“You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden”. -Allen Ginsberg
Paris is indeed one of “the” traveler’s dream destinations. I’ve been waiting for this day ever since I saw a clip of the Eiffel Tower lit proudly in one of the city’s New Year’s Celebrations (I think I was in grade school back then).
I took a Gulf Air flight connecting from Dubai to Kuwait to Paris (Charles De Gaulle Airport). The flight was smooth and I was already dreaming of doing some outfit photographs in the most fashionable city in the world. Paris made packing my clothes very challenging. I was thinking of having an outfit for the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles and an outfit just to roam around.
——and SURPRISE SURPRISE—my baggage was declared lost upon our arrival in Paris CDG.
I love God’s sense of humor. Initially I got worried, but at some point, I actually didn’t mind. I just wanted to get out of the airport and see PARIS! ! – reporting about my lost baggage caused me more or less an hour from my intended arrival to meet the owner of the house where I will be staying (good thing he’s a pastor ^^) . So I left the airport hoping that my bag will turn out in the afternoon or maximum the next day —-I got my bag after 5 days (oops)
So here are some of the things that I learned from my short and sweet backpacking adventure in Paris—and some side stories. ^^
Always start your tour by getting as much resources a possible. A handy dandy map (look for an English one of course) and some Ctiy Guide brochures to know what the city is currently offering.
Learning how to commute is really helpful. Paris is really commuter friendly, with a metro station (Metropolitain) in every corner, you can really find your way around. The tricky part is, there are 14 (i think) metro lines in Paris, so you better get the hang of it before you can be a pro (I was able to—so you can also).
To know more about their subway system check out this helpful guide:http://www.paris.com/tourism/getting_around/metro
The first landmark that I saw was the Arc de Triomphe. It was indeed “wow”. My house was near this place—in fact, it was just a 10 min. walk.
With the help of Ate Annie (she’s the Aunt of my friend back in Dubai) I realized that the Eiffel Tower was just a few walks away from where I was staying (just walk opposite from the Arc).
When I first saw the Eiffel Tower, I forgot that I lost my baggage in the airport. I can stare at it for hours and hours!
As an artist, the Louvre was at the top of my priority list. They do offer a Museum Pass where you can go to every museum in Paris w/o lining up and no limit (w/in a period of days). I was about to avail this, but because I was visiting during the first Sunday of the month, they advised me not to buy because —most public Museums are free every first Sunday, then Mondays they are closed. (I will do a separate post on the Louvre soon)
The Seine River Paris
This was my first Disney Land Visit ever! So I was a happy traveler! The happiest place to be! I only wish I was with my nieces.
What I wore: 21 Men maroon long sleeved shirt, Topman peach striped round neck t-shirt, Topman khaki shorts (I wore this pants for 3 days while waiting for my bag—then decided to buy new pants for my trip, for shirts,I started buying souvenir shirts and used them while I waited)
Notre Dame Cathedral
The Moulin Rouge. Makes me wanna sing—hey sister go…sister..
The marvelous Chateau de Versailles. My experience here was magnificent and surely deserves a separate blog! One of my most memorable Paris destination.
My trip became really awesome because of the people I met. They said that people in Paris are all snob and arrogant but I must say they were the opposite based on my experience.
I met a number of kakabayans who really stretched their Filipino hospitality to me. Ate Annie helped me a lot to know the basics, specially commuting. Also, she and her sister gave me basic toiletries that needed to survive while waiting for my bag to be found.
Pastor Vir (wearing the vest). I didn’t get a chance to have a photo taken with him because both of our schedules were not really working together, so I asked Ate Aimee (who made a way for us to meet) to send me a photo of him. He was very generous to offer his studio for me to stay in. (free house! yey)
The Beranger family! I met them in Versailles. They were touring also and they adopted me for the day! I love this family and now I became good friends with the youngsters!
Paris is really a great city. The culture, the art and the people are just oozing with color. There are still a lot of places that I haven’t visited and things I haven’t done—that is why I will be back very very soon!