No matter how many times you have been to Paris, you can never say no to another trip. You will always find a good reason to go back (for me at least). Honestly, after my last trip to the city, I told myself not to go back there anymore because Paris is Paris, it will always be Paris. But memories do change though. This is what I realised when my sister from another mother told me that she was finally coming to Europe for her birthday. I just couldn't say no. She is one of the most valuable people in my life and I couldn't just be two-hour train journey away and not see her. Besides, it was a good opportunity for me to make new memories, and another excuse for me and J to get out of London. So without hesitation, I booked two train tickets to Paris. Unfortunately, J couldn't make it in the end because he didn't have his passport. It was at the embassy and we only realised it the night before we were supposed to leave. I went anyway and of course, J's passport arrived the next day. That's a typical game of life.
I arrived in Paris via Eurostar just after 9am. This was the most comfortable trip I've ever had. There was really no fuss. I was a bit anxious though because I really don't speak French. I know a few words but not enough to get by. Luckily, the train station (Paris Gare du Nord) was familiar so I didn't have a hard time finding my way out to the metro. The metro station was a bit complicated I thought. Some areas were under renovation. I felt quite good realising that I was in a foreign place on my own again. My confidence grew as I walked to the platform.
Our meeting place was at the Louvre. I was going to drop by the Notre Dame but changed my mind at the last minute. I realised that I have seen it a few times and convinced myself that nothing has changed since the last time I saw it three years ago. So I went straight to the Louvre. As I arrived earlier than expected, I went around and took photos. God, I must have taken hundreds of photos from this place already. But its beauty never fades, even without the fountains.
I got really excited when I saw Aida from afar. Typical of us, we screamed in the middle of the Louvre as soon as we set eyes on each other. We were definitely back in the old days, being really loud like there were no other people around us.
My friendship with this lady started way back in grade school. Our friendship was so deep that naturally, we treated each other like sisters. I knew from the start that I could count on her. We went to the same school until college. We were roommates for 3 1/2 years. We may have lost touch for a while at one point, but when we reconnected we went back to default - we went back to where we left off. I have so many fond memories of this lady and if I were to write them all here, it would take me days to finish this blog. All I can say is that I am lucky to have known her. She is one of the most sincere and beautiful people I have ever met. With her, there is never a dull moment- literally.
Believe it or not, I have been to Paris a few times but I don't think I have ever seen Arc de Triomphe this close during day time.
This is my favourite view of the Eiffel Tower.
To get this view, we got off Trocadero and walked down the stairs towards the tower.
Another place that I have taken so many photos of (and with) is the Le Consulat restaurant in the heart of Montmartre. All I know about this restaurant is that it's a very old restaurant and it's close to the artist's square which is located in Place du Tertre (the area where famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Dali used to hang out apparently). A few yards away is the Sacre-Coeur Basilica.
I really never considered eating at this restaurant before, probably because I thought it was expensive. But since I have heard so many good things about this restaurant, I thought it was about time for me to see what the fuss is all about. So we went there for lunch and we were not disappointed.
Although it was a bit chilly at that time, we chose to eat outside. It was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had. Believe me.
So as soon as I read the menu, I knew what I was going to have. It was not a difficult choice between mussels and duck really. I opted for the duck to be on the safe side as I was traveling back to London in the evening. It was a very good choice indeed. One of the best ducks I have eaten.
Confit de Canard , 19 euros
Saumon Roti, 18.50 euros
Pave de rumsteack, 18.50 euros
18 Rue Norvins
We left the restaurant very satisfied and happy. We then made our way to Sacre Coeur Basilica via Place du Tertre.
Place Du Tertre
Sacre- Coeur Basilica
View from the Basilica
I was going back to London around 7pm that day so we decided to make our way to Terminus Nord where I would meet J's cousins. (Aida and Francis stayed with me until they arrived.) It was a short but sweet meeting indeed. They are very nice people.
I must not forget to mention that although Terminus Nord is right in front of Gare du Nord (the train station), it was not very touristy. I would love to go back there and have a meal one day.
23 Rue du Dunkerque
Ha, who would have thought that after reuniting in San Diego and Philippines we would actually see each other in Europe? Although I only spent a day with these two, I felt like I was with them longer than that. The stories and the laughters never ended. There was so much to talk about with so little time. Sad to say, we are now back on viber until we see each other again.
I can only be thankful for the opportunity to make new memories in Paris with the people I love.