If you missed my incessant flailing over the last few months: I WENT TO PARIS!
If I ever learn French and aren’t bankrupt then I am SO MOVING TO PARIS. I’m honestly so in love with it – I’m still in love with London, but Paris. I just want to sit in a café eating croissants and writing sappy poetry in cursive script for ever and ever. The architecture makes me weep. It was just such a lovely place to visit – if you squinted, maybe some parts could be London, but it felt a lot more…warm. Like cartridge paper in comparison to printer paper? SEE, PARIS JUST MAKES ME WANT TO WRITE SAPPY POETRY. God.
I went with Girlguides i.e. a large group of fellow excitable girls – we usually go camping, but we went upmarket this year?! *shrugs* I’m not complaining. 😛 I was especially excited for this trip because I recently fell head over heels for Les Mis, and about half the book takes place in Paris. There’s a great Les Mis in Paris tour that I took with me, if you want to visit any of the sites in the book! My misplaced French patriotism was really having a moment. (VIVE LA FRAAAANCE!)
We took the Eurostar from St Pancras, where I stalked the bookshops and flailed because ‘Lauren Aquilina played on that piano’. My friend attempted to teach me backgammom, but it was the teensiest magnetic version known to man. I was an utter failure. By the time we arrived at the rather fancy youth hostel near Gare du Nord, I was a strange combination of ridiculously excited and dead tired? I don’t recommend it.
The first day was pretty much the only day we woke up promptly. We headed down to the river to look for the boat-bus. Whilst we were waiting, we took photos of all the love locks on the Passerelle de Solférino bridge. I got very excited by Paris architecture, because have you seen the buildings in Paris today. They’re so beautiful. Curling balconies feature greatly.
We took the BatoBus (what have they done to you, lovely French bateaux?!) > up to the Natural History Museum and wandered around the gardens eating lunch and getting lost. After that, we took our sweltering selves back on the horrific pun of a boat-bus and went up to the Eiffel Tower!
We didn’t actually go up the tower, but I took a ton of photos and basked in my general Paris feels. The fountain across the bridge started to look very inviting. Though you I’m sure you weren’t supposed to, we paddled in it anyway. I figured it was one of those things like climbing the lions in Trafalgar Square: you’re technically not supposed to, but everyone does it anyway.
The second morning was filled with a tour of the Paris sewers. That sounds gross but, ya know, feel some sympathy for Jean Valjean. (Thank you, Victor Hugo, for the lengthy description of the sewers using information from your friend Bruneseau.) (Actually, it’s a pretty great historical reference. And sewers can be exciting too.) They had a part of French Les Mis in the gift shop, so I took a photo of that next to the copy I was carrying with me. Everyone told me I was mad but I WAS I PARIS and I’d be darned if I wasn’t going to carry my book to weep over. (Anyway, all the best people are mad.)
We had lunch on some lovely mini forest island pontoons down the road, and I sang a lot of Les Mis. Afterwards we visited the Arc du Triomphe – weird stuff happened and we weren’t allowed to buy tickets as a group so we didn’t go up it, but I looked at all the fancy flowers and names. EEK IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. Later on we went to the fountain again, and most people got…well, utterly soaked. We were rocking the drowned rat look. 😉
However fashionable drowned rat look may be, isn’t actually that great for travelling on the Metro. It was really cool to see the Underground-y system somewhere else – THE CARRIAGES WERE DIFFERENT AND LIKE ACTUAL CARRIAGES and also you had to open the door yourself so, like, sometimes you could jump off whilst the train was still slightly moving. The wonderfully safe things we did. (I think the line we took back to our youth hostel wasn’t the most well-looked-after, though. Some of the others were less dishevelled.)
We might have missed going up the Arc du Triomphe but we did visit the Sacre Coeur! It’s at the top of a hill – as well as a horrific amount of steps, yeuch – so the view over Paris is pretty great. Another 300 steps up the tower and PANORAMA HEAVEN. There was also a weird amount of graffiti up there. I didn’t know whether to scream in anger or empathise because…you know, I can see it would be a romantic place to ask someone to prom. (I kid not. Someone had scratched ‘Prom?’ into the wall.)
After a somewhat distressing shopping break where we managed to lose my friend (never fear, we found her), we returned to the youth hostel for lunch. Later that afternoon, we set out to the Louvre and for a birthday dinner. We actually had two birthdays on our trip, which I thought was rather impressive timing.
It was our final day so I thought I wasn’t going to be able to see any sites on my Les Mis tour, but it turned out that we were eating just round the corner from the site of the Corinthe/barricade! Yep. THAT BARRICADEEEE. *screams*
In the movie/musical, the Musain is mushed with the Corinthe, but they’re different places.
That definitely deserved full size photos, right? LES MIS TAKES PRIORITY OVER THE EIFFEL TOWER. Duh. 😛 Anyway, we followed that on with a trip to the Notre Dame – we were looking for a lights show, but after watching a film about organists for half an hour we realised this was a complete lie. So that was a great success, haha. It was fine, though, because then we all got glowsticks and started a flashmob with a street performer in the square. *coughs* All casual-like. (I’ll never be able to listen to Cheerleader again, argh.)
Unfortunately, that was the end of my trip! PARIS, MY LOVE, I SHALL SEE THEE AGAIN. NEVER FEAR. *sheds a single tear* Maybe I’ll join in with all the weddings and get married to Paris. 😉 (Though, of course, London remains in my heart too.) I had the most amazing time, and there was so much still to explore. If I ever get the chance, I would definitely visit again!
Have you ever been to Paris? Are there any places you’re just dying to visit? Would you want to see more London-y things on my blog? TELL ME ALL THE TRAVEL FEELS. 😀
P.S. Here’s the final call for my blog survey! Seriously, I will send you love and cookies forever if you fill it out.