A weekend in Paris

The Paris Dream, Eiffel Tower
May 2009

Paris was the last hop on my Europe backpacking trip. And I would add, it was the dessert ever for those lovely 2 weeks.
Day 1:
The Italian night train from Milan to Paris had really crammed berths and a person like me couldn't even turn without being cautious. We hopped off the last night train in the morning and got a good stretch and headed to the tourist office to inquire the next night train back to London. And then, tan ta da... only EuroStar runs to London and we weren't allowed on that with our second class youth passes. After walking to the metro station and getting the day metro pass, we somehow managed to find the Youth Hostel. This somehow seemed like the longest we had taken to figure our way to the hostel. maybe because everyone was tired and it was the end of the trip and the roughed up night train ride to add.

Oops hostel had a French lady to the main desk whose English kinda sucked. Forgive the racism, but I think till date France was the most racist country in terms of politeness to non-French speaking tourists. Anyway, we felt a bit better when she said breakfast is on house everyday and we managed to get some leftover croissants, which by the way were the best I had tasted till date. The Srilankan housekeepers were also friendly and helped us to some extra breakfast items which were already taken off the table because 11 am was well past the hostel breakfast time. Internet was also free and unlimited at Oops.
As soon as we freshened up, with the mental calculation of 48hr bath lag, we just headed to the Eurolines office to buy the night bus tickets back to London. Then we headed to Galeries Lafayette for the fashion show. Paris jaake Fashion show nahin dekha, to kya dekha?

We also tried out some good brands at the cosmetic counters and checked out the accessories before entering the show. The show was good and the sole male model sure got good attention from your's truly.

Walked out towards the metro station and grabbed a nutella crepe on the way for 3 euros. That was almost a meal, I'd say. Hit Eiffel tower for the next few hours. Admired it, walked to the banks of seine, almost got thrown into the river for no fault of mine but the fun of girlies, grabbed coffee, took loads of photos and had a ball.

Then we went to the Arch de Triumph. That day also happened to be a ceremony day for the martyrs. We saw the guards light lamps and salute with their guns.

Walked along the high street will we stopped at a posh Italian restaurant for dinner. Was a great dinner with Italian house wine. The waiter also sang for us and posed with us. Sweet chap!

By night fall, which is like 10pm, we went back to Eiffel tower to see it lit. One hell of a sight. Thats when you realize the grandeur of the tower and all its hype. You need to wait until coloured stars crackle around the tower. Thats the best part of your day!

Day 2:
Louvre Museum, nothing over-rated about it
The artist woke up, had a shower, some good cereal breakfast, some internet and went to Louvre to spend a half day. The museum has a high entry fee and a must see only for artistically inclined people. i'd say, skip it if you are doing it just because you are in Paris. Huge artworks covering entire walls, lovely paintings and the over hyped Monalisa amidst them all. The sculptures from all eras are a great see too, especially the Egyptian red stone sculptures.


Had a walk in the park next to Louvre and then proceeded to a Israeli restaurant for lunch because the board read low prices. Obviously, no man would sell cheap food in a city like Paris. You have to shell out a standard price for a meal. But the meal was satisfying, nonetheless. Just realized, we didn't hit a authentic French restaurant yet.

The next half, we just roamed around, went back to Eiffel tower, this time to go up to the Top of Eiffel Tower. The view from up there is just over hyped, but then it is like a must do when you visit Paris. We also had champagne to mark the end of a great trip.

We went to Notredame, the famous church and lit a couple of candles. Went back to hostel, picked up sandwiches and crepes for dinner and boarded the Eurolines to London to fly back home. The best trip I had in all my 25 years!!!!
Cheers!

Info:
Places to stay: Oops Youth hostel. 30 euros a day for a 6 bed mixed dorm. Nothing cheaper would meet basic living standards.

View from the Top of Eiffel Tower

Oops
50 Avenue des Gobelins
Paris

p. +33 1 47 07 47 00
f. +33 1 43 31 17 74
e.
bonjour@oops-paris.com

Internal Transport: Use the metro. 5 euro 80 cents for a day pass
Travel to nearby countries: Eurorail. If London, use the Eurolines bus service for Paris-London. Or National Express if London-Paris
Climate : Very unpredictable. As always, European climate.
Average cost of 1 meal: 12- 16 euros
Souvenirs: Eiffel tower keychains and postcards
Language: French. You have to be lucky to find people who speak English to guide you.

Comments

  1. Not only are the French snobbish, they are downright rude. I accidentally stepped on someone's toe in a crowded Paris train, and the guy punched me in the back even before I could turn around and apologize to him. But then again, they do lead a charmed life, the French.

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