Paris: November 2014

I was 17 when I fell in love with Paris.

My first experience of this great city was in 2009 when I travelled all the way from New Zealand on a school languages trip. My French was average, but my time there certainly was not.

So, after moving back to England in 2014 I could finally revisit Paris and it did not disappoint the second time around.

I am a huge advocate of traveling solo, and I can honestly say I absolutely love being able to experience a new city, full of different cultures and languages, alone. It not only forces you to step outside your comfort zone, but allows you to get to know yourself (as cheesy as that sounds.)

The start of my trip saw me nervously sitting waiting for the Eurostar from St Pancras station in London. 5 months since arriving back in the UK and I was already making my way overseas and I was buzzing, off both adrenaline and excitement (and tiredness from being up so early!) Upon arrival at Gare du Nord I found myself openly very impressed at just how much French I remembered from high school and was able to navigate the ticket machine.

Now I was in Paris I was free to roam the city and headed towards the Louvre. Amazingly, this insanely impressive museum was only a 10 minute walk away from my apartment, cutting through the Jardin du Palais Royal. I spent much of my afternoon around the Jardin des Tuileries sitting watching the world go by on the famous green chairs that scatter the place and wandering up and down the Champs-Élysées in awe. All the high-fashion brands dazzling my eyes, wishing I'd budgeted for a Louis Vuitton bag as part of my spending money!

Whilst Paris is an aesthetically-pleasing city, with its perfectly aligned streets, one particular highlight of my trip was going deep underground into the Catacombes de Paris. After standing outside in the rain for over an hour and a half, I made my way down the numerous stairs to find myself facing rows of skulls and bones.

Whilst walking for over 2km, it's crazy to think that the remains of over 6 million people are located down there. And trying to soak it all in becomes almost overwhelming.

Another highlight of my trip was of course, la tour Eiffel! It was a miserable day, and I was frozen, with blue lips, but nothing was going to stop me from going to the very top and taking in the stunning views that surrounded me. The wind caused the tower to move, which was a tad unnerving but to stop for a second and take in the fact that I was at the top of the Eiffel Tower, a short few months after leaving all that was familiar on the other side of the world, I was pretty proud of myself. I was literally on top of the world.

Whilst spending time in Montmartre and staring across at Paris' landscape from the Sacré Coeur, I found myself wandering to Pigalle - famous for its sex shops and interesting clientele. Despite being alone, I just had to visit the Musée de l'erotisme! I must say, it was rather interesting, both because it's a erotic museum, but also because it shows how different cultures and religions celebrate the phallic symbol. And it's always great fun to take selfies next to a picture of a penis or a pair of tits. Ahem.

All in all, Paris has my heart and I'm yet to find another city that knocks Paris from its number 1 spot.

 

Read more about my travels on my blog: https://hwrightxo.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Hannah Wright