Last September 2017, my family and I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. We are five persons from Indonesia. But there are my cousin and his friend who will pick us up at the airport and accompany us for a walk while in Paris. So seven persons in total.
Initially we planned to go for a day (24 hours) in Paris. But the reality was not until 24 hours in Paris. This was because our plane is delayed 8 hours in Bangkok. We were supposed to arrive in Paris on September 26, 2017 at 07.00 Paris time. But due to delay, so we arrived in Paris on September 26, 2017 at 15:00 Paris time.
The time difference between Paris and Jakarta in September is 5 hours. If at 15:00 Paris time, it means at 20:00 Jakarta / Bangkok time. But for November, the time difference is 6 hours. So the time difference depends on the month too.
DRAMA IN CDG AIRPORT
At first my family and I were afraid of jet lag. Because this was the first time we have boarded a long-distance flight, 12 hours on a plane from Bangkok to Paris, which is 08.00 hours Jakarta / Bangkok time until 15.00 hours Paris time. There are some friends and relatives who say, so as not to jet lag we have to sleep in the plane.
At that time on the plane I could not sleep at all. But when I got to Paris, I didn’t feel jet lag. There are only some time that make my head dizzy, heart palpitations, stomachache, cold sweat too.
Once the plane arrived in Paris, my father suddenly wanted to go to the toilet that was in the plane. Because there were already many people who wanted to get out of the plane, I had to come out too and wait for my father outside. Wait a while, how come my dad hasn’t come out yet either.
“Where is my dad?” I asked the Thai Airways officer on the plane. “He is outside. He walked out from the other side.”, Replied the Thai Airways officer. Oh man, apparently there are two exits on the plane. My dad has come out through the other door. I immediately went out to chase my Papa, but I couldn’t find it. Finally I tried to ask the officer at the Airport, what should I do if my daddy was missing. If baggage usually has a counter for Lost & Found, how come people don’t exist. I at that time with a sad face asked the officer at the Airport whose facial expressions and manner of speech were super annoying.
“Bienvenue à Paris! Welcome to Paris!” This is Paris, whose people are ignorant, annoying, rude, and they don’t want to care if they don’t use French. She said, just try to get out of Immigration first, who knows you have come out of Immigration. But the way she convey, the tone of speech, and the expression on her face was really annoying. In short, finally from a distance my father called out. It turned out he had been waiting in line to get out of Immigration, but he turned back again to look for us. And at that moment, everyone saw us. Drama oh Drama.
Because there was this little drama, we finally got out of the airport at around 17:00. There were a cousin of mine and his friend who have been waiting for us at the airport. I also felt very calm when I met my cousin and his friend. Because there can’t be any more “lost drama”. My cousin friend is an Indonesian who can speak French.
FROM CDG AIRPORT TO PARIS CITY CENTER
We immediately bought RER T + one way tickets to Paris City Center. A T + ticket from CDG Airport to Paris City Center is 10.3 Euros per person. At that time we tried to buy tickets through the machine, but failed. Finally we bought the tickets directly at the counter. Although the counter guard is a bit too cynical, but at least she is more helpful than the officer in the airport earlier.
Our first purpose is to put baggage first and rest for a while at the hotel. Fortunately, we only need to ride RER train, no need to transit, to get to the hotel. The journey from CDG Airport to our Hotel on Boulevard Saint Michel was about 45 minutes.
DINNER AND WALK AT NIGHT IN PARIS
Because our itinerary in Paris failed, so on arrival at the hotel, we had to rearrange the itinerary. We also had to find the best place to eat, could be reached by foot from the hotel, and which provided Vegetarian food for our dinner at that time. Luckily before leaving, I already had a list of Vegetarian Restaurants, one of those was near the hotel too. My cousin friend immediately called to the restaurant to reserve a seat, because usually restaurants in Paris require us to reserve a seat first.
In short, finally at 20:30 local time we walked from the hotel to the Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant called Saveurs Végét’halles. Thanks to the help of Google Maps, we arrived at the restaurant around 21:00. That means it’s 02.00 p.m. Jakarta time. It really feels a bit dizzy, because usually at 2 am Jakarta time, we are already sleeping. But at that time we just want to have dinner. The food at this Vege restaurant is delicious, suitable for our tongue. But the portions are super large. 1 portion can be for 2 persons. For the menu and prices, please check on the website.
The time showed 22.00 pm local time when we finished eating our dinner. I think we went straight back to the hotel. Apparently, my cousin’s friend invited us to go for a night walk in Paris first. Because the next day we could only walk to the Eiffel Tower, because at 11:22 am we would take the TGV fast train from Paris to Bordeaux.
Night walk in Paris turned out to be very pleasant for me. The air is cool, quiet, not many people passing by, the scenery is also very beautiful at night. I was amazed by the building in Paris. Even so, I must not be careless, because in Paris it is very famous for its pickpocket cases. So you have to stay alert.
At that time the choice was only 2, want to go to Notre Dame Cathedral or to the Louvre Museum. Finally, we chose Notre Dame Cathedral. To get there we passed the Seine River, then from a distance we also saw the Eiffel Tower. It’s sooo beautiful. There are friends who say that the Eiffel Tower looks more beautiful at night. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to be able to enjoy Eiffel Tower up close at night.
At around 22:30 pm local time, we arrived at Notre Dame Cathedral. This is one of the most famous Catholic cathedrals in the world. At that time we only admired the cathedral from the outside. Taking pictures for a while, then go straight back to the hotel by foot.
BREAKFAST IN TROCADERO
If you read my version of the Complete Travel Guide to Paris, I said that there are 2 places to be able to enjoy the beauty of the Eiffel Tower in Paris: Champ de Mars and Trocadéro. Because Trocadéro is the most popular place, I decided to go there.
We took the Metro (subway) from Cluny La Sorbonne to Trocadéro. Ticket price for T + one way is 1.49 Euro. Based on the route suggested by Paris Metro – application to find out the Paris Metro route – from Cluny La Sorbonne we must transit first at La Motte Picquet Grenelle, then change to line 6 (Light Green) to Trocadéro.
On the way to Trocadéro, we saw a view of the Eiffel Tower also from inside the train. Can’t wait to get to Trocadéro! After 50 minutes on the way, finally at 0.50.50 we arrived at Trocadéro. Because at that time in Paris it was still quite dark, the view of the Eiffel Tower was not so good.
We also thought to have breakfast first, then after the photos with the Eiffel Tower. But we briefly took a few pictures with Eiffel Tower. Because we did not want to bother looking for a restaurant, we finally decided to have breakfast at the restaurant which was directly opposite Trocadéro.
“Bonjour!” Greeted the Le Wilson Restaurant waiter that morning. The restaurant provides 3 breakfast packages. Different packages, of course different prices. At that time my mother and I chose package number 2, which cost 12.5 Euros (or around Rp. 200,000). That price includes warm drinks (can choose between White Coffee, Hot Chocolate, or Tea), cold drinks (can choose between Orange Juice or 1/4 Bottle mineral water), 2 fried eggs with Ham / Bacon / Cheese, Croissant or Bread and butter or toasts.
Although it’s a bit expensive – the price for breakfast is not much different from lunch – but the food is delicious! In my opinion, the price is worth it for taste, location, and service. For menus and prices, please check on the website.
TROCADERO, EIFFEL TOWER
After being full for breakfast at Le Wilson, we crossed the road again to Trocadéro. But we also have to be disappointed, because the Eiffel Tower is covered in half fog! 🙁 Luckily this morning we had a few photos with Eiffel Tower, even though the conditions were still a bit dark. The weather was indeed unpredictable. It could rain, but luckily at that time we were just foggy. If it’s raining, it’s more troublesome.
Even though the Eiffel is covered in fog, there are still many couples doing pre-wedding photo session. There were 3 couples who taking pre-wedding photos. Not to mention there was also an intimate dating here. The atmosphere is getting hot, even though the weather is actually rather cold and cloudy.
We finally walked to the exact in front of the Eiffel Tower. There are lots of “black people” here who sell the Eiffel Tower key chains. Because they know that we are Indonesian – it seems like they know from the language we use – so they offered us in Bahasa. “Beli 3 gratis 1 (Buy 3 get 1 free),” seduced the seller. But we did not bother them, so we just taking photos with Eiffel Tower. It’s because we also don’t have much time left here. Our train from Paris to Bordeaux will depart at 11.52, while at that time it shows around 09.15. Not to mention we still have to check out from the hotel. Afraid to miss the train, we immediately returned to the hotel again.
LATIN QUARTER, SHAKESPEARE & CO BOOKSTORE
Before departure, I have made a list of places that I want to visit in Paris. Because the schedule was a mess, I also had to prioritize which places I should visit on this occasion. I have crossed out Notre Dame Cathedral, Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, and one more thing that I want to cross out is Shakespeare & Co Bookstore in the Latin Quarter. Because our hotel is in the Latin Quarter too, so it’s easy to reach on foot.
The time showed 10 am when we arrived at the hotel from Trocadero. I along with dad and two cousins went to Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore by foot. It’s really nice to walk around the Latin Quarter. Feels like it was in Paris back then 😀 Arriving at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore, we only looked around briefly, took a few pictures, then returned to the hotel again. Since 11.00 we had to leave from the hotel for the Paris Gare Montparnasse train station.
PARIS, I’LL BE BACK
It’s not enough just 1 day (less than 1 day!) In Paris. There are still many tourist attractions in Paris that I want to visit. Paris Opera, The Louvre, Palais Royal, Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, etc. Even though when I was in Paris I felt insecure because there were many cases of pickpocket, the local people are unfriendly, but still I really wanna go there again one day.
À bientôt, Paris!