Paris has always been on my bucket list ever since I could remember, the love for Paris grew stronger when I often read books about the Parisian lifestyle, the Parisian wardrobe which is one of the things my sister in-law Vero and I aspire to have, the French accent is just music to my ear and the French cuisine.
One of the reasons I started this platform is mainly to show that travelling is not only for the well off in society but it should be a mix of opportunity and a little bit of sacrifice on an individual capacity. I have had numerous conversations with my sister in-law Susann, who made me aware that Europe can be travelled cheap and still experienced on all levels and enjoyed to the maximum. Hence, I planned my low cost trip to Paris; making due with what I had. So, in my Cathy nature, I began to research the various days in the month of March that I would travel cheap. I got tickets on the 21st and the return of the 23rd using the Eurostar and the cost was £66 for the return ticket.
The funny bit comes in next, you know how you just find a hotel an inexpensive place for that matter to stay and you read the reviews and you just go ahead and book the room and you enjoy your stay? That’s exactly what happened until I meet French people and hold a conversation about my Parisian expensive and you reveal you stayed in Ibis Gare Nord and their immediate response is “that place is so dangerous” lol!!!!! Gare Nord can be equated maybe and not really to staying in River Road, which is not bad, having actually stayed at Kipepeo Hotel on River Road when I had a morning bus to Dar es Salaam to catch. Well I didn’t experience any form of insecurity whatsoever, I actually felt safe on both occasions. So, I left London for Paris at around 9am on the 21st of March and was in Paris at about 1-ish pm, due to the 1 hour time difference.
The hotel, I stayed at was right around the corner from the Gare Du Nord train station, so I dropped off my small bag and began the tour and well got lost and my google maps was not working because of internet connectivity, luckily, I found the nicest lady who gave me a few tips and I went the old school way of using maps. I have to say, I do enjoy maps and map reading a little to much; old soul maybe? So, I went to the Metro station which is the underground train station to buy my two day pass ticket that I budget for. What happened after, was just the most amazing thing, well not really but yes amazing for my wallet but bad for the environment. Due to the excessively high amount of carbon emissions the French government decided to make all metros free for that weekend to encourage people to use the trains and give the carbon emitters a rest, in the hope that the carbon levels would reduce a bit. Yesssssss, I was dancing inside because I saved about € 18, but felt so bad about the environmental issues.
Paris is beyond beautiful, words just cannot describe this city, every corner is a sight to behold. Words fail me to be honest. Anyway I started at Sacré-Coeur for its panoramic view, Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, Musee du Louvre, Notre Dame (which is just a masterpiece), Pantheon, Centre Georges Pompidou, Disneyland Paris, Seine River Cruise which I highly recommend, it gives you a great view of all the bridges and majesty of architecture and of course the symbol of Paris La tour Eiffel, no words can express my love for this City and yes it is my favourite City of course next to Nairobi.I was impressed through and through, I would definitely travel back there when opportunity and fortune cross my path again. Disclaimer: I have a pretty decent camera that I took lovely pictures of Paris, but once I transferred the pictures and cleared the memory card my laptop crashed and well the pictures were gone with the wind, this should be a lesson to always have backup. I however, took some pictures with phone and hopefully you will enjoy them.
Love and Blessings.