Solo travel. It is something that has frightened the living daylights out of me for as long as I can remember. I have put it off pretty much since I turned 18 but with the help of anti-anxiety medication I decided that it was now or never! If I didn’t do it now whilst I have the courage I would never do it!
The decision to take the jump was made in July last year when tickets for the Shadowhunters convention affectionately known as THOS2 went on sale. I have never wanted to attend an event as much as I did this one and Paris, where it is located ticked two of the boxes for first solo trip locations.
- somewhere I have already been before
- somewhere not to close from home eg. Europe
I woke up bright and early on Friday 15 June. 4.30am to be precise and my gem of a father drove me to Southampton Airport. Now I’m not afraid of flying but I’m not the biggest fan of it so this in itself was a rather big deal but it all went smoothly, no delays and we got to Paris slightly earlier than expected. After queuing in the worlds longest queue for train tickets I managed to navigate my way to Notre Dame from the airport by using the RER service. The station is literally looking right at Notre Dame (which is stunningly beautiful). I took some time to sit down and take in my surroundings and take a few pictures of the building before heading off in search of the bus tour I had booked.
Big Red Bus Tour operate in lots of cities around the world however this was my first time trying them. There was a stop right next to Notre Dame so I hopped straight on and did the tour in a loop. I managed to see so many sights from the comfort of the bus, which was great as as I said i have visited before so didn’t really need to go properly exploring. You get some amazing views from the bus of the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, Paris Opera building, The Louvre and many more iconic landmarks. The whole tour took around 2hr30 in total if you don’t get on and off but you do have the option of getting off and exploring at each stop.
Once I had done one entire loop of the city, I stayed on for one extra stop a hopped of at the Champs Elysee to do a spot of shopping and grab some food! I had a delicious slice of pizza from Brioche Dorée and then headed to the Mecca that is Sephora. I think this is possibly the biggest and grandest sephora i had ever been in. It was HUGE, had security and a red carpet! I managed to control myself though and only walked away with a handful of face masks.
Then my proudest moment, was navigating my way to the convention hotel, which is quite a way out of the main city. It took 3 trains and a bit of a walk but I didn’t get lost a single time and managed to navigate without any help from anyone apart from google maps! After collecting my pass for the convention and getting settled into my room. I met up with some friends and we headed back into the city to see the Eiffel Tower properly.
We managed to get some amazing shots and it truly is a stunning piece of architecture! After that we pretty much all crashed back at the hotel room!
Whilst I spent all weekend in Paris itself I only spent the first 12 hrs exploring! If you had 12 hrs in Paris where would be your must visit locations? Let me know in the comments below.
COMING SOON: The Convention Blog Post