The romantic city of Paris.

We’ve spent a lovely (and hot) week in the lovely city of Paris. We decided to visit as Rafa’s sister now lives there with her boyfriend, so naturally it was the perfect time to see her. From the rain filled Ireland to the blue sky of France, it was a great welcome! Although my excitement for the sun dwindled a little when I got burnt. My poor Irish skin can’t stick the sun.

But it was a great wee holiday! I’ve been to France a few years ago, but when we were in Paris, we  didn’t get to go sightseeing as it was just a stop off. So this time round we made sure I got to do the touristy things.

During our week, we were staying in the La Defense area. Booking our room with Air BnB, we found a great one that was near to the metro, plus there was a Monoprix near to us aswell. Here they sell French pastries. Oh how I wish the Chinese would adopt these instead of their horrible pastries they make.

So we did the touristy things; went up the Eiffel Tower, visited Disneyland, saw the Mona Lisa, visited the Notre Dame among more. But of course, there were queues….everywhere. The longest wait was for the Catacombs, which took 2 hours….outside, in the sun. We’re glad we visited it, but it was a long wait!

The two things I didn’t exactly like about Paris were

1. It’s cleanliness.

Although I loved Paris; its architecture, winding cobbled streets… what struck me was the amount of cigarette butts that were littered all over the streets. The bins didn’t seem to have the option of putting the butts in the bin, so naturally everyone threw them on the street. So the cleanliness of the city was a bit of a disappointment. It’s such a beautiful city, you would think they would make more of an effort to make it even more beautiful. In comparison to Chengdu, they have an army of cleaners; sweeping the streets and the bins are never overflowing. In Chengdu it’s much cleaner. But anyway it’s still gorgeous.

2. It’s so expensive.

We visited a touristy area in Paris and I came across a menu with deserts being priced at 12euro!  Everything is so expensive! The only place for food that is cheaper than all the restaurants is McDonalds. I’m sure there are cheap places to eat, but with being tourists, we didn’t know these areas. Coming from a country that is extrememly cheap, to arriving to one of the most expensive really puts into perspective how lucky we are to be able to eat and travel cheaply in China.

**Also a tip for anyone visiting Paris and using the metro system. When we were buying tickets, Rafa’s sister used the Spanish version to order the tickets. But she quickly noticed she was being charged more than what they are usually priced at. She switched back to the French version and they were cheaper. So they charge more for tickets when you use the Spanish/English version. So if you can, try and use the French version so you’re not caught out! That’s if you can understand French!

So we arrived back in Ireland to the cold and the clouds, but it’s good to relax. We walked quite a lot in Paris. But I enjoyed my time immensely.

( I will try and post pictures, but our internet here is not very good here so it may take a while)

再见!

Aisling.

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