Paris. The city of Love and Lights. Growing up, I imagined visiting some of it’s sites. However, it was never the place I had to see in Europe. Nevertheless, when ‘J’ and I discussed taking a mini-break there right before I flew back to the states, I was excited. We’d be visiting it in the spring time. Paris in the spring time. How romantic!
My overall impression of Paris isn’t as gushing and romantic as others. Honestly, I didn’t find it to be the city of love or to be any more beautiful than other European cities I’ve visited. There were parts of Paris that were stunning. But, there were other parts that were slummy, and where I felt a lot of tension and was nervous about being pick-pocketed. In some areas, I also felt that some of the men were over-aggressive and rude, even when I was holding ‘J’s’ hand. I enjoy travelling by myself in Europe. I find it very freeing. However, I’m glad that I didn’t go to Paris alone. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe I’ve gotten used to being in London where men are a bit politer in how they admire women?
My other gripe with Paris was their subway/tube(whatever you want to call it). ‘J’ and I found it confusing at first. Most of the platforms have multiple train lines that use the same platform, however it’s not clearly labelled which train will be next approaching the platform. On some platforms you can find a screen telling you, but on others, ‘J’ and I hopped on the train and hoped for the best.I’m used to London, where there are big screens telling you which train is next approaching and, during peak times, there’s an announcer telling you as well.
That being said, I did enjoy Paris. In the central, more touristy areas of the city, there were beautiful buildings, quaintly cobbled streets, cafes, patisseries, and other quintessential Parisian quirks. There was also the food. All the meals ‘J’ and I had were heavenly. Even if you’re travelling on a tight budget, I would make it a point of having at least one nice meal out.
I wish ‘J’ and I would have had two full days in Paris instead of one. But, we did manage to see a few nice sites. I’ve learned during my travels not to cram too much into one day. When I do that, I feel like I’m too stressed about getting from one place to the other that I forget to take the time to enjoy myself. Instead, I pick two or three places to visit, and give myself time to wander and explore. For this trip, ‘J’ and I saw The Eiffel Tower, Sacré Cœur and Notre Dame.
So, even though there were things I didn’t enjoy about Paris, I’d still like visit again someday. Who knows, maybe I too will fall in love with Paris.