think we did anything to exciting that night either, the only exciting thing was eating McDonalds! The prices were truly horrendous though, back home I get a cheese burger for 99p over there it was €5 a rip-off! I was hungry though, I didn’t mind paying. We ended up just chilling out in front of the Eiffel tower for the night and then went back to the hotel, we figured out pretty early it wasn’t for us. I think we even debated getting a train home early but we decided to man it out. Don’t worry it gets a little bit better!
So the third day has arrived, what to do now? We really didn’t plan the trip out, it was a more off the cuff sort of thing. I think if we planned each day, where to go and what to see I think it would have been more enjoyable, I guess I’ve learned for next time. After a few hours of wandering once again we decided to visit the Louvre museum but unfortunately for us the line was far too long! We weren’t waiting 3 or 4 hours to get in and then have to leave straight away, it was nice to see that area of Paris though! There was so much to explore around that way, we went up to the smaller ‘town’ like areas, there’s a real sense of community there. We didn’t feel as welcomed. I think they knew we were outsiders due to the clothes we wore. I’m pretty sure we were called American boys a few times.
After exploring the area around the Louvre we headed back, we got to know the routes far too easy! Everything’s within walking distance. We ended up planning what to do for that night and decided on hitting up a shisha/hookah bar. Me and my friend are keen shisha smokers; we ended up grabbing a Maccy D’s and hauling a taxi to the shisha address. The problem was we couldn’t find the damn place! We ended up being dropped off at the location however we couldn’t figure out where it was. There was another shisha bar near to it and we eventually settled up for that spot. We had enough walking from earlier! Anyway, we get in and the place just looks horrid, there was no chilled vibe you get in other shisha spots and it wasn’t a very welcoming place. We got this mint flavour and it just was rubbish! There weren’t any thick clouds or a nice taste, it was getting harsher and harsher by the minute, and we must have left after 20 minutes due to it being so terrible! We walked around the area for a bit longer and eventually decided to go back to the hotel. As you can see we weren’t having as much fun as we hoped for!
Thursday, I’m pretty sure we visited the Arc De Triomphe that day. It was crazy there! The traffic surrounding it is unbelievable, after walking in circles or 10 minutes we finally figured out you need to go underground to get inside! After looking at all the detail and design to it we headed back, to me it just wasn’t as interesting as I thought! Like I said previously, I put the trip on such a high pedestal it just ended up flaking on me!
We walked back to the Louvre place and the line was rather thin, we decided screw it and waited in line. We must have got in within 10 minutes. Man, that place is phenomenal! Honestly it’s hard to put it into words how big it really is! Plus, we got in to the place for free! I believe if you’re a British citizen and 18 or younger you get to go in for free! It was a starting to get better. We arrived there at 15:00 and there just isn’t enough time in the world to explore that place! We walked into what we thought was a small section ended up leading us into another section and then another and then another. The stuff that place holds is so valuable and so rich in history. There are paintings dating back hundreds of years, sculptures that you wouldn’t think of and luxurious items and dining’s rooms built for kings. If you get the chance to visit, do it. Take a whole day out to do so; it’s so easy to get trapped in there!
After that we walked throughout the city and so on, looking at all the high end establishments! I’m talking Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and The Four Seasons Hotel! Man that was a sight. You have to have real money for that spot! I took photos of the cars parked out the front; you had a Bugatti Veyron and those things cost around $1 million I believe, a gold wrapped Lamborghini and a beautiful blue Rolls-Royce. It was true luxury. After seeing that we decided to get back to the hotel and figure out what to do with our final night, of course we decided to hit up another shisha spot!
We found this little place 4* or so, why not? Last night and all. This was true shisha spot, it was so welcoming and calm we knew we were in for a good night! The owner spoke English as well, an extra bonus. To cut to the chase as this blogs a little stretched we ended up ordering two because they were so good! At the time it was fantastic, I eventually regretted that a little while after. Let me explain; after paying up we decided to hit up the Eiffel Tower for the last time, we took a cab to it. Now after two shishas, smoking them for about an hour each, it eventually fucks you up a little. I felt so dizzy, I thought the taxi would calm me down, it made me worse. As soon as we stepped out of the taxi, I vomited ladies and gentleman!
Yes, I vomited. I left my mark in Paris, not a good one either. My stomach must be really weak. I didn’t even drink either; it was the highlight of the trip I think. All the passers-by just staring and making remarks. Fantastic. After finally finishing up and downing a bottle of water we decided to go back to the hotel and sleep it off. Tomorrows train home couldn’t have come sooner!
So our last day, we checked out and finished up with the hotel, and we were off! We had done it all, all that we could think of I guess. We ended up killing a few hours by playing basketball and just relaxing in front of the tower and that was it really. We took our cab took Gare Du Nord and got on the train home. No fairy tale love story to tell, no true excitement or astonishment, just vomit.
It wasn’t what I expected at all! I’m not mad or anything because it was nice to visit a different location however it just felt like London to me. The people I met were a tad arrogant, that’s not in general though most of the French passers-by are rather nice however the few we spoke to just seemed to come across as rude! All in all a decent trip, 5 days was far too long though, for an off the cuff trip it wasn’t too bad. I won’t be back anytime soon though!
The rest they say is history.
A few notable things I wish to point out;
- The traffic there is unbelievable crazy, it’s like they don’t care at all. Everyone’s in a rush.
- We enjoyed French cuisine, not just McDonalds.
- We tried using the French language but most people knew what we were trying to get across anyway.
- Most shops we saw were for females.
What to do if you’re planning a trip to Paris;
- Don’t get caught up on the Eiffel tower, there’s so much more!
- Watch out for the con artists! There really sneaky there.
- Plan where you want to go and do some proper research.
- Don’t go for a week! I think 3 or 4 days would have been perfect, we ended up getting bored quite quick.
- Wear suitable shoes!
There’s so much more but my brains just overloaded, I have to go back to work tomorrow and I’m really not looking forward to it!
Enjoy your day folks!