WAX JACKET Zara
At the moment, my chances of going on abroad this year are looking very slim, which is kinda getting me down. So I’ve decided to reminisce on my trip to Paris last year to get rid of the holiday blues.
As an end of summer vacay before we started university, my best friend Anna and me headed off to Paris in the early hours of the morning on a coach being driven by two crazy Welshmen from the Valleys. They were genuinely the spit of the chuckle brothers, and provided a 24/7 commentating service… which after spending 13 hours cooped up on a bus full of grannies isn’t really what you want. But we learned to love them (sitting at the front, we kind of had to because we were the unlucky pair they picked on).
TRAINERS New Balance
BACKPACK vintage Helix
On our first day as Parisian explorers, we checked out the Louvre museum (where Anna squeezed to the front of a crowd to get a selfie with the Mona Lisa), the love lock bridge, the Eiffel Tower and – most importantly -the shops. We didn’t have an exact map of where we wanted to go or what we wanted to see, but every bit of Paris is so brimming with beauty and things to do, we didn’t have to walk far to be satisfied. We did however, underestimate how far away the Eiffel Tower actually was when we set off for it, and were pretty tired when we managed to get to it about two hours later. We also failed to check out the weather forecast before packing, so I was a lil’ bit shocked when we arrived and it was 35 degrees and all I had to wear were my heavy black dungarees. Typical Brit tourists.
HAT Dorothy Perkins
My outfit for the second day was slightly more suited to the hot weather, and much more Parisian. My obsession with stripes seemed almost normal here; I love the monochrome details of this look and the relaxed, elegant addition of my floppy hat (which in reality was actually really annoying and kept falling off).
After being dropped off at Place de la Concorde, we kicked off our second and final day in the city by walking to the Arc de Triumph (which again looked a lot closer than it actually was…). The views from the top were incomparable and my photos don’t do it justice at all. It felt so humbling to be this tiny little person looking out at the whole of Paris spread beneath you obliviously carrying on with its bustling, busy routine.
Afterwards as we walked back along the Champs-Élysées we dipped in and out of the arcades and did a spot of (more) shopping, before travelling by metro to the Catacombs. This was definitely one of the highlights of our stay, despite the long queue and entry fee, the eerie and haunting hidden wonder proved a million times worth it. Located deep beneath the city streets, the ancient tunnel network contains the remains of over 6 million people. But what fascinated me more came after we had escaped the underground maze and scrabbled back up the never ending steps: which spat us out in a completely different place to where we descended; was that the bones spread far further than the small section we had witnessed. In fact the burial ground is 200 miles in total whereas just one mile is open for public access, meaning the ’empire of the dead’ is underneath much more of the city than we initially thought.
We finished our day by visiting Notre Dame Cathedral (making my inner Disney kid perk up) which was incredible inside and out. Considering we spent just two days in Paris, we managed to do all the generic touristy sites we’d heard of plus fit in some exploring of our own: like when we frantically hunted down a pizza restaurant that did cheap beer to spend our last evening drinking in the sunshine nearby the Place Charles de Gaulle. I would recommend a weekend away in Paris to anyone, it’s a simple and inexpensive journey yet such an incredible experience. Although, if I return (which I would do in a heartbeat) it would (hopefully) be with a boyfriend to appreciate the romantic element of the so called ‘city of love.’
If you’re under 26 and a member of the European Union (slightly ironic as of today) you can experience all of the national museums of Paris for free, as a way of encouraging young people to take more interest in culture. This is just another reason why I am saddened at the prospect of leaving the EU, and therefore disappointed, ashamed and quite frankly embarrassed to be part of Britain right now.I’m not really one to get all political, but I feel let down by everyone who voted leave, especially as the older generation have decided their children and grandchildren’s futures for them, when really we are the ones that will have to cope with the brunt of the burden. Remaining in the EU was something I was passionate about, as were millions of other young people who have our country’s best interests at heart. Nevertheless, the damage has been done, and now we are forced to deal with this decision that has been made for us, by those who voted to leave (or didn’t vote at all) and move on. This post is more than a holiday reflection, it is also a nod to the solidarity and benefits of being part of the EU that some of us didn’t want to let go of, but are now being forced to. Lets hope this choice won’t affect the travelling aspirations of myself and others like me in the years to come.