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5 April 2015

Paris Trip Part 1: Bonjour Paris!

FINALLY!!!! The day has come and we were finally headed off to Paris! Can you believe it?! Paris!! I was just dreaming about it before and now I'm going to see it. For real. SOOOO ECSTATIC! 

It was a Sunday, 29th of March. I woke up at 5:30 am to get ready, be on the station early and catch the very first train to Waterloo and then King's Cross Station. My mum, sister, aunt and I all managed to wake up really early in the morning despite of the clock turning back giving us lesser sleep. We got to the train station and the first thing that greeted us was the sign in the monitors saying the 7:00 am train was cancelled. We all tried to be positive and patient and waited for the next train to arrive. Half an hour later, train was cancelled. That was the time to panic. Our train to France was leaving at 9:20 and we had to check in 30 minutes before. But at 7:30, we were only at Surbiton still more than an hour away!! We did not take any chances and did not dare to wait for the next train to come. We immediately called my dad to drive us to Wimbledon station and get the tube instead. The story only gets better. 

I think my dad made the car fly when he drove us to Wimbledon station because we got there in minutes. We literally ran going in the tube station. My mum really has a tiny bladder and always has the urge to go to the toilet. So on our way to the platform to ride the first tube to leave, my mum spotted the toilets and went for it. She did not think twice even if we were in such a hurry. She was that desperate. Me and my aunt were waiting on the platforms when the tube was about to leave in 1 minute. I saw my mum with my sister from far away just went out the toilets and took so long to walk/ run to the platform. Because the tube was leaving, my aunt (Taj) hurriedly got on the tube and I immediately followed. But I was too late. I got squashed by the closing doors. My one leg was inside the tube and the rest of my body was left outside. I waited for the doors to open so I can free myself but it just continued to close and squash me even more!! I was thinking: Okay, there is no way I am getting on this tube. I'm stuck, what am I going to do?!? I felt people staring at me and I just froze there for a second. I forced myself out and the tube left. With only Taj able to ride it. We were running late, I got squashed by the heavy doors, and now we were separated. Great.

The three of us ran to the other platform and rode the next tube. We got off the next station and got reunited with Taj. We then got on the tube to King's Cross and were already 10 minutes late. But we eventually reached King's Cross. We were literally running to St. Pancras International and looked for where we were supposed to check in. Mind you, the place was huge! I kept looking at the signs of where to go when suddenly someone announced: "This is the last call for passengers of Eurostar train 9014". THAT WAS OUR TRAIN!!! IT WAS THE LAST CALL!! We were sprinting at this time. It took us long to find the check in area as well. We were so late the check in counters were about to close. But we got there. We did. Out of breath, we went through the check in point, scanned our bags and got our passport checked. We were literally the last people to board the train. At least we made it, right?! Tickets were non-transferable and non-refundable, and we almost missed the train. We were so close of not making it. 

We got premium seats in the train so all the stress went away when we finally sat and calmed ourselves down. Thank God, we had nice seats. It was a 2 hour journey to France so we had ample of time to think of how eventful our trip was so far. We were laughing so hard. It seemed like our day was cursed. Haha! 

Touchdown Paris! 

The first thing we had to tackle was to figure out how to ride the Metro (which is the Underground in London). The doors of the metro though have to opened manually. There was a lever you have to pull up for the doors to open. Well of course we did not know this. We were getting off and we just stood there waiting for the doors to automatically open (#firstworldproblems). We panicked but good thing there was a nice lady who taught us. It wasn't hard to figure out where to go and the directions to our hotel because the Metro is so similar on how the underground works. So that's a plus. 

We finally arrived at our hotel, put our heavy bags down and had a breather. At this time, we were waiting for my cousin's (who came from Norway) call because we were going to meet her there in Paris.  We got the call but of course there had to be something unfortunate that happened. Her flight was delayed and her baggage was lost by the airline. I mean, really?!

We were losing precious time and the day was almost finished and we haven't got to see any of Paris yet! Thankfully, our hotel was near the Eiffel tower. So that was the first thing we went to. And we met up with my cousin there as well. We all missed her! Ah, silver lining. 

Not really. We were at the Eiffel Tower, when the rain, that felt like a storm, decided to come. It was pouring and the wind was soooooo strong! I was literally blown away. Not to mention, it was freezing. (I thought it was spring already?!) Of course we couldn't carry on sightseeing because I told you, it felt life a storm. Hahaha. And the Eiffel tower and everything surrounding it was an open field/ park. There was nowhere to take cover. So we just decided to go in a restaurant  and let the rain pass. 

The closest restaurant we found was a Lebanese restaurant. So French, I know. Hahaha. We went in, and it felt so eerie. There was a group of big guys sitting in the corner of the restaurant staring at us. And it felt uncomfortable and scary. They all left when we sat down. While we waited for our order, Taj, my mum and I suddenly felt lightheaded. It scared all of us because we thought we were going to be Taken (like the movie) or something. But all was good. The kebab and rice was enjoyable.

It was still raining when we finished eating but we can't let any more time be wasted. So we braved the rain and wind. Went back to see the Eiffel tower and waited until it sparkled during the night. It was beautiful. 

The next day.

The next day in Paris was the complete opposite. Thank God! It was sunny, bright and the perfect weather to go sightseeing. And we did! We got tickets for the "Hop on, hop off" tour bus and went around Paris.

How beautiful!!!

This was where Moulin Rouge originated.

 Streets of Paris.

Charles Garnier Opera house. Where the Phantom of the Opera was inspired from!

To be continued...

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