Wednesday, April 11th is the day I set of on my 57 day adventure around Spain and Italy, but before I headed to sunny Spain I wanted to go across the English channel and visit Paris. This was to be my first stop on my epic journey.
I have traveled a fair bit in the last few years although I have never travelled alone. I always was with friends or was meeting friends. I even done a Contiki where I was alone but meeting new people on the tour. This is the first time I had travelled completely alone. I was a little nervous of course but that is to be expected when you are leaving your home for 2 months to go exploring without anyone to lean on. I knew I had nothing to worry about though because people travel alone all the time. I am quite a sensible person so I knew I wasn’t going to be careless or reckless which helped my family feel better about me going alone.
So after I landed in Paris the first test was getting to my hostel. I had to get the airport train which meant I had to work out the ticket machine (I googled how to use it before I left), and find the right train. I made it onto the train and to my stop. Then I had to take a Metro, in rush hour, with a big backpack and no idea how the Metro works. Not going to lie I chickened out. I took a taxi. It was nice and air-conditioned. It was a great idea!
I spent 6 nights in a Hostel in Paris. I spent my days eating lunch by the Eiffel Tower, wandering around the Jardin De Luxembourg and admiring the Notre-Dame. I also spent a great deal of time eating Nutella crepes and falling in love with the best Macaroons on Earth.
My first day in Paris included learning how the Metro works and by the end of the day I had it mastered. After I figured out the Metro I went to the Place De Vosges, walked along the beautiful Promenade Plantée. After a nice stroll I went to the Notre-Dame Cathedral where I lit a candle for some loved ones. At the end of the day I braved my first meal alone in a restaurant which was a terrifying thing to do but I did it and it was completely fine!
Day 2 in Paris started with a walk down the Champs-Élysées, window shopping and looking at all the pretty clothes. Then at the end of this road is the incredible Arc De Triomphe. Of course I stood in the line in the middle of the road just to get that picture in front of the the Arc. Then I took the metro over to the Eiffel Tower where because it was such a lovely day I got myself a picnic lunch from the supermarket and found I spot looking at the tower and I ate my lunch and just chilled looking at the Eiffel Tower which was surreal.
Day 3 I headed to the Jardin De Luxembourg where I strolled around in the rain listening to music. After that I went to the Tour Montparnasse where I bought a day and night ticket to access this skyscraper with the most stunning views of Paris. While I was at the Tour Montparnasse I learnt that Paris has its own Statue of Liberty so I decided to go and check it out. I walked ages to get here just to take a picture of it and I was exhausted after! Later that night I made friends with a girl in my hostel and we went out to dinner then back to the Tour Montparnasse to see Paris lit up at night and the views where just as beautiful as earlier in the day.
For day 4, I wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower. It was Sunday and the lines where so long. I waited 45 minutes just to get through security then still had to wait to buy my ticket and to get in the elevator. I had plans with a new friend so I didn’t have time to wait so I gave up after an hour and went over to the Louvre Museum where I was meeting my friend. We went in, walked around a bit then went to see the Mona Lisa painting which was the only real reason either of us went because we aren’t big art or museum fans. After that we went to to Ladurée and had the best Macaroons ever!
My fifth day in Paris was also my last. I got up early and went to the Eiffel Tower to try again at getting to the top. I had all day so I was prepared to wait but when I got there the line was no where near as long as the day before. It could of been that it was about 10 am but it was also a Monday. This time I actually got to the top and the views where fantastic. After I went back to Ladurée to get more Macaroons because I was craving them! I also went back to a few of my favourite places and just had a relaxing day.
Then the next morning it was an early alarm for me because I had a 9:30am flight to Madrid.
So that was my time in Paris and it gave me the confidence to know I had done the right thing in booking this 2 month solo trip!