Note: I was going to do this as one blog post but over the course of three days so much happened that I thought it was best to split the blog post in half.
Last week I spent three days in a city I had wanted to visit for most of my life. The trip came about when I surprised my best friend with tickets to Disneyland Paris, another thing checked off my bucket list. From the week before right through the trip it is safe to say this is not how I envisioned my first time in France.
Firstly, instead of getting excited and packing for our holiday, the days before we jetting off were spent anxiously awaiting said best friends passport. I was convinced she’d get it (which she did), trying to calm her down and most importantly trying to stay as positive about this trip as possible.
This positivity faltered when I was put on a closing shift in work the Tuesday before we were set to board our plane, meaning I would finish at 1am and have to be in the airport 3 hours later. As it turned out my friend was put on a similar shift and so we both decided our best bet was to stay awake and sleep on the plane.
Fast forward a couple of stressful hours in work and here we were in the airport eating our breakfast and drinking our pints (of course) finally on our way. I wouldn’t let anything ruin this little break away.. that is until we actually arrived in Paris.
After forgetting our luggage and having to be let back in to security to get it, and an hour bus ride later we were in the Metro. Now living in Ireland, I had never seen anything like it and thought it was like scenes straight from a movie.
I had been warned “watch your bags in them Metros” at least four thousand times before leaving home so I thought I was being extra cautious. Apparently not. One hour after arriving in Paris City I was left without a purse. Now to explain. it was fine in the end as I hadn’t got a chance to take money out yet so all they got was 13 euro and my student leap card…good luck using that on your Metros!
Then came time for the phone call home. What an experience that was. I was blessed to have the best parents in the world who transferred money into my friends account and so we were back on track.
An early flight, bus journey, two hours sleep and one stole purse later we were finally free to explore Paris. Our first stop? The nearest bar to buy the largest glass of wine we could get our hands on!
Our sight seeing began at Arc de Triomphe. The Arc itself is beautiful however placing it in the middle of one of the busiest roads I’d seen in France still baffles me. That being said we stood there admiring this piece of history longer than I’d like to admit. Following this, we decided to take a lengthy stroll up Avenue des Champs- Elysées, which was in itself a truly stunning street.
Cue photo of me happily posing in front of said street sign…
Along this street was the unmistakable Louie Vuitton shop. “Ah sure we’ll pop in what do you think?”. Well, I think maybe not considering by the time we got to the front of the door we noticed the seven mile long queue only to get stopped by security using metal detectors screening everyone before entering the shop. But sure, better safe than sorry, it’s not like I could afford anything in there anyways.
Our next stop? The Eiffel Tower of course. And what a thing to see. Yes it’s just a piece of architecture but oh my lord it is something to look at. By the time we arrived at the Eiffel Tower we were hitting our breaking point after only a two hour nap over the course of nearly 36 hours. Aoife suggested we go up to the top floor of the tower and well I am a buzz kill who can’t even look up at the sky without feeling faint, so this offer I kindly rejected. Instead we settled for lying on the green around the Eiffel Tower eating ice cream just admiring the view. A very fair compromise in my eyes!
On our way back to the hotel came the typical conversation at the end of a long day. An early night or drinks? A conversation where I was dead set on going for drinks, no surprise there!
We arrived back to the hotel where I washed up and was about to get ready for the night ahead. It was only then I realised how tired I actually was. I lay down and closed my eyes for a second just to give my eyes a break you know? 45 minutes later Aoife wakes me up from my nap “Lauren, are we going for drinks or not?”. A question that lead to a sleepy argument that resulted in us staying in for the night to catch up on some much needed sleep. Something we were later grateful for.
And so there you have the first day of a very eventful trip. And believe me that is not the only craziness we experienced on that trip.
A second blog post will be up shortly about the rest of the trip so keep an eye out!