Moi & le Tour Eiffel
I can’t believe it has been a whole month since I got home. And believe it or not I am still massively jet lagged. I thought it would be a few days but my dr said it could be as long as 6 weeks! My sleeping patterns are ridiculous at the moment with being awake anywhere from 6-24 hours and then sleeping up to 30 hours. But let’s face it…you don’t care about the jet lag…you want to hear about Paris!
This was my first ever overseas trip…The security guard wanted to know why so many photos….
I can’t believe how fast the trip snuck up on me. I booked it all the way back in January and before I knew it it was here…and I did not feel ready. I flew to Paris with Emirates as I heard good things about their economy seats on the A380…as I have a lot of chronic pain I was super worried about the flight. I had also put my neck out a few weeks before I left and was seeing a physio 3x a week to try to fix it. I was still in tonnes of pain when I left. But when I woke up just before landing in Dubai my neck pain was completely gone. Trusty neck pillow and sleeping only semi reclined seemed to put it back in place. I was only in Dubai for a few hours, and even then I was only in the airport. But it was my very first time touching foreign soil. I watched the sunrise over the desert and it looked spectacularly different. Then back on a plane for 7 hours to Paris.
Thanks to some great youtube tutorial on in flight spa treatments I wasn’t looking too shabby after a 14 hour flight + a 3 hr stop over + a 7hr flight (that post will be coming up soon)
Before I knew it I was in Paris. My passport was stamped and I was ready and raring to go. I was picked up at the airport by the owner of the apartment I booked. She gave me the run down on things that are different in Paris and what to look out for. She pretty much put the fear of god into me and I was terrified I was going to be mugged at least twice a day.
My beloved Paris apartment with it’s gorgeous french shutters and adorable terrace and one whole month on my own
I arrived at 1:30pm and by the time I got to the apartment, got the run down on cleaning and garbage disposal and wifi and keys it was almost 4pm. I headed off in search of some food to stock my little apartment with and to check out my little neighbourhood. Almost straight away I broke Victoria’s (owner of apartment) rule #1
Rule #1 – If someone approaches you don’t make eye contact, or say no or even that you don’t speak french. Or they will follow you.
I am pretty used to shaking my head and saying no to various charity hawkers or people who try to stop me to sign something or ask for money. But the usually don’t follow me. I shook my head – with my headphones still in – and kept walking. He started following me and cycling through languages. I never looked back…but I could see his shadow. It was 3 blocks before he disappeared. I wasn’t scared…but good lord I was annoyed with myself. I certainly learnt my lesson. I wandered around and discovered that Notre Dame was just two blocks away. I walked along the Seine and it was just surreal. 28 years of dreaming of Paris and here I finally was. I managed to get myself utterly lost and I hadn’t put roaming on my phone or picked up a french sim…I did have a map (thank goodness) but I was determined to find my way back. But I was getting tired and I was starving so I stopped at the first place I found with an English translated menu.
boeuf bourguignon & mash with rose apple cider and BREAD!!!!
Silly me not realising it was cider and not juice and it was alcoholic…I normally don’t drink, and certainly not ciders, beers or wine…but it was delicious and went with the food so well and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. The staff were so friendly. I was so tired I forgot my “parlex vous anglais” and just started talking in English. I felt sooooo bad. But they were friendly. Even friendlier when they learnt I was Australian.
Note: the French may be rude if they think you are American…sorry my American friends but “Je suis d’Australie” changed their perception of me straight away.
This creme brulee was LITERALLY the size of my head. The spoon to eat it was for a giant. I was so full but I ate it all because it was amazing and I was in PARIS!!!
If you find yourself in the 5th in Paris I highly recommend this place on Rue Dante – be sure to order the “Cidre Rose by Maison Sassy“
After I ate I continued to wander around in circles. I knew I was close…I didn’t realise how close. I walked past this place 3 more times and went all the way to Notre Dame and back twice, once past Shakespeare & Co. Finally I pulled out the map (I was so annoyed I couldn’t just find it)…and this cafe was literally on the corner of Rue Dante & Rue Domat…my apartment was in 12 Rue Domat. But I had gone past a cute little place selling bath wares and bought myself a little bath bomb. I went home and collapsed into a hot bath. Determined to start the trip out well I got out of the bath and unpacked everything and put it away. After all I was going to be there a month. Why live out of a suitcase?
Then I put my feet up and listened to Paris. It started raining lightly and the bells of Notre Dame (and the other churches around me) were sounding. One of my neighbours was playing opera really loudly and others were arguing in French. I won’t lie…I bawled my eyes out thinking about how lucky I was to finally be there.
That’s what really got me on the trip. It wasn’t seeing the Eiffel tower or the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame (literally every day)…but the little moments that happened. That night it was all the sounds of Paris life…and some light rain. It was so perfect.
I will be back with more soon. If only I could get back on Australian time!
Miss Fairchild xoxo