Lol, remember when I said I would ease my way back into blogging by writing lighter posts, well joke’s on me because this is easy, and I’ve been delaying. But, I’m here now, so let’s get to day three of Paris!
Okay, we started the day by ordering breakfast to our hotel because I saw this highly-rated bakery on UberEats and decided to try it out – well, I mostly ate and my mum drank black tea (mum) and my sister, well, sorry to this girl because I don’t remember what she ate/drank. I ordered bread (obviously!) and chocolate tart and another dessert which, again, I don’t remember. I didn’t take pictures, so flex your imaginations and picture some delicious dessert and try not to drool… tough not to when it’s dessert, I know.
We took an Uber to Sacré-Cœur Basilica which neither my mum nor sister looked forward to, but that was on the agenda when we planned the trip, so ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne. It was drizzling, so my mum purchased an umbrella at the foot of the stairs to the Basilica – I know, look at the sharp business acumen of Parisians, brilliant, fantastic. My mum and sister were shocked to discover that it’s a cathedral so were heartily disgruntled which put a damper on my spirits because, hey, we’re allowed to explore, learn and discover without relinquishing our faith! The basilica was beautiful, ornate and refined. As a service was running, all visitors had to maintain noise levels to a minimum, but I wandered around in awe of the splendour of the basilica’s architectural design. Once we finished taking a tour around the basilica, we were treated to the beautiful view mistily enveloped by the fog that had descended on Paris. The basilica is located at the top of a hill which I had somehow failed to notice when we arrived at the location. I could just imagine how much more beautiful it would look once the fog had lifted.
Afterwards, we took an Uber (we took a lot of Ubers!) to Galeries Lafayette, a department store. I hadn’t realised that it was a high-street retailer and I was taken aback by the prices! Literally, all I could afford there was food, that’s how expensive it was! Surprisingly, the macaroons tasted a lot better at the department store than it did at Laduree and was slightly more affordable as well. My sister went on a hunt for a teddy bear – albeit she specified a weird looking toy in actuality – for her friend to no avail. Galeries Lafayatte was strikingly resplendent, and I found it difficult to tear my eyes away from the dome of the store – and aesthetically pleasing locations are a significant contributor to happiness, right?! Who wouldn’t feel lighter and brighter at a beautiful place?
Unsatisfied with the non-existent shopping we had done, we decided to take an (other!) Uber to Les Halles instead. And, now, this is the freaky part. I had a dream about this, this shopping store, and I dreamt that I would walk across a specific black and white corner (it was a Sephora store and I’m annoyed that I didn’t make any ColourPop purchases, how rude of me to do this to myself). And now, after a month, I stumbled across a place that had frequented my dreams during my teenage years, and I’m even more freaked out because I’m running out of places I’ve dreamt about, so what does this signify?! Back to normal and non-weird talk, we bought gifts for our family and I purchased another headband… I was having a headband phase which I’m now over, but tell that to lamenting headbands in my closet wilting away.
After this, we needed to eat dinner, so we headed to a restaurant nearby our hotel and, yay, it was Indian food, and, of course, I ordered biryani (bottom right) – my numero deux love of my life (lamb chop curry is numero uno, obviously). The biryani was exquisite, and we had a great time along with my uncle who joined us for dinner. With yummy food in our tummies, we headed home satisfied. I showered and went to bed, already knowing that I was going to miss the bed that gave me nights of bliss. Ew, that sounds bad, but okay.
As we booked an early Eurostar, we woke up early and made our way to Gare du Nord. I purchased a mocha for the train journey, bread, and tartlette fraise (fruity desserts are the best desserts). I made a last-minute book purchase: ‘Paris Revealed: The Secret Life of a City‘, and I can’t wait to get around to reading this! Also, if you’re a Londoner or visiting London, the best bookstore for books on cities and countries around the globe is Waterstones Gower Street, they have such a vast collection naturally, it is located near SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) after all.
Now, this is when things went haywire. Paris Customs has such a bizarre and complex approach to passport control. We had to scan our passport to go through the barriers, but the process itself is lengthy with little to no help from customer service who vaguely explain the process as if we’re traveling aficionados. It took me a couple of minutes to get through. But my sister, who has serious anxiety, was struggling to get through for a good 5-10 minutes and began panicking which escalated into a teary panic attack. As my mum and myself were already through the barriers, my sister was stuck on the other side unable to get through. I asked a customer service rep if I could move forward to help my sister, a 16-year-old, as she has anxiety and he promptly replied that her mental health is not any of their concern. D****. What total d****. They finally told us that she could go to the office, located right next to the barriers, and go through a customer service rep to verify her passport. A wonderful woman who, like us, was experiencing the same issue with her daughter, asked her daughter to accompany my sister, so that they could go through it together. They finally got through, but, seriously?!?!?! If there’s an easier process, customer service rep need to inform customers! I found out after we landed that my aunt’s family went through the same thing and what’s even crazier is that they asked a 6/7-year-old to go through their elaborate and poorly-explained passport control by herself while her mother, father and brother were on the other side – I… wow. Okay. You’re gonna tell a whole 6/7-year-old to go through it by her own. No brain cells were used throughout the process of this creation. Clearly.
Anyway, after that incident, I was glad to be on the Eurostar and go home. I enjoyed my trip to Paris, despite the bizarre customs process and I think I’ve discovered my travelling style – just explore the streets and go on detours and find a lively, busy and bustling scene and immerse myself in the wonderful adventure that is travelling.
Questions for you, reader:
Which tourist attractions have been your favourite so far and which tourist attractions are on your list of places you want to visit? Do you enjoy shopping when you’re travelling? What books and bookstores would you recommend if you want to learn more about the life and histories of various countries? What’s your go to tea/coffee choice for long train journeys? What’s the worst customer service experience you’ve ever been on the receiving end of or witnessed? Let me know in the comments!
Connect with me: