You cannot visit London and not make your way to Paris. It doesn’t work like that and is completely un-natural. Paris is literally 2hrs away by train and even shorter by flight. During my Euro tour, these two cities were a must and literally the two main destinations.
I’ve always thought of visiting Paris in the winter time. Pictures and aesthetics wise, it just made sense in my head. Also the foodie that I am, I was eager and very excited to visit the cuisine capital. Paris is the capital of France. Just like London, it is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, and culture. Known for its major landmark like the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
These attractions are all around the same area and can be visited all in one day which was exactly what we did. I was a bit skeptical visiting France. Everybody who I knew had visited Paris or France in general, said they would never go back for various reasons. The traveller that I am, I kept an open mind and was ready for whatever this city had to offer.
As soon as we got to Paris, it was a whole different world. Unlike London which was a bit more calm, Paris is exactly like New York with the fast paced, hustling and grinding lifestyle. We were also warned about pick-pocketers as well as conmen. Also the fact that it was a whole new language, we kinda felt small and lost at the same time. By ‘we’, I am referring to my travel buddy and my best friend Natalie (Future blog post).
This time round, we got a hotel room mainly because it was cheaper. If your not aware, most Things in Europe are small but very cute. Meaning, our hotel room was more like college dorm room but fancy. Come to think of it, it was actually very comfortable but when your used to getting Airbnb’s, it is very easy to notice that lack of ‘home feel’ that one longs for when traveling or staying at a Hotel.
At this point in our trip we were pretty exhausted. We had already visited two countries in one week and caused major havoc if you know what I mean (Germany and England). Paris is one of the travel places you need to have a purpose. You cant just visit and go with the flow type of vibe. All the major attractions are very close to each other and can be visited in one day if planned strategically.
Gauging everything, I must say Paris was really good to us as a whole, apart from the few mishaps that really turned me off and made me understand how one can hate it at the same time. The friendly customer service that were used to here in the states is one thing you should not expect. Actually being American in Europe is not as fancied. We are considered arrogant and entitled. I remember we came across two other american girls Roya and Emma originally from Florida who faced discrimination trying to get into a club because they were not french or did not speak french.
Another thing that really stunned me about Paris was the language barrier. Being a major city, you would think that most people would speak english. Not only the fact that its such a touristy destination but its only 2hrs away from London. Unfortunately that was not the case. But here comes the part that really shook me. Food was a disaster. Every restaurant that we went to, the food was tasteless. I am talking about no seasoning whatsoever and don’t get started on the lack of hot sauce every where we got food. (Ofcourse this was not the case at the African restaurants) it was literally an epidemic. During the entire trip, we were either eating at African restaurants which were absolutely amazing or fast food spots. For France which is known for their top-notch culinary schools, I was pretty disappointed to say the least.
Its sad to say that the only place we found ourselves completely at home in France was our very last night in Paris. As you know I am a firm believer that when you travel you have to experience the night scene just as much as you would with everything else when exploring your destination. Its all part of the culture. All in all, Lets just say that night we partied till dawn and missed our train. Call us party animals but baby that night was everything. Without getting too much into it, check out my highlight story of Paris on Instagram.
Paris it was nice..till next time.