Note: Recaps are short tidbits from a trip; quick things I loved (or didn’t), food I ate, people I met or my general impression of a place. I love writing about my travels this way, it’s a cute memento and good way for me to remember what I was up to.
A lot of people bubble over with enthusiasm for Paris but I’m not one of them (not for lack of trying). I had a decent enough time but I didn’t warm to Paris immediately like I did other places (here’s looking at you Hpa-An & Athens). Getting food poisoning on the plane, which lasted for a good week, and realising the travel styles of my friend and I didn’t mix probably didn’t help either.
Personally, I think it’s fine to not be head over heels for every place I visit. It’s not saying that the place isn’t good, it’s just that it maybe isn’t for me. I find there’s this positive, “always happy” rhetoric in the blogosphere but y’know what? It’s 100% okay to say yup, I went somewhere and I didn’t have the best time ever – I reckon that’s much more normal than having everywhere you go become your new favourite place!
As much as there were some issues going on, I mean it is Paris. I got to see the Eiffel Tower and take beautifully cheesy tourist shots – something I never thought I’d get to do!
And checking off landmarks, trying to remember what particular movie was filmed where (Mr Bean’s Holiday came to mind a lot) was pretty fun.
Paris meant staying in a tiny Parisian studio Airbnb, eating almond croissants, choux pastries, filled baguettes and searching for Prix Fixe menus. Visiting Paris also gave me a chance to burn people’s ears with my rudimentary French…Note to self: the New Zealand accent does not lend itself well to other languages.
Another plus? Quintessentially Parisian cafes and chocolat chaud!
Getting around was a cinch as well, les rues et les boulevards were always interesting, especially since Fashion Week was on so there were plenty of fashion industry people striding across the city. The metro also made me hate the useless public transport back home even more – seriously, the Paris urban area has more people than all of New Zealand, there’s no excuse for why we can’t get our crap together on public transport!
Ultimate verdict? If I’d visited under different circumstances (i.e. alone), and done more of what I like to do (read in parks, visit every fabric shop in a 50 mile radius) and done less touristy things, I would have had a much better experience.
Paris, I promise to try again if I get the chance.