After many months of planning, praying & saving (& fretting about leaving my family behind for 18days), my sister Karen & I met up at the airport, boarded a plane… and magically found ourselves in Paris 24hrs later. Ok, so there’s a lot went down even in that 24hrs, but first…. WE WERE IN PARIS !!!!!!!!
. When in Paris, one must consume pastries. Don’t mind if we do.
So, the 24hrs travel time aboard China Eastern Airlines was surprisingly good. There are some pretty bad reviews out there for this airline, but in our opinion, it was quite good. OK, so the food was a little weird, but it was certainly yummy. We were to have had a 3hr layover in China, but when we arrived, we actually had only 25mins to get to our connecting flight. Now, I’ve never done a connecting flight before, so had no idea what to expect, but it honestly felt like you were going through to back passages of the airport.. like the staff or service corridors. We went through what appeared to be a very shoddy, mis-managed connection check in desk. The stress levels were HIGH baby, HIGH !!! We were literally down to 5mins from boarding and we weren’t allowed to proceed through to said shoddy check in counter.
There were others trying to make the same flight though, so that made us feel a little better. To add to the drama, we got our boarding passes.. and we weren’t even sitting near each other in the plane, let alone next to each other… and with my rather rubbish eyesight in unfamiliar environments, I kinda needed my sister next to me.
We gave up arguing with the Chinese, and made our way to the gate !! There we were met by Air France staff, who were looking after our leg through to Paris. They were lovely, fixed up the seating issue without drama, and aboard we went. It was really nice to have Air France staff, as just listening to the accent, and hearing “Bonjour”on boarding knocked our excitement levels into hyper drive. Having said that, the drama of the connection must have wiped us out as we were both asleep before take-off. 🤣
After we had disembarked in Charles de Gaulle airport, we sat down at the luggage conveyor belt and waited… and waited… and waited.. Eventually thinking, something is not right here.. we head over to the missing luggage counter.. and sure enough, while we made the 25min connection… our luggage did not. Whoopsie. After being given a little pack of toiletries, a t-shirt and being told we could spent around €125 on essentials and Air France would reimburse us (PS.. we never actually did this), we headed off, with only our backpacks, in search of a Taxi.
This was a little nerve wracking as there were all sorts of info online about dodgy/fake taxis, and that you could end up being dropped anywhere, ripped off.. or worse. We did, eventually, find the proper, official taxi rank and got a cab to our accomodation Citadines, Montmartre. There is a very famous (well, everything in Paris is famous.. but you know what i mean) cemetery right by our accomodation, so after dropping our backpacks off, having a little freshen up.. this was our very first ‘touristy’ destination.
Now, I’ll warn you.. just get used to seeing these clothes on us, because it was late the following afternoon before our luggage arrived. Fun, stinky times !! lol
We headed to the nearest Metro Stop, ‘Blanche’, which was only a very short walk from our accomodation, and also right by Moulin Rouge, where we were to attend the show the following evening.
After an initial mishap in knowing whether we were travelling in the right direction (we weren’t), off we went in search of adventure, history and fantastic photos !! And man oh man, did we find it all !!! First stop, The Catacombs, then many, many, many steps later, we found The Pantheon, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, The River Seine, The Louvre (sadly, closed on a Tuesday), Champs-elysee, arc de Triomphe.. and just so so so much more. Street vendors, fascinating architecture, enormous doorways & door handles, elaborate balconies & dormer windows (these are the top of EVERY streetscape.. simple gorgeous.)
With feet ready to fall off with pain from walking (we did eventually jump on a hop on hop off bus, which we had pre-purchased tickets for), with made it back to our hotel, grabbing some dinner on the way back. We thought we’d chosen something a little better, or at least less garbagy, then McDonalds.. but alas, no, it was equally as garbagy.
An early night was in order, but we totally put our ability to achieve this full-on packed day of exploring, down to the great sleep we got on the 2nd leg of our trip over. Still no luggage, but thanks to our complimentary Air France t-shirt, we at least had makeshift pjs. While still disappointed to know that we had to get up the next morning and put on the same clothes for the 3rd day, we were still pumped to know that when we woke, we were making out way to THE EIFFEL TOWER !!! #dreamcometrue
Note re long haul flights…. We made sure we drank water super regularly, as well as getting up and walking around the plane fairly often, doing squats etc was a great way to get the circulation pumping. I also prayed a whole lot. I wasn’t particularly nervous re crashing or anything like that… but I just wanted all basis covered. There were a whole lot of Asians on board, and they follow some weird as rituals etc, so I was claiming that hedge of protection baby.. even 30,000 ft in the air. In general, I found the trip over quite pleasant.. with no signs of jetlag… not so lucky for return trip, but hey, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’m hoping to fit more than one day into each blog entry (although I guess this is kinda 2 if you count the travel.) . Let’s see how I go.
Blessings Peeps !! xox