The logical reason for this page is to keep vivid detail (well…it’s been 3 months since the trip but I’ll manage just fine..) of my trips and I write just for the sake of it. I know that I haven’t kept any of my blog alive but this one starts with no intention but to remember in. Travel and what it entails is one of my most favorite pastime ; I enjoy travel immensely so I got out whenever I get any chance. Anywhere and everywhere! I just take pleasure in learning things and going to new places and meeting new people, hearing stories and getting lost and found and it would really be such a heartbreak to let all the details that make a journey the way it is, the feeling it gave, floats away from memory and to remember it less than how amazing it actually was.
First up, I’m going to tell tales of my 50 days European trip chronologically, broken down into few posts starting from La Ville de L’Amour a.k.a Paris! How did we get to spend so much time in Europe, though, is something I will explain later. Anyway, the trip was planned well ahead together with my traveling partner, Nerissa. We considered few choices of destinations, such as Berlin, France-the Netherlands (which Nerissa did), before finally settling in Paris. If I could turn back time, I would probably choose Berlin though as I’ve never been and it would be really cool to see Branderburger Tor! And anyway, it gives more reason to come back, yeah? By the way, Paris with Neri was really really fun. It was her first travel to Europe and my first solo one so it’s very memorable to get lost, read maps, outdoor iceskate, missed a train, etc etc with her. She’s definitely on top of my go-to list for future travel partner. We left our home country on January 20th bound for Charles de Gaulle with layovers in Kuala Lumpur and Frankfurt. January means winter and so we bid farewell to humid, tropical Indonesia and say bonjour to 1,5 months of white snow and minus temperatures of Europe! Really, it’s not as exciting as it sounds.
Long story short, touchdown Paree after long, arduous flight! We took a RoissyBus (11 EUR one way) departing from CDG Airport to Opéra (it’s near Galeries Lafayette), a neat choice of transportation I might say, especially if you bring big luggage, as opposed to if you have to fight your way to Metro. Travel fatigue and Metro are definitely not a good combo. After we got off at the station, we quickly got our bearing and fought through the cold to find (and splurge) on taxi to take us to where we stayed : 3Ducks Hostel! I am a firm believer on hostel when I traveled and 3Ducks was really nice. It’s not very much at the city centre, however it’s 2 minutes walk away from 2 metro stations and you can actually walk to Eiffel Tower if you got time, which we did. And we got lost within the first 10 minutes of getting out. We were really tired but eager to seize the day and we basically walk the blocks back and around until we bumped into Subway and asked the guy who worked there who fortunately speaks impeccable English and found out that we just needed to go straight and nothing left or right. We left with full belly worth of 3.50 EUR and a determination!
Our refined feelings and full belly apparently got us to Eiffel (after detour to H&M…) and it’s strangely so quiet in the winter. The garden was closed and it didn’t have the same vibe as summer or spring would have brought, but well it’s still Eiffel. It’s a tourist trap but you have to admit it kind of not suck at all… We continued to make our way through many rue and avenue until we reached Arc de Triomphe and turn right to make our way to the world-famous Champs Elysees. There’s a quite funny story : we went to (another) H&M which had a huge sale of their winter collection. Neri found a cute hat&mitten, only for 1EUR. Crazy cheap that you probably couldn’t find it in Jakarta! However Neri kept trying it on and off so many times and decided she’s won’t buy it. All these lengthy thoughts and consideration for 1EUR, ah my stingy friend! As for me, I broke my wonderful bag few hours into the trip. Luckily, I can still use it until a small misfortune in Vienna 2 weeks later.
One of our favorite things in Paris (and what we seek when our dragon belly wants to feed) are Subway (their daily special is 3.50EUR!) and ‘plats chinois à emporter’ which is this small Chinese restaurant where you can find in many places and you can get some food paid according to its weight. Neri and I, despite our bellies’ monstrosity, always managed to eat just 1 rice, 1 veggie + 1 meat to be shared between us. That means 4-6EUR per person. Amazing price for Paris’ standard and our wallets.
When we finally got back to our tres chic hostel, I was about to take shower when we realized that none of us had soap! Then we need to go back to Monoprix just to get soap and Monoprix is quite far from where we stayed. The struggle is real. The next day we were delighted by the presence of my Mexican friend, Ivette, who came from London! We didn’t get to hang out together (although I will spend the next 6 weeks with her..) as we made our way to Marche Bastille. I am fond of markets and the like, so it’s very interesting to see an authentic marche and the crepes are TO DIE FOR! We went on by Metro (we bought 10 tickets a day to be shared for 13.10EUR) to go to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. It’s what I would consider a picture-perfect of Paris, what’s with surprising afternoon light, people from all over the world and accordions + harp playing in the background. It was really nice and made me count my blessings.
Ah all these beauties!
Metro-hopping! Marche Bastille to Sacre Coeur
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for most museums, I really enjoyed Centre Pompidou! With admission of 10EUR (Ah the perks of being students still..), we went over all the exhibitions. I am not big on classic paintings so these kind of museums appealed to me and we spent quite lots of time there. With daylight slipping away, we made our way to the Notre Dame only to bump into the irresistible outdoor iceskating, which was one of my bucket list and since it’s 6EUR, of course we went for few laps around. It was tons and tons of fun! When we got to Notre Dame, it’s already nightfall with real humongous Christmas tree with lights and we’re back on Christmas vibes all over again. With us still being jetlagged, all the skating and lengthy walk, we just sat and absorbed everything up, before we got up and called it a day.
And, to close the day.