Five days in the so-called ‘City of Love’

I can’t say I loved Paris.

I liked it but not loved it.

Perhaps it’s because as a backpacker Parisians sure have a way of making you feel inadequate about yourself.

The females – with their perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect shoes, perfect clothes, just general perfectness.

And the males – with their tortured artist looking appearance – long hair, emasculated, dishevelled men who give off the impression they’re not trying to look cool, although they’ve probably spent hours in front of the mirror.

On arrival in Paris I spent a lot of time people watching, as I hopelessly tried to locate my hostel in what I can only describe as the Ponsonby of Paris (if you’re not a kiwi that means flash wanky part of town).

It took me a good hour to find it, making me very late to meet up with a friend on a whistle-stop tour, in typical kiwi fashion centred around a rugby game.

He’s the opposite sort of traveller to me. He’s mister organisation, he’s even spreadsheeted everything he wants to see in Paris to make sure he gets the most out of every second.

But what he ended up getting was a pretty rough time of it.

Firstly, he got yelled at by a French tour guide over her loud speaker for apparently skipping the queue to get into Notre Dame cathedral – which as a side note houses amazing stained glass windows like this one.

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Secondly, he got told to “not be so particular” by this woman when he was justifying why he skipped the queue, by remarking that it wasn’t clear where the line ended.

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And thirdly, while queuing for a good hour to climb the cathedral this group of woman proceeded to stare at him for long periods of time and we’re still not entirely sure why.

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His day looked up though once we finally got to the top of the cathedral and saw the panoramic views of Paris.

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As for the panoramic views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, I can’t tell you about them because my shitty Nokia phone played up, leaving me sitting at the bottom of the tower waiting for my friends when they were already up there – with Cheryl Cole I might add.

I waited two hours and was about to give up when by pure luck I spotted them emerging from the tower.

They were only here for a day trip but before they left we had time to catch a pleasant if not ridiculously cheesy river cruise.

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Seriously who designed these things? They look like airport metal detectors and the commentary that came from them like – “maybe you too could dance until dawn like the Parisians” was laugh out loud material.

Back to the Eiffel Tower – I’m not to gutted I missed climbing it because I actually think the most spectacular part of it is seeing it at night.

Although, it did take us awhile to actually work out where it was when we emerged from metro.

And, it was slightly embarrassing to have a brash American woman yell at the top of her lungs on spotting our confusion – “you’re looking for the Eiffel Tower, oh my God, (laughing) it’s
right there.”

And it was.

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It was truly breathtaking and it was the perfect end to my date (wine, fromage, nutella crape, light show at the Eiffel Tower) in the Lover’s City – even if my date happened to be an Australian female from my dorm.

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5 thoughts on “Five days in the so-called ‘City of Love’

  1. I must admit I did love Paris. Escargots and wine at 11 pm on a sidewalk cafe is divine, and it still isn’t entirely dark.

    With French women, I had heard the stereotype that all French women are beautiful. What i observed isn’t so much that, but that every French woman was always exquisitely dressed, perfectly made up etc. It was more that every woman was dressed or made up to her, rather crudely, maximum level of hotness.

    Especially different to NZ, was the shoes. I never saw any woman in casual shoes. Quite the opposite – always dressed in highly fashionable shoes. Even at the park.

  2. I must admit I did love Paris. Escargots and wine at 11 pm on a sidewalk cafe is divine, and it still isn\’t entirely dark.

    With French women, I had heard the stereotype that all French women are beautiful. What i observed isn\’t so much that, but that every French woman was always exquisitely dressed, perfectly made up etc. It was more that every woman was dressed or made up to her, rather crudely, maximum level of hotness.

    Especially different to NZ, was the shoes. I never saw any woman in casual shoes. Quite the opposite – always dressed in highly fashionable shoes. Even at the park.

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