Paris, for me, was a package of many firsts- It was my first European destination, my first solo international trip, my first backpacking experience; it was the start of many new things including this blog! 🙂 I was both nervous and excited when the plane landed in Charles de Gaulle airport; the whole thing was like a dream till then. I reached my hostel and promptly fell asleep. Little did I know what Paris had in store for me! <3
I vaguely remembered seeing a notice about a free walking tour every morning at 9:30 a.m. at the hostel reception… What a great option to get to know about the city! I finished breakfast and waited down in the lobby.
At 9:30 a.m. on the dot, a lady (Ema) walked in with a “Bonjour” and asked me if I was coming for the walking tour. I said yes. We waited for a bit to see if anyone else wanted to join. Just before we left, a guy called Steve joined us for the tour.
Ema then told us that she would be taking us to Saint Michael, the starting point of the tour. She could only speak fluently in French and Spanish, but tried her best to speak in English so we could understand her. Steve spoke English too, though he was from Taiwan.
She familiarized us with the Paris metro- how to use the kiosk and which line to take in order to come back. On the way to Saint Michael, she told me stories of how she started out in Paris when she migrated from Spain, how she learnt French and how much she loved the city.
Once we got down at Saint Michael station and walked towards the square, we got introduced to our tour guide – Onno. He was one of the funniest and most entertaining guides I’d ever met! We were about 15 people from different corners of the world and we walked around the city while Onno told stories about the places and their history.
These walking tours were organized by Sandeman New Europe Tours and at the end of the tour they gave great discounts on museum entries and other day tours.
I then decided to go to the Orsay museum and the Eiffel Tower which I hadn’t seen yet. A fellow traveler from the walking tour joined me for rest of my day.
The next few days in Paris went by quickly. It was early summer and with each day longer than the last, I enjoyed the sunsets with a different feeling each day.
The neighbourhood of Paris is worth a visit. I fell in love with the Latin quarters and Montmartre’ cobblestoned roads and French colonies.
Paris is really -special to me not just because it’s a beautiful city, but because it’s a beautiful experience.
Is Paris special to you?? Let me know why 🙂