A rough introduction to Paris, France!
July 23, 2018
Our journey to Paris began with an early train ride… and it was not quite what we had expected it to be! I feel like it’s a heavily romanticized city – we have pictures in mind from history, movies, and all sorts of references!
But we stepped off the train and found ourselves in one of the worst areas of Paris. The main train station was a bit chaotic. There were people passed out from heroin, laying in their own excrement. Pickpockets tried to trick us by distracting Alan and having an accomplice go after his belongings – not realizing I was right there watching. Oh, and an entire armed bomb squad was entering the train station because of a forgotten backpack. So, it was not exactly a good first impression of the city.
Fortunately where we are staying is in a better part of town filled with cute little cafes and shops. Our days in Paris have involved many trips to the grocery stores (the food here is INCREDIBLE!), many leisurely walks around different neighborhoods, exploring old churches and parks. Conveniently, we’re just a 15-minute walk from two iconic landmarks, the Louvre (which is on our must-visit list) and Notre Dame!
On Saturday we finally made our way to see the Eiffel Tower! If I’m honest, it was not a crazy experience, but it was cool to see! It’s a lot bigger than I had imagined it to be!
And after then we decided to buy me a new phone when mine literally started SHOCKING me! 🙃 (A word of advice: avoid buying a phone in Europe if you can help it, the tariffs are shocking too! 😭)
On Sunday we made it to Disneyland Paris as a late birthday celebration for Alan because he got sick in Bonaire when we were going to do our blacklight dive. Disneyland Paris was AWESOME. It was so much more affordable for tickets than in the US and way less crowded. It was just a great experience, and getting there by train was so easy too! But then again… how can anyone have a bad time at Disneyland?
Beyond an incredible Disney trip, Paris has left us with mixed feelings. We haven’t been overwhelmed by the “charm” that others seem to find in it.
So far it has been very disappointing to find things like those loud coin squishing souvenir machines inside beautiful historic buildings like the Notre Dame… and that the park surrounding the Eiffel Tower was just dead and just covered in trash, broken glass, cigarette butts, and bottle caps. I also always feel like I’m just swimming through people. And that’s pretty extreme coming from Honolulu/Waikiki which is basically a giant tourist trap. Lol.
On a more positive note, I have got to say that we’ve found the French have been extremely kind and helpful… far from rude or stuck up. Pretty much the exact opposite of what people warned us about.
We’ve got a lot more to see here… will post soon!