Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Paris: A Rough Start

After getting through a very tough last week in Aus that involved many farewell dinners, lunches, drinks, a BBQ... and a romantic goodbye in a nice hotel room, I was ready to embark on my three year adventure. First stop Paris!

After many in-flight drinks, meals and watching hours of movies I touched down in Paris. No accommodation, no plans and no knowledge of Paris, except for it being the location of snails, sexy accents and a beautiful tower. What could possibly go wrong?... I got incredibly lost, had a forty year old nudist ask me to stay with him, and got robbed! All in two days.

On day three I said goodbye to my first host, a French didgeridoo player not the nudist, deciding to relocate to a hostel for one night. After booking I received an email with a long list of directions leading me to an unrelated coffee shop and a phone number to call upon arrival for somebody to collect me. Sounds very legit... the reward for trusting and completing this mission:

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Lucky Youth Hostel, Paris

That evening I met up with a Parisian I hosted in Australia, Lea, it was her turn to return the favour. The rendezvous with Lea involved fun picnics, her awesome friends, a bicycle tour around Paris and a ticket to a huge music festival (Solidays). She also provided humour by walking into a parked car. Favour returned! Solidays is a dance festival in Paris attended by thousands of people with all money going towards HIV/AIDS... drinks were only 1 Euro due to a new found friend.

Moulin Rouge, Paris, France

Montmartre, Paris, France

Sacre Coeur, Paris, France

Week 1 complete! Week 2 started with the receipt of an apartment by myself in the centre of Paris for two nights. Paris has a reputation for being an expensive city but I only paid 12 Belgian beers and a note of appreciation.

I began to finally start to feel like a real Parisian; starting most days with a croissant, running for every train and changing metro lines three times instead of once if I would arrive quicker!

It was time to meet my fourth host, Elen. Within an hour of meeting we were at a  rhum bar discussing jogging the following morning. Rum and running the perfect combination! This rum bar actually was quite amazing. It had a wall covered in jars of rum labelled with the fruits, herbs and spices floating inside. The rest of my stay with Elen involved more picnics, cycling, secret art exhibitions, a party inside an architecture school... and we did go for that after rum run.

One day when strolling along the river I had a random encounter with Thomas, a French guy I played soccer with three weeks earlier in Brisbane, and a Brissie girl. Big City, Small World! This ended with an informative and amazing tour from a French girl with the highlight being this view from her 8th floor rooftop terrace of a 500 year old protected building in the middle of old Paris.

So, two weeks into my three year adventure I'm still alive, reasonably healthy and have no children on the way.

Next stop London to see an old friend.

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