I dropped my bags after my friend picked me up at the airport. I was thinking to rest for the rest of the night and roamed around Paris on the next day. But, I guess Paris was too attractive to be missed.
“would you like to take a walk tonight?” my friend asked. Don’t ask me if I was exhausted or not, but the thrill to see both Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum had boosted my energy and I said “yes”.
It was late November and the weather was cold, the weather was probably 9 degrees. I didn’t expect that cold, I just brought some jumpers and didn’t have a coat with me. Well, yes, I had no idea how it felt in Winter.
As we strode out of the house, I froze. “it’s so cold” I murmured. I wore 3 layers of clothes and they were not enough to warm my body. My friend asked me if I wanted to get some more layers so I wasn’t frozen. I turned back and get the not-so-called a coat which I bought back home. It wasn’t warm enough but I could handle.
We left the house at Porte de Clignancourt (a suburb in the northern part of Paris) and departed to the Louvre Museum by a Metro. It was not a direct Metro and I can’t recall where we transit and changed it. I guess it was either Chatelet or Les Halles Metro Station.
Metro itself is a subway integrating one suburb to another with other public transports in Paris.
We took Metro number 4 from Porte de Clignancourt and shifted to Metro number 1, if I’m not mistaken.
He took me to Rue de Rivoli and we walked along the pathway to the museum. Still, I couldn’t believe myself that I was there. Since I had read the Da Vinci Code written by Dan Brown, I got myself familiar with the place.
It was around 8p.m and the museum was lit and it absolutely looked glorious. I couldn’t imagine to have finally been there. I couldn’t enter since it was already closed and it had also the admission fee for 12 Euros.
I spent some time in front of the museum and took some pictures as well.
My friend then took me for a walk to the Eiffel tower which I can’t remember how long it took to get there and which way it was. I was just amazed to see my surroundings which seemed unfamiliar and bizarre.
I was like a stranger in the first country I landed and stranded in the middle of nowhere. I felt overwhelmed yet conscious I was really there.
By the time I got to the tower, it was lit and twinkling. My friend told me if I wanted to record videos for my friends and family and I finally made some.
The Eiffel tower can be viewed from many different sides of the town. Every time I walked and got lost in town, I could almost see the tower standing gracefully.
Yeah I know it looks magnificent, but believe me, I spent 70 days in Paris and I realized it was not as pretty as it looked. If you are there for your first visit, it is a must to see, and you’ll see how you feel towards it.
It was an adequate first visit for me. I returned home straightaway and rest for the whole night. I can say that it was the best Saturday night I’ve ever spent with the best people I’ve ever had as well.
I give you some tips for visiting the tower.
- Be careful of the scams. There are some scams around the Eiffel tower and ask you for some money for donation. At first, they will say you can donate whatever you want, you will be asked for writing your name and signing up but at the end they will ask you to give them €20 (IDR 300000). I was trapped by one scam one day I visited the tower with a friend of mine. They spoke in Malaysian. I guess they recognized that I am Asian through my headscarf and they tried to be friendly. I couldn’t resist and I wrote my name and signed up. By the time they asked me the money, I only gave them €5 (IDR 75000) and they refused. we were arguing for some time and I told them that I only had that amount of money. They told me they had the change if I didn’t have the exact money and I told them if they wanted the money then took it, if they didn’t want, I would take it back. They finally refrained.
- Besides the scams, you must be really cautious of the pickpocketers. For me, Paris is not a really safe place to visit because you can find thieves on the train or any other public transport and around the touristic areas including the Eiffel tower. Make sure that you hold your bags or belongings in order to prevent unwanted situations.
- Regarding to souvenirs, you can find some shops nearby, but they must be very costly. To get some cheaper ones, you can see around the area, there are some people (mostly African or Indian) who sell the Eiffel tower replica and cost affordably.
- If you would like to ride on a Ferrari or Lamborghini, you can rent those which are parked in front of the tower across the Seine river for €80-90/hour (if I’m not mistaken, per November-December 2014).
My kind of traveling preference is by taking trains or busses or by foot.
I was always enchanted even when I got lost in Paris. The old European styles had put the buildings into more eye-catching and gracious places which would not make anyone feel bored to see them.
The story doesn’t end here. My #70daysinEurope continues in the next chapter.