I decided that I wanted to go to Paris as I got a really good email offer from Eurostar.
They were offering one way seats for £29 each – that’s right, £29 each. Who wouldn’t go for an offer like that!
I didn’t worry about where I would stay, I just decided I wanted to take advantage of the deal.
Once it was all booked, I decided I would give Airbnb another try after my disaster in Brussels. Having now come back, I wish I had decided against it. The place I stayed was awful – dirty, more people than advertised and a fire hazard! The beauty of it was that it was in the suburbs about 30 minutes from the centre of Paris. I liked this bit as I like to visit the suburbs of the places I visit as I feel you get a better feel for how people live.
The neighbourhood itself was a bit run down sadly – but quaint none the less.
I got to the flat about an hour after I got to Gare du Nord. Upon seeing the inside, I decided to try and find somewhere else to stay – but without any luck.
I dropped off my things, rested for a few minutes and then headed out into Paris itself to do some exploring.
I still had a couple of hours of daytime so I took advantage of it while I could.
I decided that I would take the Metro to Anvers and head to the Sacre Cœur. Wow! All I can say is W. O. W. It is a hugely impressive building. You can either walk up the steps in the garden, the steps to the side of the funicular or take the funicular itself. If you have a day or longer ticket you can ride the funicular for free – or buy a ticket at either end of it.
I was lazy and took the funicular both ways. The view from the top is so impressive. It made for some great views of Paris. There is no way to describe the view.
After I was done here, I was hungry so had a look on the map to find somewhere to eat. I went to McDonald’s by the Louvre as I wasn’t in the mood to sample local cuisine.
After I was done eating, I decided to head back to the flat as I was really tired. Too bad I didn’t sleep very well!
In Paris, the first Sunday of the month sees the museums offering free entry.
You could tell that it was the Sunday I was in Paris as the queues were huge for EVERYTHING!
The sun was out all day and it was lovely. I decided the evening before that I would head out to Versailles (much to the annoyance of Jamie since she wants to visit here badly).
Be prepared to wait in a queue while security check your bags – I think this has been heightened given the attacks in August.
As it was the first Sunday, the queues were LONG. I decided I didn’t want to wait in the queue, so I just visited the gardens.
The gardens were beautiful. They go on for ages. I spent a couple of hours here just wandering around in the beautiful weather.
Once I was done here, I took the bus back to the Metro and headed to Trocadéro to catch the sightseeing bus.
I spent a couple of hours on the bus and then got off by the Louvre and did some more walking around.
I then headed back to the flat to get some more much needed sleep.
Monday was the last full day I had in Paris to be able to sight see.
I was glad I got a 2 day sightseeing ticket as I hadn’t been on the Montmatre line. I was also glad I did it as it would have been hugely boring otherwise.
I got the Metro to Trocadéro again as I knew for sure that is where the bus picked up.
I went round to the stop that picked up for the Montmatre line.
The weather seemed fairly alright until half way round when it started to rain a bit. I stayed on the top deck as much as I could. It got to a point where it was too wet and too cold to stay outside. By the time I went downstairs, the rain had started to ease off. I didn’t want to go back upstairs in case it rained again (which it did!).
Luckily the windows downstairs on the bus slid open so I was still able to get pictures.
I went to the Golden Arches for lunch while it was raining quite heavily. By the time I was done with lunch, the rain had stopped so I headed back to the bus and got on again to do a bit more sightseeing and camera snapping.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go the Eiffel Tower and go up the tower. It took me until around 17:00 to decide that I wanted to go up the tower.
Be warned: The queues can get quite long if you haven’t bought a ticket beforehand. It cost €11.00 to go to the second floor. Sadly the top of the tower was closed due to strong winds. Nevertheless, the views from up there were amazing.
I was hoping to come back down from the tower in time to catch the last sightseeing bus so I didn’t have to walk ages to the nearest Metro station. I found a bus stop and hopped on it to the Metro station.
While I was on the bus, I was scouting for somewhere to go for dinner. Somewhere local, somewhere authentic.
I got off the bus and got on the Metro to Bonne Nouvelle (mainly because there was a Carrefour there to pick up some water and some chocolate). The cafe was called Au Petit Duc and it was a quaint little cafe/bistro.
Once I was done eating, I headed off to Carrefour to get some chocolate and water.
As I was walking up and down the aisles, look what I found!
That’s right – it’s a full size bar of Lindt chocolate. I am eating it as I am writing this and it is every bit as good as the eggs and the smaller sweets they do!
I headed back to the flat to get some sleep for my looooong day of waiting for the train. I finally got a good bed and some good sleep!
I was so glad to be finally leave the awful flat. Sadly, the weather was pretty rubbish so I couldn’t really do much.
I was still a bit tired so I headed off to the station to wait for the train. It was raining, thundering, hailing, windy so I couldn’t really do much.
I had a bit of a nightmare when I had to change from one Metro line to another. I thought I was going to the right exit for the change and I ended up back on the street upstairs. It was slightly annoying as I was sick of carrying luggage around and I had to buy another ticket.
I finally got to Gare du Nord and found somewhere to sit. It was finally nice to sit down. I just sat there and people watched for a couple of hours.
I then decided to see how much it would cost to be able to get an earlier train home instead of waiting another 6 hours. I was told it would be €200 and the 6 hour wait didn’t seem that bad after all. I know, I know – i’m a cheapskate!
I went out and got some lunch from the burger place across the road and that killed another hour of my time.
I went back to the station and sat for another hour just listening to someone play the piano they have there for the public. It was nice to listen to it amongst the hustle and bustle and sound of the trains (probably one of my favourite combinations of sounds – weird, I know).
I went to Carrefour and got something to drink whilst I was waiting. I headed back and sat there until around 17:00 and by this time, it was time to check in. It was nice to sit in the warm Eurostar terminal as Gare du Nord is extremely cold.
The time finally came for the train and it was heaven to know I was headed home back to my own bed again!
All in all, the Paris trip was good. It was really strange to be doing it as a single person though.
You can view my pictures from Paris here