Bonjour mes amis! Firstly, if there’s anyone French or from a French speaking country – I would like to apologise if that first sentence is spelt wrong in any way. I keep just making up phrases in my head without knowing if they’re grammatically correct. Today I wanted to share with you my first ever time in Paris!
Here’s the long promised update on our trip to Paris, more specifically Disneyland Paris! I’m still coming down from the high from being there.
Paris Day 1
Tuesday morning had us all awake early and ready to leave the flat by 9am. Our taxi driver was great, full of life and willing to have a conversation with us. Don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at a conversation! When we got to the airport, Jason and Nuala were ready for their second breakfasts of the day and so we sat in Frankie and Benny’s until our gate was announced.
While we ate and had a laugh at Jason’s money belt that he had bought en route to the airport, our gate was announced but we were going to be delayed. Not my idea of fun but it seems I can’t fly anywhere without there being some sort of delay! Eventually we got to board the plane and we were off – I was finally heading to Paris!
Almost an hour and a half later than expected, we got to the hotel and stood in awe for a second before we walked in. Called the Vienna House Dream Castle, it certainly was a dream castle!
And that was only from the outside. We went and got checked in before snapping a few pictures of the reception area. Mary got some better photos and hasn’t sent us them yet otherwise I would share them but for now, here’s Jason and Nuala having a bit of fun.
We got some directions from two members of staff as to how to get in towards the city centre and the tourist destinations, forgetting just how big Paris is and expecting to be able to get around the main things you think of when someone says they’re going to Paris. In the end, we settled for heading towards Chatalet-Les Halles so we could see the Notre Dame across the water and maybe have some good food since by now we were all starving – it was 5pm before we knew it! The hotel ran a shuttle bus to Disneyland and the train station beside it and so we jumped aboard with all the lucky people going into the land of dreams. Leaving those fortunate people, we walked into what was possibly the biggest train station I remember ever having been in! Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the stations I was in in London are bigger but this one felt massive. Especially with it being my first time abroad without an appropriate adult, this time I was the responsible adult – scary stuff! At this stage, Nuala took charge and managed to lead us to a ticket desk and onto the train, she actually seemed to know where to go!
Jumping onto a train, we were all delighted with ourselves for actually getting this far. The only thing was, travel is very tiring. At this time, I’d like to say that Mary was actually there, I just don’t have any pictures of her until later in the trip. Oh, before I forget, did you know that French trains have 3 floors?? You get on and can either go up stairs or down to get seats, it was so confusing and yet brilliant at the same time. Just think how many more people could fit on our trains if we did this! It didn’t take long for Jason and Nuala to start trying to nap on our journey.
After almost an hour on the train, we arrived at our destination, not really sure of where we were, how we got there or even how to get out of the train station! Following the crowds, we found a M&S Simply Food and then sussed out an exit that took us into a big shopping centre with a cinema and swimming pool. Looking at a map, we now know we arrived in the Nelson Mandela Gardens and set off in the hunt for food and somewhere that would actually be able to feed Nuala – being a coeliac in Paris doesn’t seem like that fun an adventure. However, we did find a bakery that sold gluten free cakes and cookies – look at how happy Nuala was!
After a while, we gave up finding somewhere with gluten free meals and settled for somewhere Nuala could have a salad and the rest of us could eat for a reasonable price, and boy did we find it! Three courses for 30 euros? Yes please! We tried our first ever snails, drank good cheap wine, ate a load of cheese and finally were satisfied.
After dinner, we found a bar serving cocktails for 5.50 euros and they were that strong even Jason had difficulty drinking them quickly! Two drinks later, we decided we should start heading back so as not to be completely drunk and lost in a new city. As expected, the journey home was a lot more simple than the journey there. That night, we all got into bed and crashed as quickly as you could imagine.
Wow that was a lot longer than I anticipated, maybe I should stop here and give you all a break… Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Come back later for the news and pictures of Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios and our journey home! Which you can now read here!