After a grueling two weeks of working less than 12 hours the Spaniards had a holiday to gift us 5 days off. October 12th was known as “Día de la Hispanidad” or Hispanic Day which inadvertently gives you October 13th off as well! Two of my room mates and myself went straight to our computers after receiving our academic calendars and were scouring the internet for the best airline deals we decided on Paris, France!
Paris is one of those places that you dream about. It’s presented in so many TV shows, films and romance novels. It is known as the city of love, and it definitely lived up to that name.
Day 1: Thursday 12 October
We arrived on Thursday at 8:30 am into Beauvais Airport. Little did we know that because of our cheap Ryan Air tickets this airport was about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Paris. Luckily, there was an option for airport transfer to the city for about 14 Euros! When we arrived at St. Christophers Inn Canal hostel we had about an hour and a half till check-in time. It was a cute hostel with a built in bar/restaurant and seemed to be where many other twenty-somethings congregated. Considering our already early morning we planned to take it easy by visiting the Louvre, Catacombs and The Eiffel Tower. We arrived to the Louvre fairly late (around 5/5:30 pm) which apparently means they don’t sell tickets anymore to view the Mona Lisa. Unfortunately we were never able to get back to see the Mona Lisa but watching around The Louvre was still exciting! We decided then to opt out of the metro and walk to the Catacombs and then onto The Eiffel Tower to get a feel for Paris. *Side note: THEY ARE NOT THAT CLOSE about 2.7 miles, I thought I would need feet replacements! The Eiffel Tower is everything you can think of. It also lights up every hour after 9 pm for about 5 minutes and that is quite a site to see. We decided to be smart on the way back and take the metro since we were rather famished and just needed to grub. After we got back, we walked around a bit and happened upon a pizzera called “Pizzeria Cordial”. We got 2 medium sized pizzas for about 10 euros and boy were they good!
Day 2: Friday 13 October
Luckily my room mates are just as impulse as me. We happened upon a flyer for Disneyland Paris and after looking online saw it was only $57 so of course we bought tickets right away. I’ve been fortunate enough to live 15 minutes away from Disneyland in California for a majority of my life. The opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris was finally a dream-turned reality. Disneyland very closely resembled the one in Anaheim but in many ways it would give you little reminders that you were in France. The language of course was the biggest difference but many of the rides varied greatly! For example, at Disneyland Anaheim the Indiana Jones ride was an adventure through the movie in a moving Jeep. In Disneyland France it was a small-scale rollercoaster with a 360 loop, and no reference to Indiana Jones. The food was also a huge difference. It was not only cheaper but better! No chicken nuggets and fries at every stand. We were able to get a full meal for about 12 euros which helped fill us up for a majority of the day. We continued to go on rides and walk around until 8 pm when the fireworks show started. The fireworks show, which included both fireworks and Disney movies both old and new being streamed on the castle. The language would switch from English to French and the fireworks went to the songs! It was definitely a highlight from the day.
Day 3: Saturday 14 October
Saturday stared off with one of the BEST EGG BENEDICTS I’VE EVER HAD. Thank you Emily Giglio for the incredible recommendation. It was a small hole in the wall type restaurant called Eggs & Co. and it was FABULOUS. I could probably write a whole other blog post on our meal but I’ll stop here. Next we visited a French bakery called Laduree which also had some of the best macarons I’ve had. (French bakeries in the US got NOTHIN on Paris… obviously). Our tummies were full and we began to proceed over to Notre Dame. The line was insane so we mainly enjoyed from the outside. Next up was the Luxembourg Gardens which had a whole array of people sitting outside due to the beautiful weather. Tiredness then began kicking in as it’s not as easy to sleep with 9 other people in a room. We headed back to the hostel and decided to have some quick R&R before heading to an ice bar that we discovered online. I had always wanted to go to an ice bar.
Day 4: Sunday 15 October
After having spent my life savings the previous 3 days we decided to make Sunday our “bargain” day. We were determined to do anything we could for free (minus eating of course). We started the day out by getting some great crepes near the Arc de Triomphe. I’m pretty sure nutella is a food group in Europe and it’s definitely become one of mine. We went over to the Arc de Triomphe and with our student visas (I know I’m a teacher not a student, it’s a funny thing here) and got in for free! Looking back, I wish we tried more places to get into with our student visas since the requirement was a visa for at least 3 months. We climbed all 260 steps to get a beautiful view of Paris from the top. After getting our workout in for the next week we headed over to the Parc du Champ de Mars which gave us an excellent view of the Eiffel Tower during the day! Since we were determined to get to the Sacre Coeur before sundown we only had a few minutes to spend in the park. We headed over on foot to the Sacre Coeur which is similar to scaling a large mountain… just kidding, but it felt like we were always walking at a ninety degree angle. We missed the sunset because of some confusion with a festival that was currently happening around the Basilica. I’m not sure what kind of street fair it was but boy it was packed with people. We then decided to end our night at the Moulin Rouge, but of course by just looking at the outside. As we walked towards Moulin Rouge we stopped to satisfy our sushi craving which was actually pretty darn good! (Can’t remember the name). As we began to get closer to the Moulin Rouge an array of cat-callers started to make themselves known. Although it was good to see the lit up signs at night, I could do without the constant “hey sexy, ooh baby…” you know the type of cat-calling that makes you want to shower for a week. Although our trip to Paris wasn’t over until our flight left the next day at 5 we were rather tired and knew it was best to relax until our return back to Mallorca.
DO’S IN PARIS:
- Go to Eggs & Co.
- Visit Disneyland Paris
- Combine walking & the metro to see the city
- Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle
DONT’S IN PARIS:
- Pay to go in certain museums if you are a student, check first if it’s free
- Worry when you’re stared at for wearing a dress in 78 degree weather. Yeah I know, people had SCARFS on.
- Eat dinner/lunch/brunch in a touristy area. Ask your hostel or friends for ideas. The restaurants were not only pricey but not very good.
- Go too late to museums. Even if they say there open they might not allow entry if tickets are not previously bought.