After a massive 24 hours in transit, I arrived in Paris at 7am on Monday 14th October. It was still dark when I touched down, and didn’t really get properly light until around 8:30am. I took a bus direct from Charles de Gaulle airport (Roissy Bus) which dropped me right in the heart of the city. After trying to find the right Metro station and getting quite frustrated due to a) my heavy luggage and b) being extremely jet-lagged, I found the station and lugged my bag down the steep flights of stairs. After some difficulty purchasing train tickets and attempting to navigate the confusing Metro station, I eventually found the right line and got to my neighbourhood.
When I originally booked the trip, I arranged accommodation through a travel agent at quite a ‘budget’ hotel. This was mainly because the hotels in Paris are hideously overpriced and I figured I wouldn’t be spending too much time in my room anyway. As it turned out, after a few quick googles I soon realised that the hotel that had been booked was pretty disgusting. Without going into too much detail (mould anyone?) I quickly cancelled the room and did what any travel savvy person would’ve done in the first place: rented an apartment.
I found our Parisian apartment on Airbnb, which is a great website that features all kinds of rental properties in major cities across the world. The place I found was not only cheaper than the hotel, but it also was spacious with two bedrooms, had a kitchen & living room and most importantly, was mould free. I grew quite attached to it very fast and spent a lot of time in the evenings curled up on the couch, exhausted after my huge days.
I spent my first day attempting to get some sleep before popping out for some french dinner at Subway and doing some grocery shopping.
Making myself at home by throwing my stuff all over the room.
After breakfast the next day, I headed out to explore Paris. One of the things I loved most about Paris was their public transport system. With trains arriving at as little as 2-minute intervals, this made it really easy for me to get around. All I really needed was a map and a visitor pass for the metro, and I could pretty much go anywhere. After figuring out the trains I made my way into the city to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
I saw lots of people playing with the pigeons – I even saw one woman put one on someone’s head!
Notre Dame Cathedral was incredible, I kept trying to figure out how high the ceiling was. The sheer magnitude of the cathedral was hard to believe, I spent some time inside looking at all of the statues and writings, as well as listening to the priest and congregation sing hymns. There were plenty of people inside and outside, and it was nice to just soak up the atmosphere.
Afterwards, I trotted off and made my way to the Eiffel Tower. I arrived just as dusk started to settle, the air was absolutely magical.
Posing with a rose at the Eiffel Tower in my beret. Could I BE more cliche!?
For more of this series, click here.