Paris, 2016-17

Paris! The city of love, or so they say. Being so, so easy to get to has made it a regular jaunt for me in London. A two hour train journey direct from the city centre makes it a quicker journey than Scotland or Ireland, or even most of England!

The first time I went to Paris was with my family, I hated it. It’s dirty, crime-ridden, and the people are all class-a assholes. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my trip; the Eiffel tower is spectacular beyond what I expected (and has gone from cliche tourist symbol to one of my favourite works of architecture); and a journey an hours north of Paris into the country for a tattoo was met with friendly, accommodating french folks - nothing like their Parisian brothers.

The Louvre

La Tour Eiffel


The main reason I ever went back to Paris was at the insistence of my
friend Jess, who promised I was just doing it wrong. Turns out she was
right - Paris will always have a fond place in my heart. My third trip
was for a Zelda concert, performed live by orchestra in the heart of the
city. The show was skipping out on London, the only other England shows
were going to cost just as much to attend and be met with much worse
food so I made the journey - definitely worth it.

My next two visits to Paris were filled with wining and dining, bar hopping and cheese eating. My lips would be stained a dark crimson for the next week, as though I was making some sort of gothic-tinged protest on gender stereotypes. Paris is a city of rich culture, so you’re only a drunken stumble away from the next big gorgeous monument or feature. I had no real intention of making my way to the Arc De Triomphe, but pissed at 1am is definitely the best way to find it.

Notre Dame

Monte Marte


For all it’s faults however, Paris is definitely a gem. The food?
Revolutionary. The alcohol? Cheap, strong, and tasty. The cheese? Next
level. The monuments? Everywhere! These are the parts of Paris I love
the most. You don’t have to splash out to enjoy a good meal, as long as
you’re avoiding those “american diner” sorts of places you’re guaranteed
a good meal.

The best part about exploring is Paris, is just how bloody simple it is! You cannot get lost. The majority of Paris is quite low to the ground, you won’t find towering buildings blocking the city skyline, and anything important is greeted by wide roads and pedestrian walkways - and at the end, the next great thing! Walking through Paris is like a big game of connect the dots, as you just hop from Notre Dame, to the Pantheon, to Le Jardin du Luxembourg, from there you can see Le Tour Eiffel! Palaces and museums are never far away.

My Parisian adventure most recently however, was to see Lana Del Rey headline Lollapalooza Paris! Lana was headlining quite a few festivals across Europe this year, and with each UK festival lineup released sans-Lana, I committed to going to France for it.

Notre Dame is exactly as amazing as they claim.

Pantheon

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

It was the first Lollapalooza Paris, so it was a little rough around the edges - not enough toilets, too many people, food was comparatively disappointing - but the music and atmosphere is the biggest part and that was spot on! Headliners included Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, and London Grammar.

City festivals always have the benefit of being close to everything, so I was able to walk to and from (admittedly a 100 minute walk, but who’s counting) the festival grounds set in a massive park to the west. The streets of Paris are not always the friendliest, so it came as sweet relief that my walk home at 1am was in torrential rain, scaring away anyone loitering in the streets (as they had been on my other nights) while I was cloaked in an oversized Pacman poncho. 

To cut a long story short, I fucked up my bookings, and ended up having to get the coach home instead of the Eurostar. I’ve never really done coaches before, so it was a welcome change - we even took the ferry across the channel, pulling into the spectacular views of the white cliffs of Dover.

Lollapalooza

London Grammar

Lana Del Rey <3

Parisian picnic

Everytime I go to Paris I come back with my bag stuffed filled with pastries, and cheese. It’s an easy travel destination: I can usually get a weekend away there with a 7am Saturday train to, an 8pm Sunday train from, and a night’s accommodation for around £105… mental! I definitely recommend making the journey if you’re able to.

 ALSO: Fun fact, France gifted the US the Statue of Liberty, so bizarrely there are at least 4 Statue of Liberty replicas in Paris. Weird!

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