I don’t speak French. Everything is French. Every sign, every map, every person, everything.
So we just landed, exhausted after the 8 hour flight (and it’s a Paris, it’s always a flight where the crew are running around like headless chickens trying to keep up with the orders). We hop onto the bus and finally check into the hotel. The bowl of candies didn’t stand a chance against the energy-craving crew, whoops, sorry concierge guy…
Finally I get upstairs to my room and get dressed in a flash and at the same time on Skype saying goodnight, cause we are heading out soon and I can smell the crepes already! We get downstairs and now the choice is either we take the shuttle to the train station and then the train to the city, or we take a taxi that the hotel will so kindly organise for us, or we Uber it because I heart Uber… Aww no Uber, we’re taking a taxi seeing as it is already there and cheaper than we expected seeing as there are 4 of us, so we split the charge. From the hotel it took us about 40 minutes to get into the city and we ask the driver to drop us off at the Champs-Élysées…
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is standing there all pretty and magnificent, and I remind myself that I still want to go climb up it, but we are ravenous (because no thank you to crew meals, we are eating in PARIS!). Seriously who wants to eat on board an aircraft when they are heading to France. You know, culinary capital, incredible perfect Paris with its perfect croissants and its perfect breads and everything is just perfect. We have to find somewhere that has french fries and crepes for the Cabin Senior, pasta (I know) for the FA, salad for the FC and I want beef bourguignon with real proper red wine and I might just end it all with Creme Brûlée, cause again, France.
Now, we are rookies at eating in France, but we aren’t rookies at knowing not to eat in the main street. Avoiding the crowds, the tourist traps and of course the fake food. We are looking for the heart of French cuisine, the recipes handed down from hundreds of generations back. We walked up and down the side streets, trying not to get ourselves lost in the process, when it started to rain. Taking cover in a small little restaurant, we decide to settle down. It was perfect.
The waitress was dressed like a mime, minus the white painted face. She was actually wearing a buret, I’m guessing its her own choice cause nobody else was wearing that. We had freshly baked hot bread on the table in a flash, and we each ordered a glass of whatever looks good to us, I had a Bordeaux, because France. Haha, now anything more than one glass and we’d all fall asleep, this was a glass enough to keep us awake until we get to see the lights on the Eiffel Tower. #goals
We all got what we wanted, and we were having a great time, obviously talking about work and relationships and face cream at some stage. We covered the basics of dinner conversation.
After I savoured every spoonful of that creme brûlée, we decided to go have a walk around and see the sights. Oh how we walked. It took us hours! From the Arc De Triomphe, we took the subway to Notre Dame.
In front of the cathedral there are hundreds of pigeons and always someone feeding them. You get to put the seed on your head and the pigeons will come peck away at your skull.. So we get there, and the FA disappears. Ugh losing people isn’t good.
She is waaaaaaay on the other side of the road, super afraid of the birds. We tried to escort her from there by scaring the birds and running her through.
Picture this: Myself and the CS running wild flapping our arms like we are crazy, with the FC covering the FA like the secret service and the FA with her arms over her head screaming “I don’t like birds!”. Never a dull moment in the life of cabin crew. #crewlife #glamorous
So, we did a quick sweep of the cathedral while the poor girl recovers from our bad FBI impression, and then we we went back to our walk.
We walked over the Love Lock Bridge, which is so heavy from all the locks, that its starting to break and fall apart. I bought a lock there as part of a collection of birthday gifts and decided to test the key on a similar lock. It worked! I actually opened a lock. I still feel bad, maybe I broke up a really good relationship? Meh.
Off to the Louvre! We didn’t go in to see the Mona Lisa, because there wasn’t enough time. The museum is HUGE and you need at least three days to get through it properly.
We then walked all the way down the river to the Eiffel Tower. 4 hours. I kid you not, we walked for 4 hours. But we were so happy, just strolling around, stopping and taking pictures of every little thing we could, all the boats and the river and the people sunbathing on the pavement.…
When we got to the Eiffel Tower, it was still light out, so we didn’t meet our Tower goal yet. We decided to split up, saying that we will meet each other under the Eiffel Tower at 8:15PM. I had little faith in the fact that we would meet up again, seeing as there are hundreds of people there and we have no method of contacting eachother, but off we went in different directions anyway.
Me and the FC went to the Catacombes, we had to Uber there, because neither of us knew the subway well enough and asking people gets frustrating. Technology wins. Again , the drive there was quite far, maybe about 30 minutes because we were stuck in traffic for a long time. We get there and join the line outside. I anticipated the wait to be at least another 30 minutes, but we were lucky. I don’t know if it was because of the weather or if we really just lucked out, but we managed to get our tickets (discounted because we are 25 years and younger 🙂 score!) and start down the stairs in only 10 minutes!
The tour is very interesting, while you make your way down the long dark underground corridors, the audio guide explains everything about the history of the Catacombes, while in the background they play soft whispers and water trickles. Was it creepy? Oh yes. And I don’t exactly do well with the dark. Lets just say, I tend to run from things that aren’t there. In this case, things were actually there. Millions of human bones and thousands of skulls line the Catacombes. They were moved to the underground after the mass graves got too crowded and started leaking. Yes, LEAKING. Walking through the catacombs are, as I said, really creepy and very scary, so the FC jumping out from behind a pillar made me nearly wet myself. I really don’t like the dark. I would go back a second time to listen to the audio tour again, I am sure I missed some information.
After we climbed hundreds of stairs back up to the street, we went to look for the subway and decided to take the plunge and try not to get lost down there. It was pretty straight forward after we walked over the wrong side, got on the wrong train and went the wrong way for one stop, but we figured it out and we both wish that they’d just make some signs and maps in English. We got out at the Eiffel Tower, walked around for a little while and I wanted a Nutella Crepe. So we went and found a little crepe place, munched our crepes and made our way down towards the Tower. Just under the tower, my FC stopped at a corner game and I ran to the toilet. Most confusing toilet. It is self cleaning, I figured out after watching other people use it, because French. After finally being allowed to use the toilet, I get out and she runs to me all wide-eyed saying she just lost 50Euro and she doesn’t know how. Hahaha. She couldn’t keep her eye on the ball under the cup and she lost 50Euro. Note to self: stay away from random corner games. We stood there and watched for a while, before some random guy came running and packed up the game in half a second burying it under leaves. Avoiding the po-po like a boss.
We figured that that was probably our que to leave, so we left deciding it is a smart idea to start being visible under the Eiffel Tower. At 8:15 we were watching about 5 brides and grooms take wedding pictures (How romantic, right? Having to fight your way through the hundreds of tourists and standing on top of a concrete block with children toys, trinkets and selfie sticks being sold all around you.. Yeah..). By some miracle, we randomly found the other two! Couldn’t believe it! But hey, we were together and we were having fun at that stage. Climbing onto things and trying to take pictures with the whole Tower in it is really difficult.
At 9PM, like clockwork, the Towers lights illuminated and sparkled and looked as pretty as always.
We headed home after that, dipping in and out of consciousness the whole car ride back. When we got dropped off, we all stumbled into the hotel and looked around us all confused. It dawned on us that that was not the right hotel! Strangely there are two of the same hotel in the same area, so we had to call the Uber back and drive to the right hotel. Finally back safe, we all sneaked into out rooms.
Paris in a day. We did it. And it was great. Yes we got lost, and yes we got rained on. No trip is complete without being lost and finding something great to laugh about. Bonne nuit Xx