Paris has been long known as one of the most romantic cities for its sceneries and people. Prior to my visit(s) there, I always heard people saying breathing parisien air make them miss their significant others at home. However, I beg to differ! First and foremost, I wanted to visit Paris because I read Michael Scott’s novels which take Paris as one of its main backgrounds.
During my first visit, I was accompanied by a dear friend of mine, Maya. The initiative came up as she now studies in Tilburg, Netherland and I now study in Geneva, Switzerland. We’ve been planning to go here and there and everywhere prior to our study yet we did not know where to meet. After some thorough Skype dates, we decided to meet somewhere in the middle: Paris. Off we booked our own means of transportation. She had a seat of an overnight bus and a train while I used Easyjet.
We decided to meet at Gare de Lyon, but not sure where. I was running out of phone credit and got no internet connection. Maya texted me saying that she sat at a RER A line bench. I ran back and forth checking every bench and found no Maya in there. I had no idea her whereabouts. At the same time, *to be quite honest I don’t know what she was doing while I got lost in the train station. xD*, but she told me that she asked people where the exit was as she got trapped in the lower floor. I told her that sortie means exit and we burst into a long laugh. Long story short, it took us about one-and-a-half hours to meet each other.
So, how was the meeting? I went to the tourism office at Gare de Lyon. There was free internet connection there. Maya also happened to do the same. It was relieving since I was so close to use my credit card on the public phone! xD It was the most unromantic meeting of two friends who have been planning the trip of weeks, if not months! It consisted of a few sighs letting the other know ‘finally I found you’. We walked to our hostel <<Blue Planet Hostel>> which was just at the corner of Gare de Lyon. During the walk, we realized how smelly the neighborhood was. Well, what should we expect from paying 17.5 euros per night? The bright side was that we became grateful for our own bedroom!
We dropped our backpacks in the storage room and started walking again. We just walk without any clear direction. We were aimless. At last, we depended on Maya’s RATP offline map then decided to go to the infamous Notre Dame. It was right after I signed the petition that I realized I got scammed, by little girl! I was heading up from the Cite metro station when a girl put a pen on my hand. I did not know what happened but I ended up signing a petition for deaf people. Few seconds later, she asked for five euros from me. I told her I had no five euros and gave her two euros instead. We got into the Notre Dame and did some sightseeing. Not long after, we crossed the so called love-lock bridge where there were a bunch of people carrying board and pen to sign a petition.
Later, we walked to the Louvre. The Louvre is sooooo big that I fell asleep on one of its benches in the aisles. I know right! What kind of people falling asleep in a fancy museum? xD On my defense, I only had two-hour of sleep the night before, so I was half zombie when flying to Paris. :p Anyway, when I write ‘walk’, we literally ‘walk’. Partly because we love walking, but mostly because we did not want to spend money on the transportation xD. We walked and walked until we (okay, I) could not feel our (okay, my) legs. As we walked until almost midnight from midday, I could claim that ten-thousand-step walking a day was accomplished!