Paris has always been a dream of mine. I always dreamed about walking up and down the streets, eating pastries and sitting on the grass with a view of the Eiffel Tower, maybe even having a sneaky drink of champagne. Paris, in real life, is all of that and more. It is a place I can see myself visiting many more time in the future, to bask in the sun underneath the Eiffel Tower, or to wander around the city exploring with a croissant or macaroon in my hand.
On our first day of the Contiki tour, we woke very early to make the journey from London all the way to Paris. Though I was exhausted, due to a late night of drinking and getting to know everyone the night before (even though I said I was only going out for one drink- a theme which will resonate over the next three weeks), I was extremely excited for what the next twenty days will bring.
On the coach that morning we seemed to have found our “designated” seats. Though I said I wouldn’t do it, due to my fond memories of being car sick as a child, I ended up sitting at the back of the coach with a group of people, who, though I didn’t know at that point, would become an amazing bunch of friends.
We arrived in Paris in the evening, where we checked into our hotel for the next two nights. My roommate, Gemma, was someone who I became pretty close with. She is someone who speaks the truth no matter what, and I definitely appreciated it. And even though we were going to be roomies over the next three weeks, it was very rare for us to be sleeping in the same room :O
Downstairs, we had our first dinner as a group. This included toasting the start of the trip with champagne, and having our first try of escargot, which surprisingly wasn’t bad at all! After a somewhat unappetising dinner, we headed back onto the coach where we did a night tour of Paris. This involved driving around Paris and seeing all the sites, and jumping off now and then to take some photos. This drive definitely got me excited to see everything the next day.
Back to the hotel, we all headed over to the local pub where we somehow managed to play a game of “Never have I ever” with nearly fifty people. It was obviously a great ice breaker and a good way of getting to know the people we were spending the next three weeks with. After the game, and a few beers and shots in, another Contiki bus turned up. The pub then turned into a crazy dance floor, though I ended up sitting to the side with a friend Caleb, and getting to know him more personally. It definitely wasn’t the craziest night we would have, but it was a great opportunity to make friends and get to know everyone.
The next day we had a whole free day to wonder around Paris. A group of about ten of us decided to brave the heat and wonder around Paris to see all the tourist attractions. We saw the Louvre, ate macaroons from Laduree, and fought off all the other tourists to see the Eiffel Tower. It was such a fabulous day, I didn’t want to go home.
After a quick stop back at the hotel for a much needed shower, we headed back onto the coach. We then walked up what felt like a million steps to the Sacre Coeur and took a group photo, before heading to our French dinner. French onion soup, duck and a few too many glasses of wine later we headed across to the Nouvelle Eve cabaret show, where we were entertained whilst drinking too much champagne.
After the cabaret, we headed across to a local bar where there was live music and the alcohol was flowing. It was great fun to sing and dance with everyone and a great place to end our night in Paris.
However, I should have known that the night would not end at the bar. With Gemma feeling very drunk, we took her back to the hotel (had the most hilarious taxi driver called “Lion”, where I ended up having to calm down the boys who were running up and down the hallways drunk and naked, knocking on everyones doors. It was definitely a wake up call to how this tour would go- lots of drunk shenanigans, and LOTS of nakedness.
Paris was definitely a wonderful experience, and is somewhere I want to go back and spend loads more time at in the near future. Onwards to the Beaujolais Wine Region and many more drunken and naked shenanigans.
“Paris is always a good idea”.