I had the weekend off in London and decided to visit Paris for the day – Saturday. I would spend 7 hours in this culturally-rich city, before returning back to London. I will deviate from my standard travelogue format, just because!
The day started early, as I needed to catch the earlier Eurostar, leaving St Pancras International at 645am. The return ticket cost GBP 59, which I thought was a steal, but you’ve to book weeks ahead to get that price. Train ride was about 3hours and the seats are comfortable enough to sleep…. I slept most of the way.
There’s a 1 hour time difference between London and Paris, with Paris being 1 hour ahead of London. As it is winter now, Paris was as cold as in London but it was a beautiful day, with the sun shining brightly throughout most of the day. I spent alot of time, looking at the sky, thanking GOD for the lovely weather. You see, before the trip, I’d been reading the weather forecast for Paris and it was forecasted to rain. It did rain, briefly but while I was underground… so that’s great!
To travel economically throughout Paris, I bought a 1-day card for unlimited travel on the Metro, which is their underground trains. It cost only E5.80.
The metro line and map can get confusing at times but you’ll figure it out, sooner or later. I wished they would be more tourist-friendly and print the places of interest on the metro map, so that we’d know which station to get off at. One annoying thing with the Metro was their “missing” stations… I tried to find 2 stations and went to the exact location in the map, but they were nowhere to be found. This meant that I had to walk to the next station. I spent quite alot of time walking, which was a pleasant experience as you get to take in all the smell (of freshly baked croissant or coffee…. yummy), sights (of fashionable french women) and sounds (of romantic french conversations). Briefly, here’s my itinerary:
- Sainte Chapelle
- Notre Dame
- Lunch in a french cafe, eating freshly baked bread and drinking coffee
- Sacre Coeur
- Eiffel Towers – sorry the Tower is tilting.. it’s my angle
- Arc D Triomphe and Champs-Elysees
As I only had 7 hours to try to take in at least all the major spots, I didn’t have the luxury to queue up at any of these places. So, I didn’t take the elevator up the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa at Musee De Louve, which was fine with me. In any case, I saved quite alot of time and money by bypassing all these things. Instead, I spent the time absorbing everything as it passed me, making memories of what is Paris. I remembered thinking how cultured the French are, which is apparent from their architecture and their history. I stared in awe at their buildings (I have a fondness for Churches), with its intricate domes and towers, sometimes coloured in gold.
If fate allows, I hope to go back for another visit and maybe even visit Versailles, which is famed for more architectural greatness.