paris on a budget11 March 2017
Salut tous les monde!! Its been a long while since I’ve done one of these so I’m actually looking forward to writing again! After an extensive 2 month break from my university here in Paris, I’m FINALLY, back in my natural home .. (I should have been here all along). I had the pleasure of being able to go back to Cardiff over the break and spend a wonderful (exhausting) few days with some old friends, who thankfully still remember who I am and welcomed me with open arms.. although I was shocked at the distinct lack of tears on my departure. However I guaranteed I shall return soon so that’s probably why they’ve been able to hold it together. So I packed up my things into one suitcase.. (still a concept I find almost impossible, and in fact managed to surpass the weight limit yet again), and watched my mum disappear behind the escalators and endured some less than empathetic looks from the airport staff as I was in fact balling my eyes out as I handed her my passport. The moral of this story is probably that two months at home is probably too much time and I had gotten waaaaay too comfortable.
BUT, less of that, you can dry your eyes, for I am now fully recovered. I have already had a couple of successful weeks back in Paris.
I had a much needed catch up over dinner at an Italian restaurant… Ober Mamma, (traitor I know, although in my defense, it had tonnes and tonnes of cheese on it, just cheese, five different cheeses.. and that my friends, is as French as it gets) with a lovely friend of mine. It’s so popular you have to queue up before opening to get a table. There are quite a few restaurants like this in the Oberkampf area and across Paris in fact.
I have been lucky enough to have even more friends come and visit me here in sunny Cergy, and we could not have had more fun! Even though I took them to all the main landmarks of Paris that I have seen before and I try at all times not to come across as a tourist, I had a lot of fun. I also managed to throw in a few new experiences for myself also.
When I tell you I was on a budget for this little excursion with my friends, that is almost an understatement. But I think we basically nailed it! Students can get around Paris on all transport for just 7 euros a day, which I think is pretty good. Added to that, with us still (just) being in the EU, we are able to see a lot of the monuments for free in Paris, all you need is a passport, and be under 25!
So after rounding up the troops, we made a b-line for the Louvre just in time for sunset and the first (of many) photo shoots.
You may detect a distinct lack of Mona Lisa pictures here.. and that is because I am of the perhaps very unpopular opinion of not being very impressed by the painting.. call me uncultured or having a lack of appreciation for art, but I just feel there are so many other amazing and detailed paintings and statues to be seen in the Louvre, that are just overshadowed by Mona and the hoards of selfies and security that surround her. *rant over.
Here’s one that I love, ironically directly opposite the Mona Lisa, it’s giant and has so much going on
Next we hot-footed it to the Arc de Triomphe and straight up (lethargically) the 300 steps to the top. Safe to say it was worth it and again all for free! I was able to point out all my favourite landmarks in Paris, such as the Pantheon, the Sacre Coeur and of course La Tour Eiffel, but who could miss that
We finished the evening at the Eiffel, having rushed down towards it just in time to make the sparkle show on the hour. Again sweaty and out of breath but again worth it. Day 2, we took a FREE boat trip on la Seine, organised by the university although it’s only normally about 8 euros, which was another great way to see the whole of Paris in just over an hour. Although we nearly missed it grabbing coffee / having another photo shoot..
Sunday was a more sleepy affair, we sauntered to the Sacre Coeur after a lazy 9 euro breakfast off the Champs Elysees. More pictures taken and some cute souvenirs were purchased, and has prompted me to start making a list of souvenirs I want to collect from my time here in France, of both the chic and tacky varieties (namely a foot long model of the Eiffel tower, I’ll let you decide if it’s a tacky or inspired choice).
After spending some hours wandering about the Jardins de Tuileries we had a final dinner, in a brasserie just by the Seine, again another fairly reasonably priced meal, considering the area and how tasty the food was, but we had the money to splash out after a very well budgeted weekend!
So there’s a run down of my first week back here in Paris, I’ve just completed my first week of lectures and I already have so much more to write about so hopefully that won’t be too far away till the next post!
Thanks for reading if you got this far! I’d love to hear what you think of these posts! Let me know!
À la prochain x
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