picnic in paris

Paris is not always a good idea

Let me begin by saying that I hated Paris. I’m sure there are many reasons to enjoy Paris and I’m sure that many people absolutely love that city.

I don’t like pickles either. It’s okay.

I enjoy seeing famous landmarks when I travel but I only really bother with it so I can take pictures for all my friends and family. You know, proof. I’ve never been a city girl so I spent most of my time enjoying the French Countryside.

First, I stayed in the most beautiful little area near Niort with a lovely English couple. I helped them with gardening, pointing walls, and taking care of their new pup (possibly the result of too much wine and my insistence that a spontaneous pup was a good idea).

trish and dawg

How could anyone say no?! Their facebook updates are proof that Max was, indeed, a very good decision. They love him dearly and he has grown so much!
After saying farewell to Simon and Karen I was off to Limoges where I stayed with an amazing brother and sister duo from Scotland. I adored them. ADORED. My time there was spent feeding bunnies, mixing cement, chopping wood, making sure the fire was still going at ungodly hours, and drinking copious amounts of wine. ADORED.

heaven

Eeeeee! I lived in this quaint and beautiful bit of heaven!
Before moving on to Yacht Week in Croatia I thought I’d better spend a few days in Paris… just to say I did. It turns out, I should have gone straight to the airport, kept my head down, and gotten the hell out of there.

Most days were pretty uneventful. I decided to go to Le Louvre, which was busy, interesting, and beautiful.

Visiting the Catacombs was the highlight of Paris. I repeat, bunches of dead people were the highlight of my time in Paris. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures because I forgot my phone in the airport while running for my life. We’ll get to that later.

Lovers Bridge was exactly what I expected it to be; A bunch of locks on a bridge.

A man selling locks and sharpies laughed at me for being the loneliest girl on Lovers Bridge. Haters.

Once I crossed the bridge I decided to go sit by the Eifel Tower for a while and read my book. I headed towards the general direction thinking, there’s no way I can mess this up. Apparently, I could and I did. I walked around for about 45 minutes passing the Eifel Tower, finding it behind me, passing it, finding it a mile to the right of me. I don’t know.

eiffel tower

Eifel Tower visitors are snuggled up on the grass making out with lovers. I’m just here like…
 

My last day in Paris was a mess.

A man punched me (seriously) after I refused to go home with him where I “would be safe and sleeping”. Instead of going with Mr. Where-you-from-pretty-lady, I managed to buy the correct ticket and get on my train to the airport. I actually thought it was over. All I had to do was get to the airport, get on a plane, and go find my friend in Croatia. Simple, right?

After a few stops and a change of passengers, I found myself alone on the train with eight Middle Eastern men. We were notified that there would be no more stops until the airport, which was approximately half an hour away. Eventually, they were sitting with me, showing me tattoos of Osama Bin Laden (their words – not mine!) and offering me their cell phones so I could call my Mom and Dad and say goodbye because even though they hated to kill the pretty ones, they were going to make me an angel. They were clearly messing with me the whole time.

I’m still alive and well.

This was all topped off with a crazy lady in the airport who kicked a table past my head and threatened to bite my eyeballs out. I think I pissed her off by, you know, existing.

I don’t even remember the flight. I have no idea if I slept, cried, gave Paris the finger, or vowed never to travel by myself again. What I do remember is looking down on beautiful Croatia as we were preparing to land. Paris was out of my mind and I was floating on blissful thoughts of partying on a yacht for a week.

Will I travel alone again?

Hell yes.

Traveling isn’t always going to be new friends and landmark selfies. There is no guarantee with travel that every day is going to be a good day. We all have bad days no matter where we are and that’s okay! What’s important is that the experience, as a whole, is something that you can learn and grow from and hopefully end up with a few good stories. The happy days I had and the wonderful people I met in France far outweigh any negative experience I encountered. I wouldn’t take a single moment of it back.

  • March 20 2015

    Sounds exactly like Paris to me, and I’ve been there dozens of times over the past 15 years (it’s right in the middle between my birth home in the West of Germany and my choice home of London). The city has some perks, but they are few and far between. It’s got pretty stuff to look at, but that’s kind of it. From someone who decent French and never has any issues anywhere else in the French speaking world.

    • March 22 2015

      I’m blown away by how many people have had these kind of experiences in paris! I feel like it’s really covered up. I think the best parts of France are outside Paris

      • March 23 2015

        I think Paris is just romantized too much by non-Europeans… I think nobody has these notions of Paris here in Northern Europe. It’s definitely the only city where I have repeatedly felt unsafe (more than in supposedly ‘bad’ parts of Manila or South america!) and where anybody who doesn’t fit the norm gets picked on. It’s nowhere in the league of cities like London, NY, or even the bigger Asian cities… It’s an average European capital that has great architecture and where lots of cultural stuff was born… Same can be said about a dozen other cities in Europe.

        • March 24 2015

          It’s interesting that you say that — that it’s not romanticized by Europeans. Good to know. I’ve always disliked the cities where people sweep the pitfalls and dirtiness under the rug. I prefer gritty, honest cities like Budapest and Athens.

        • March 26 2015
          Susan

          I think I am definitely guilty of romanticizing Paris. It has so many associations that it is hard not to fall into that trap.

  • March 20 2015

    Seriously, I’ve travelled by myself to so many places but Paris is still the place to date where I have attracted the most weirdoes. I’ve never had so many altercations with tramps in my life and all of them were due to me existing too. I actually got started on by a man for laughing. LAUGHING.

    • March 22 2015

      It’s crazy how many people have had similar experiences! I spent a very brief amount of time in Paris and didn’t really feel that threat. But jeepers.

  • March 23 2015
    Susan

    Wow, what a horrible day!
    I’m starting to think ‘no’ on Paris. On top of everything else, the smog!

    • March 24 2015

      I still think you should go! You may fall in love. I mean, some people seem to love it, right? Haha.

      • March 26 2015
        Susan

        Yeah, but some people like smacking themselves in the side of the head too…..hahahaha!

        I’m not saying I won’t go at some point but I think there are quite a few other places higher on the priority list at present. I’m thinking maybe Portugal in the autumn!

    • March 25 2015
      Trish McNeill

      It was interesting for sure but I don’t want to discourage anyone from going and coming to their own conclusion. If I had an opportunity to go back… I would! Although I will travel alone again I probably wouldn’t go to Paris alone again just to make sure I have a different experience.

  • March 23 2015
    Melissa

    Paris is a great city. I think I had a similar experience with the Eiffel Tower. I had a friend take a picture of me, and I realized that I was stood about the same place that Adolf Hitler stood when he invaded Paris in WWII (freaked out)… The city of Paris was a little dirty. I expected more emphasis on the fashion industry, and did not see that. No one threatened me. Real French bread was harder on the outside and delicate on the inside, crustier than I thought it would be. I did not flaunt it, but I think the Parisians knew that I was American. I said “très bien” to everything and everyone was kind to me. The city of Paris is expensive. The food was amazing. I thought the countryside in France was more beautiful and cleaner than Paris. I preferred the countryside. I also visited Barcelona, Spain. I found many Parisians vacationing there as well. It was a good trip. If I go again, I would like to go to the French Riviera or Bordeaux. http://askmelissaanything.blogspot.com/2015/03/melissas-southwestern-banana-nutella.html

    • March 24 2015

      I don’t want to discourage anyone from visiting Paris. I think EVERYWHERE is worth visiting at least once– I mean, there’s gotta be a reason why people do fall in love with Paris, right? I defintiely wanna go to Bordeaux, and Nice.

      • March 25 2015
        Melissa

        I love Paris. It’s worth it for anyone to go. I did not have a chance to go to the Musee du Louvre. I would like to see the Mona Lisa someday. I would also like to do the Le Marais walk. When I was there, I tried to discover more about French history, and events that were significant to Paris. I will practice speaking French before I go again. I would take a great deal of money. Paris is expensive.

        • March 25 2015
          Trish McNeill

          The Mona Lisa was pretty neat! The museum was packed but absolutely beautiful!

  • March 29 2015

    Holy crap – I’m so sorry that happened to you. That all sounds terrifying. And WTF is it with people thinking terrifying other people is funny? I haven’t had that experience in Paris (a city I like very much, despite rarely ever liking cities), but last time I was in France (in Chamonix), I had a group of guys walk over and start touching me when I asked them to keep the noise level down in the apartment complex hallways in the middle of the night and then they tried to come into my apartment, laughing as if my discomfort and fear were amusing.

    • March 30 2015

      AGHHHH that is awful. I don’t understand why someone gets off on inspiring fear in someone else either.

  • April 13 2015
    Sara MacKinnon

    NOOO!! Hahaha I’ve just planned a weekend in Paris!! Being a 16 year old travelling with two inexperienced friends I am a bit.. um apprehensive now. I can’t believe those men on the train that sounds like my idea of hell, even if they were messing!! You are one badass biatch.

    • April 15 2015

      Oh, don’t let my friend’s experience discourage you! Haha, plenty of people LOVE Paris! You’ll have a blast

    • October 26 2015
      Trish McNeill

      “you are one badass biatch”
      You, Sara, have made my day.

  • April 15 2015
    LC

    The first time I went to Paris, I got groped on my bottom whilst riding the metro by a fellow with a bowl cut, who looked like he had been hit in the face with the ugly bat as he flew out of his mother’s uterus. (I hope I would have been just as repulsed and offended if he was a hottie, I really do). The second time I gave it a crack, I got food poisoning and spent two of my three days there alternating between the hotel toilet and bed. I feel your pain.

  • April 17 2015

    wow…simply wow. That is nuts Candice. Such creeps

  • November 28 2015
    Larissa

    I’ve never been in Paris, although I would like to go, my friend had a bad experience there also.

    • December 01 2015
      Candice

      I’d like to go back, honestly. I didn’t give it much of a chance the first time around.

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