TRAVEL: PARIS, FRANCE

A while ago I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and it made me long to go back to France and explore somewhere other than just Paris. When Christina and I were in Paris in 2011, we didn’t really like it that much, but we both think that was due to the fact that we were staying in a not so nice area. We felt hesitant to go out and explore at night, which is too bad, really, because Paris seems like it would be a magical place at night. It’s a shame that we didn’t really get to experience it. Christina and I both agree that, had we been staying in a nicer area, we probably would’ve liked Paris. We probably would’ve had a very different experience if we had been with a few male friends too. Or even just some girls that are a little taller than us! Two small girls just over 5 feet tall are an easy target.

Even though we didn’t like Paris that much, we still had a lot of fun. I’m not sure how people can find their way around the city, however, because the streets make no sense! See for yourself:

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And, if you think that’s confusing, the Metro is worse!

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Maybe it’s just because I live in Vancouver, which has to be one of the easiest cities to navigate, but finding our way around Paris was a nightmare.

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Navigating Vancouver is a little easier than Paris…

Christina and I wandered around for hours, completely lost, before we found the Eiffel Tower. It really was worth it though!

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If you think about it, it’s a little strange that the Eiffel Tower is Paris’ most famous structure. Not Notre Dame or Sacré-Cœur, but the Eiffel Tower. As amazing as the Eiffel Tower is, I thought the view from Sacré-Cœur was just as beautiful and the building itself was far more impressive.

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Notre Dame.

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The Louvre.

I feel like Paris was a bit wasted on Christina and I. We don’t really like to shop, we don’t care for art, and we’re not generally museum lovers. Our favourite parts of Paris were tucked away from the city center, so that was basically all of the places we saw when we got lost.

I think that if I was to go back to Paris now, I’d enjoy it a lot more. I’d spend more time in cute cafes and seeing the lesser known sights. I doubt I’ll go back anytime soon, though, because I’m more interested in seeing Normandy and the French countryside.

It’s funny how your desires change over time. While I was travelling through Europe in 2011, I wanted to meet lots of people in our hostels and spend lots of time listening to music in pubs. Now I want to travel with Peter and spend time really getting to know the culture of each city. I also want to see more museums, especially those to do with WWII. I would never change the trip that Christina and I went on because I feel like that sort of trip was needed at that point in my life, but we both agree that we long for something with a bit more depth the next time around.

It’s looking like Peter and I won’t be able to go on a trip through Europe until 2018. It makes me sad that it can’t be sooner, but it gives me lots of time to plan an amazing trip away for us. It will be Peter’s first time in Europe and I can’t wait to experience some new places with him and to show him some places that hold a special place in my heart.

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