#notatourist19 September 2016
Salut! Did you miss me? The last few weeks have been almost non-stop. So I now face the task of trying to sum them up in a concise and somewhat interesting way, and give you any chance of getting through to the end! Wish me luck!
There have been so many various events and trips all in just the first couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong I’m exhausted as we all know moving to a new place can be. But the adrenaline that you get from meeting new people from all over and getting to visit places in one of your favourite city in the world completely trumps any fatigue.
So, I have now commenced my journey to achieve all the clichés that there are as a wannabe Parisian. My wonderful ex-housemates even bought me a book on how to do this so I almost feel obliged to, although a little insulted that they think I need a step-by-step guide on how to be “totallement Parisienne”.
So in celebration of this here is a little insight on how I plan to shamelessly achieve all French clichés on my year abroad.
- Try ANY and every boulangerie (bakery): since being in Paris I have been spoilt for choice!! From baguettes to pain au chocolat. I would love to meet the person who cannot find something they enjoy here, as that is simply criminal.
- Candid photos by the Eiffel tower:- I think we can all agree I nailed this one.
- Warm nights in Les Invalides park: this seems to be where everyone goes. It’s the perfect spot where you can see the Eiffel glowing in the background listen to people blasting out music from
their speakers and relax like a true parisienne with your beverage of choice
- Get a metro card: just because now I feel like I can blend in, just scan my “Navigo” card and slide through the station barriers like I know what I’m doing #notatourist
- MACAROONS: my first macaroon was honestly life-changing. So I hear people say how incredible they taste and how there’s nothing like them. I always would always feel like these self-proclaimed patisserie connoisseurs needed to honestly calm down. However, I have now taken a seat at the table of macaroon enthusiasts. I want to try them all.
- Gallerie Lafayette: this place is something else, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy window shopping … not that I had a choice in the matter as a lowly student… as the interior is just so intricate and bright.
With every designer brand under the sun and even a rooftop bar with the obligatory view of le Tour Eiffel,
it’s definitely a potential extortionate experience. Thankfully I had the will-power/ small enough bank balance, to resist and come out unscathed, but its fun to pretend!
So despite this list I do aim to find the “paths less traveled” in Paris, but just let me get all of these clichés crossed off and out of my system!!
Spending my first day in Paris was a dream! With the weather at almost 30 we were set for a great day. Contrary to the way of typical student behavior we were actually pretty organised and set off early, (Mum I got up before noon!). We visited the Sacre Coeur, the Arc de Triomphe, (which is HUGE and truly a beautiful white masterpiece of which I will forever be in awe), down the Champs-Elysees and desperately scrambled into the shade in a park by the Louvre.
We were also lucky enough to get a free boat trip on la Seine. After being confident that sitting in the open air seats would provide us with some much needed fresh air, I was quickly proven wrong as the sun beamed down on us for the full 45-minute ride. Meanwhile unbeknownst to us everyone below was enjoying some sweet sweet air conditioning. Despite my disdain at this, the trip was such a wonderful welcome to Paris, seeing the Notre Dame in all its glory! We ended the day in smallish venue in Paris, for some drinks, well needed with all the heat and walking, before getting on the train back to Cergy.
I just wanted to set some time aside to address the train and metro system in Paris. Having been here for almost a month now, I almost convinced myself that I had gotten the hang of things when it comes to trains. However, the RER never fails to prove me wrong over and over again. Here is how;
Firstly, from a pride perspective
I cannot tell you how many times the ticket barriers have jolted me to a stop, whilst everyone passes through without an issue. I’m beginning to think we have some kind of running joke…
Next, the general inability to stick to timing of trains. Paris seems to be the only place where a train can go from being 5 minutes away to 10 minutes away in about 3 seconds. Starting to learn to leave myself an extra half hour whenever I go somewhere. Slightly dreading any impending strikes and what difference this will make to my journey time.
Train cancellations seem to happen an awful lot, completely out of the blue at all hours of the day. However, to end on a slightly more positive note, there is a free bus replacement service a phrase which normally fills me with much dread and images of being squished and surrounded by all the smells under the sun. However, although slower it isn’t too bad of an experience, if you find somewhere to sit, as its mostly standing space.
There are so many more new and (midly) funny stories to tell but I feel I should save them for another post. You know, leave them wanting more, wink wink. So as I’ve only just broken the surface of things I’ve been up to, as not to bore you, here is a snippet of my life in pictures of the last couple of weeks..
À bientôt xx
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