In the sunny, summery, days of July 2013, a brief trip was made to Paris. The next few posts will cover what ensued...
Our day began before the crack of dawn, at around 3am on the 14th of July 2013. The previous day, we had visited the Warner Bros. 'The Making of Harry Potter' Studio Tour, before having dinner around 11pm and then napping at my house for 2 hours before making our way to the airport..
Sorry Joe. I bet my living room floor was nice and comfy.
Once we arrived and were allocated a parking spot, we handed over Yop Yop's keys to the airport parking assistants, before we hopped onto the shuttle bus to Terminal 4 and made our way to the Air France check-in desk.
It was madness. There didn't seem to be any concept of a queue, and the air hostesses that weren't working on the desks were incredibly ill-mannered.
Eventually, we made it onto the plane and by 6.40am, we were jetting off to Paris!
Before long (read: 1 hour 20 minutes), we arrived at Charles de Gaulle, where we quickly passed through immigration due to our European passports. It was funny when we got to the front of the queue, just before going up to a desk, when a French immigration officer asked to check our passports - we guess he thought we had queued up for the wrong desk :p
After waiting for our American friend to pass through immigration (their line went on forever!) and logging onto the 30 minutes of free airport wi-fi, we let our family know we had arrived safely, before heading out to begin our Parisian adventures!
The airport was quite pretty, even though it seemed quite small - granted, we only saw a very small part of it. We picked up our luggage, grabbed lots of tourism information, and set off for our accommodation!
As far as I remember (and I've got really terrible memory) the airport was connected to the Metro station, so after walking over to Aéroport Charles de Gaulle TGV 2, we made several attempts to work out how to purchase a ticket from the gazillion machines positioned within the giant station. Eventually, we discovered the tourist information centre where we purchased 5-day Metro tickets before making our way onto our first Parisian train of the trip!
Our 5-day Metro ticket was so tiny!! Worth 57.75 Euros, but as easy to drop and lose as a penny.
This is what I look like after about one hour's sleep and a plane ride to match..
It's hideous, but it was the first photo of me in France :p
After encountering a singing lady with a karaoke machine on a makeshift trolley, several train changes, and what felt like ten thousand flights of stairs, we eventually made it to our apartment, located literally ten steps away from Felix Faure station!
The best part of the apartment was definitely the view from the balcony...!!!
We were ravenous by this point, but all the restaurants seemed severely overpriced.. so we found a small supermarket and got some basics to produce our own lunch!
Grilled brie and salami on fresh French baguette? YES, PLEASE.
We were all so tired, we took a nap after lunch until the evening, when we decided to go for an early dinner before heading over to the Eiffel Tower for Bastille Day festivities!
At this point, I had recently discovered Amorino gelato stores in London, so when I found the store in Paris on the way to the station, I was over the moon!
We were a bit clueless on how to get to the Eiffel Tower once we'd come out at the right station, but we needn't have worried. It was like the whole of Paris was out in full force and headed right for it! So we just joined the cheery crowd and walked slowly over - it was so nice to be surrounded by such happy, cheery local people. You could tell they were really enjoying themselves!
Bastille Day is the French National Day, celebrated on the 14th of July every year to commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution and the unity of the French nation.
The beautiful Eiffel in all her glory!
And the masses...
And then night fell (11pm!)...
And the party began!!!
And then it ended about half an hour later :(
There were SO many people at the event that it was a nightmare to get home! By the time we'd reached the closest Metro station, there was a huge queue to get in to catch the train. We figured we would miss the train at this rate, as it was already 11.30pm...
As we were standing around weighing up our options, we noticed we were stood next to the set of escalators to leave the station. Suddenly, the escalator stopped moving, and a bunch of people ran down it... we watched it stop twice more, before we took the leap of faith and ran down them ourselves. It actually started moving when we were near the end of it, but we just ran faster and luckily made it into the station!
In our excitement, we boarded the wrong train - as we had come in through what was supposed to be the exit rather than the entrance, we had ended up on the wrong platform... once we'd come to our senses, we caught the correct train and finally made it home...
To another party outside our apartment!!
I was initially so annoyed because we'd had such a tiring day, even with afternoon nap! I actually screamed from the balcony for them to shut up. Obviously to no avail.
We went on to plan the activities for the next few days, before getting ready for bed.
The party was still going at 4am - the French sure know how to party.. By this point, crazy outdoor ravers or not, I conked right out in bed and slept until the sun shone through the shutters and tried to burn me awake the next morning.
Disclaimer: The amazingly beautiful and professional shots featured in this blog post are not my own. They have been used with kind permission from Kin :) A few of my own photos do appear, but the majority do not belong to me.