One morning I woke up from a dream. The after feeling was very certain, so I asked my boyfriend - Do you know that next year we are going to Paris?
It was more of a statement than a question. I felt that this is what I will do, and there is no doubt about it.
Sometimes things happen only when you are confident enough and deeply believe that nothing can stop them from happening. And that's what I did. For a whole year, I was completely undeniably confident that I will go to Paris! I will have enough money for it, I will have a place to stay and I will have a wonderful time. Law of attraction - you know!
There wasn't a possibility of backing off! So we saved some money (definitely not enough), and after almost a year we really came to Paris.
When we drove past the Eiffel Tower, I cried. Although we had traveled before, I remembered my childhood. Then I appreciated all amazing and famous places only on pages of the books. I never thought I will see places like this with my own eyes. That's how impossible traveling seemed for me at a young age. And now I really was here. Crazy!
I thanked myself for a strong belief, that I will come here.
We came to our small AirBnB place close to Plaza de la República. Ceilings were low, and the rooms were tiny, but it was good enough.
After that, our friend Liene, who was traveling with us, and her boss Fabrice took us for a drive around the city. We even had a crazy drive around famous Arc de Triomphe. Traffic seemed so chaotic on this roundabout. I thought we will never get out alive! But we did! Fabrice was making fun of us because for him it was just a typical drive through the city.
He showed us the original USA Statue of Liberty and the bridge where movie Inception was made. It was super cool to see all of those things.
After he took us for a dinner on famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The weather was perfect and warm. And across the street, there was a huge Luis Vuitton store. We had a chance to try Foie Gras for the first time. Basically, it is a luxury food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. I do not agree with methods to get it, but it was delicious.
We also had a walk by Avenue des Champs-Élysées, so we checked out some interesting shops and cafes. We even took a look at the Ladurée. It is a French luxury bakery and sweets maker house created in 1862. It is one of the world's best-known premier sellers of the macaron cookies. Also we saw the most luxuries Ambercombie and Fitch clothing store. I felt like in a maze or in a dark cave when I went in. After that, we went up the Arc de Triomphe and enjoyed the glorious look of the city from above. It was breathtaking. It was wonderful to see the Eiffel Tower, especially because we didn't plan to go in it. I suggest going on Arc de Triomphe, especially if you are younger than 25 years old and EU citizen because than it is free of charge.
Sun was already setting, so we got back to our place but before that we bought a cheap-as* wine at one of many shops and celebrated!
The next day we had to do some must do things. Like visiting Musée du Louvre and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. But before that, we had some obstacles. Our toilet pipe broke, and one crazy neighbor lady came and tried to explain in French and even Spanish that water is leaking on the street. While Liene stayed to deal with this problem and tried to call the owner, I and Aldis went to the Louvre.
We went there early, and the line wasn't so bad. But we still had to wait at least 20 minutes, because they check a bag of every visitor. After that, you get in, but there are more lines, to get the tickets. We weren't worried about that because for us it was free of charge again.
The museum is really huge, so our strategy was to navigate towards the things we really want to see and then see the rest. So our first stop was painting of Mona Lisa. Room was full of tourists and painting was really small, but at least we saw it.
It is funny because in the same room there is huge painting almost big as the whole wall and people still crumbled just around Mona Lisa. But what you can do - fame does affect a lot!
After that, we walked around to see the rest of the exhibition. It was amazing. There are a lot of artwork, artifacts, mummies and sculptures and even parts of whole buildings.
After a couple of hours walking through this amazing art and history maze, we felt a huge hunger, so we had to find someplace to eat. We ended up having pizza in a small pizzeria. It was our only chance because in restaurants food is crazy expensive. For one main dish, the average price was 25-30 EUR and that does not include drinks. So pizza for 12EUR felt like a decent price to pay. Got some ice cream for dessert.
After pizza, we went to Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. We had to climb 387 steps to get to the top, but it was worth it.
After Notre Dame, we got a lift with a car and went to very nice part of the city - Montmartre. We passed Moulin Rouge and drove up the steep streets.
Montmartre is a large hill in Paris's 18th arrondissement. On the top of it, there is the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur and you can see the city center from its stairs.
After a photo - selfie shoot we went for dinner in one of those expensive restaurants. We had to try Crème Brûlée. Oh boy oh boy, it was heavenly!
Next day Aldis and Liene went to Disneyland while I decided to enjoy shopping in La Vallée Village Outlet.
I didn't notice how time was flying and after 8-hour shopping we all met in a train going back to Paris. We decided to walk to the Eiffel Tower and chill in the park right next to it. At exactly 10 pm it started to sparkle in millions of lights. It was magical. Even obtrusive wine sellers who passed us every three minutes with a phrase "wine, champaign only five euros!" couldn't ruin the moment.
There are many rose sellers on the street too. I and Aldis decided - whenever we will see any of them try to come to us, we will start kissing, so they would walk away and don't disturb us. For some of them, it wasn't an obstacle and they rudely tried to interrupt us. So this didn't work!
The next and our last day, I and Aldis spent together just to walk around the city and also we wanted to go to catacombs. They are underground ossuaries in Paris and it holds the remains of more than six million people. Although the ossuary comprises only a small section of the underground, the walk through the tunnels full of bones is impressive and scary at the same time.
After that, we took a long walk around park Jardin du Luxembourg. It was almost like walking through the botanical garden with millions of flowers and trees. We also tried some huge macarons although the price was 4 EUR for a piece. And I couldn't resist the 6 EUR eclairs. Some places it's much cheaper to buy them take-away because if you choose to eat them at the cafe they will extra charge you.
By walking around you can see many interesting things. I would recommend walk as much as possible, to really feel the heartbeat of the city. For example, we saw a businessman driving a scooter. Of course, check out metro there. It is a huge underground system. In some places, it even felt like a whole underground city with cafes and shops.
Also, we noticed that in Paris there are a lot of immigrants. In the first day, we noticed mattresses some places on the sidewalks. We thought that they are for garbage disposal. But later in the evening, we saw people sleeping on them. In some places, there were even tents. We even saw the whole family with an infant living on the street. It looked so sad. Of course, if you visit only main objects of the city you may not see these people, but just a little further there is a different side of the city.
In that evening we had to leave. Our next stop in this trip was Barcelona. We had to fly there from Orly airport. When we got there turned out there was some kind of strike, so there was a problem with our flight. A lady asked us to wait for the bus and we were shocked. What bus? We have to fly with a plane! We were quite worried. We joined a crowd of people waiting outside of the airport. There we met two guys from the United States. They had the same situation. So we stuck together. It is much safer if you know that there is others as confused as you are. The bus took us to another airport where we had another plane arranged for us. There was a big surprise when we had to get in the plane they said that our tickets are not valid. Turned out we had to change it at the luggage check, but as we did have only hand baggage we didn't do it. So they arranged a lady from check-in brought us the new tickets. It was a scary moment! But hey - we have changed the gates, or maybe airlines, but this was a first time we had to change the whole airport! How could we know! Ha Ha! Another obstacle was that a Couchsurfing host canceled at the last minute and we knew that we do not have a place to stay in Barcelona. But that's another story...
How everything went in Barcelona read HERE.