5 Nights in Paris, Part 1

Man this was one epic holiday, so much done in such a small time span of 5 nights in the city of Paris. This was my holiday abroad that I was well overdue for and boy was I going to “holyday” in style. Alice had planned to travel Europe for 2 months and one of the stops was Paris which I was very keen in visiting. So we decided that we would meet up and enjoy Paris together, and boy was it amazing.

Each day was jam packed with events and places to visit and take photos of, most of which will pretty much give you an idea of what we done for the 5 nights in Paris. So lets begin with the evening where I arrive in Paris after work and the next day where we visit the Louvre and Eiffel Tower.

Its weird sleeping in London and waking up in Paris
Getting there was pretty easy, I left work very early to ensure I wasn’t going to miss the Eurostar, I was told that I needed to be 30 minutes early to ensure I was checked in and everything. The train was at 6pm but I arrived at 4.45pm, slightly early but just in time for some last minute money exchange (thought I needed some emergency funds and didn’t want to go near any cashpoint machines). Once that was done it was straight to St Pancras to be checked in and frisked by security for metallic objects (not really, not going to be a dumbass and make those machines bleep).

I remember travelling on St Pancras, oh how things have changed now, everything is more done up and the station is now sporting a glassy exterior look. When boarding on the train I was able to use one of those ultra slow flat escalators (which always reminds me of the gun scene in die hard 2) that took forever to reach its destination (and you couldn’t walk yourself because there’s ALWAYS someone who blocks the “walking” path so you have no means but to whistle behind them so that they get the point and move out of the way, in this case I just told them to move it hehe). Anyway, once that’s all done I was in the Eurostar, painfully accompanying some guy who had a Mac Book Pro with him, playing Crysis on dual booted windows (grr), I went online for a bit and then fell asleep. Its weird sleeping in London and waking up in Paris.

Gare de Nord and meeting Alice

Upon waking up in Paris, I immediately notice a few things; there are double decker trains, impressive (for people who haven’t seen double decker trains)! Alice was waiting at the platform and it was just amazing to see her again :). We went back to the hotel and along the way, I got some sushi to takeaway since I was hungry, Alice had already eaten but she did have a cheeky taste on some. Our hotel was tiny in a cute way, the reviews really put me off at first saying how small and tiny it is but it was grand! Granted the hotel I stayed in at New York was amazing (3 star hotel too, but with a 32 inch LCD and a marble bathroom, as well as a safe, iron and other bits and bobs) but nonetheless my expectations of a hotel room was one that had a bed since I can sleep on a flight of stairs if needs be (haha!). So yeah, it was a tiring evening and there were lots to do tomorrow so we called it a night. BAM!

Morning’s here! The morning’s here! Sunshine is here!

Woke up nice and early (well we had to). Alice ordered breakfast in the canteen for the time we were staying in the hotel so we didn’t need to find a place to eat. Personally I would have opted to eat outside but it was nice being able to just wake up and head down for breakfast. The lift was epically TINY! It could only fit 3 people and it was one of those retro lifts where you had to open a door to get into the lift. The breakfast at the hotel was simple, just cornflakes, coffee, one croissant, one breadroll, eggs and other bits of continental stuff. It wasn’t really a buffet since we were given croissants when we sat down so we couldn’t get seconds, but nonetheless it was alright. Alice wasn’t too fond of croissants (neither was I to be honest (there’s a whole story behind it all)) but we ate them anyway, Alice wanted some strawberry jam on it and the ones in the basket were yuck. I rather enjoyed the croissant strangely, perhaps having NICE French croissants instead of the soft and prepacked croissants you get in Sainsburys was why? Anyway, that’s all from breakfast, time to head to the Louvre.

Hotel des Invalides

We found these trees and decided to take photos around it.

The louvre / lourve

This and the Eiffel tower were the two places we HAD to go during the trip, not attending is like going to Jerusalem and not visiting the Sexateria. We decided to head to the Louvre first since there’s usually a queue to enter and we wanted to appreciate the art before having it diluted and raped by tourists (a certain painting comes to mind). The louvre was renown for hosting several famous pieces of art in the world (a certain painting comes to mind) so it was only right to check them out, before that, random browsing at sculptures.

We got creative with the sculptures and decided to play a game of mimicking them, luckily noone was about in the sculptures section which meant we were able to execute the poses without much embarrassment (plus I don’t think visitors would appreciate me running away like a girl after being caught). We used whatever we had as props and did some rather funny shots and poses.

The visit was immense, as well as seeing that certain painting that comes to mind and the Venus de milo, we were pretty much “enriched” by the art. It was quite a lot to take in but nonetheless interesting as ever, the building itself was amazing, we went outside to take photos of it and did a few shots of us by it too (tourist shots for the win). We (when I say we, I meant just Alice) got attacked by tourists asking us (again alice) to take photos of them, I avoided confrontation with people and just went about and did my business. After that, it was straight to the Eiffel Tower for some painful stair climbing and touristing.

Want an Eiffel Tower keyring *ching ching*

What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of the city “Paris”? Eiffel Tower? So where do you think 100% of all tourists go when they visit Paris? That’s right, the damn Tower, now before you question my statement of 100% tourists going to the Tower and tell me stories of people who went to Paris and didn’t see the Tower, well they’re not tourists 😛 so my fact is still correct. Anyway, the point was, this place is the tourist wallet magnet (not a magnet for your wallet :P), everyone’s trying to make a business out of the area. One type in particular are those who sell Eiffel Tower keyrings. They reminded me of the folks who hand people the London Lite or The London Paper in that sometimes you just want to beat the crap out of them with whatever they’re selling (in this case, their Eiffel Tower merchandise). The feeling of beating them up with their own merchandise rose when they approached you and shook their damn ring of Eiffel Towers (the keyrings were all attached to a giant metal ring so you could carry them in one hand, and shake them to get people’s attention / make them hit you). The whole system made me sick, I’m surprised a few people actually bought them, though I was more annoyed in how they could just shake their ring as a sign of salesmanship (or the international language of “buy my damn Eiffel Tower, I speak your language therefore you are like a brother to me and I’d only offer my brother an offer that juicy that you cannot refuse”. So yeah, I obviously steered clear of these people (in case I gave one the old one-two) and just focused on taking the odd photo of the Tower.

Man it was hard taking photos of the place, my kit lens couldn’t handle it so I had to make compromises in how I composed the shots. They turned out pretty well I must say, me and Alice then queued up to climb the Eiffel Tower. There was a lift service but we felt that was cheating (plus it was for losers) and made sure we climbed every step of the tower (well I occasionally skipped a step so don’t read into the line too much). The queue was pretty long but eventually we made it, you would think the queue would be pretty quick but these cashiers had to service loads of tourists who don’t necessarily speak French (or English in some cases). Luckily Alice was my translator for the entire trip. She was pretty amazing at it and didn’t have trouble in talking to the natives.

The painful painful climb through the tower

Boy those stairs were painful, and to climb them with tight jeans was just suicide. Once arriving to the first level, we stopped for a quick break and croissant. The prices were high but not as crazy as I expected (though 3 euros for a cup of coke was a bit too much). After finishing off the croissant with loads of crumbs in the floor, we went and took some photos of the place and continued our journey to level 2. We were now more prepared on the stair climb. I wasn’t that put off by it since I swear the stairs in covent garden were more painful to climb. Once at the second level we took some more photos and continued to the top of the towerrgh.

Queuing was pretty painful, once at the top the view was pretty epic, it was nice and sunny so it was perfect to view and take photos of. We weren’t at the top for long, we then began our descend back to ground level. Along the way we were able to pay a visit to the gift shop. I bought Alice a small Eiffel Tower since she sent me one ages ago and I had promised to give her one back. It was nice to make those promises and eventually do them. There was a wee problem though, the new Eiffel Towers had the word “Paris” printed on it. It was so ugly, I mean, do you really need the word “Paris” to show that the Eiffel Tower is in Paris? Maybe the level of sophisticated tourists *shuffles lapel* is on a decline. I eventually looked a few other gift shots and got Alice an Eiffel Tower with the word Paris more subtly written on the tower. Once back down on the tower, we took a few shots of us behind the tower.

Start stirring that egg

After Eiffel tower we started to get painfully lost in the metro system, the damn double decker buses kept stopping out of nowhere leaving us confused to where we were suppose to go. We eventually asked a member of staff for directions and found our way back to the hotel. We then went hunting for pizza, Alice had a strong craving for it so we walked around our hotel neighbourhood to find one. We eventually found a cute little Pizza place and decided to dine there. Alice ordered her Pizza whilst I got a nice spagnola with carbonara sauce. It came with a cracked egg which I had to pour and stir away before eating (which was fun) and yeah, the meal was nice. We were a bit peckish still afterwards so we went to a supermarket and got some croissants to eat at the hotel room. Alice also bought some jam since the jam this morning was horrific and we were intending on bringing it to the table for breakfast too. I think that was it for tonight, our feet were knackered from all the walking in the museum (4 hours worth) and more walking up the Eiffel tower (my legs were shaking after climbing down the tower (as Alice noted)).

So yeah, next day involves a shopping trip and visiting the Arc de Triomph.

1 Comment to 5 Nights in Paris, Part 1

  1. […] from the epic night in Paris, we enter our next day of our little holiday. To recap we’ve been lounging around for 4 hours […]

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