Weekend getaway: meeting my internet friend in Paris

by - 8:30 PM

Last weekend was undoubtedly one of the best weekends of my life. I got to visit one of the cities that most fascinates me, cross some things off my 'life to-do' list, see some family members and meet my internet friend. We are both from Portugal, at the moment studying in the UK and we decided to travel to Paris together, isn't this so incredible??

Friday 12th October

I caught the bus to London at 15:30. I did not sleep much during the trip as I was contemplating the beautiful autumnal views we were driving by. I arrived at Victoria Coach Station around 18:20 and instantly started making my way to Victoria Railway Station, a 6 minute walk from there. After navigating an immense sea of people, I finally spotted her: Ines, my internet friend.

We hugged, went for a walk around the station and stopped for dinner at The Fresh Pizza Co., where we opted for the rodizio menu.

At 21:00, we entered the bus to our ultimate location: Paris. I fell asleep one hour later as I was super tired. Around 23:15 we reached the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. We got off the bus to show our IDs and go to the bathroom. When the bus restarted the journey, someone got up to inform the driver one person was missing: and there we were 5 minutes waiting for that annoying person.

We then got to the train waiting point and waited one hour for the next one. Once it was 'embarkment' time, we were told that there was no more space for us and that we would have to wait for the next train (lol). What else to do than sleep? Even the driver got cozy with his blankets and went to sleep. I only slightly woke up once after this: when we were allowed into the train. It basically took us over 3 hours to be able to leave the border.

Saturday 13th October

Next think I know, it was 7:30 in the morning and we were in Paris!!!!!!! We were super sleepy but so happy!

The first thing we did was take an Uber to the Eiffel Tower. We got there just in time to watch the sunrise, such a magical moment! We then spent 15 minutes looking for a decently priced cafe so that we could have a coffee and use the bathroom. Sadly and ironically, we ended up in Starbucks just because coffee in Paris is insanely overpriced (an expresso for 4,50 euros?!?!?!?). We changed outfits, did our makeup and ordered the first boost of the day. 


This was followed by a walk in the beautiful streets of Paris, with the Arc du Triomphe as a destination. We took some photos there, contemplated the views and started making our way through the Champs Elysees. Again, everything is so expensive! Even McDonalds' 'saving menus': a cheeseburger for 2,60€? We also went to Disney, Abercrombie and Fitch and Fnac, where two Portuguese people started commenting on the fact that we were charging our phones in the store. Never forget that other people might speak the same language as you.



We walked some more, passed both the Grand Palais and the Petite Palais and soon reached the Place le la Concorde. Near the entrance to the Jardin des Tuileries, we bought some souvenirs: tiny Eiffel Towers and postcards. Because it was lunchtime and we were tired and hungry, we went to a (very) busy McDonald's to have some lunch. As every single table was taken, I asked a girl if I (Ines was still waiting for her order at this point) could sit next to her. She, very rudely, simply replied she was waiting for friends. Turns out she was waiting for only one person, which meant there would have been plenty of space for the four of us. I waited a bit and two tables became available. I started making my way to a larger, comfy one, with sofas. But because there was a family of 6 waiting to be seated, I gave up that table for them. What did I get from this extremely nice action? Not one smile or 'merci'. French people are so polite, am I right?


The Louvre followed: it was too crowded but still a beautiful location. We then spent a few minutes trying to find our way to the Palais Royal. Now, this was one of the most beautiful places we went to. Nevertheless, and not pictured, are loads of kids skating behind us on purpose after noticing we were trying to take some photos.


We then decided to take the underground to the Eiffel Tower. The ticket was not expensive at all, compared to London: 1,90€. The underground itself was, however, not the most friendly to use: too narrow and too confusing. And at one point, we thought we were going to die as it stopped moving out of nowhere.

Eiffel Tower. There we were again. We walked around the (now, insanely busy) area, bought some water bottles and looked at artists' performances and paintings. Ines decided she wanted to buy a comic book so we walked 25 minutes to the closest Fnac. We also stopped by Muji where we were, once again, very poorly spoken to. Because at this point we could not be bothered to walk all the way back to the Tower, we called an Uber.

We finally reached our final stop for the day. We hanged out for a while and managed to see the sunset and the lights being turned on. My Godmother called me and told me she would pick us up in one hour. But, because I only had 10%, we walked to the 'closest' McDonalds, charged our phones for a bit, and returned to the Tower. It was already super dark and the Eiffel Tower could not have been any more beautiful. It was honestly, one of the best moments of my life: I cannot describe how much happiness I felt. Soon my Godmother and her friends arrived and we all got to watch the light spectacle together. We even got to see a proposal!



They drove us to their house and we finished the night with a very tasty Portuguese dish (grilled chicken), accompanied by a marvellous baguette and followed by some delicious pasteis de nata. After a warm shower, it was sleep time.

Sunday 14th October

We woke up at 8:30, after a very well slept night. I only woke up once: when I slapped Ines in the face :).
We had a marvellous French breakfast: coffee, pains au chocolat, croissants, baguettes, orange juice and fruits. We then got ready and said goodbye to Paris at 10:30. On our way back to London, we made a stop and finally managed to buy something I was determined to try: macarons. My feedback: they are delicious!


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