Before this trip to Paris I always used to joke about the fact that I grew up about 2,5 hours from Paris, but had never been there. My most visited city is probably Bangkok with 15 times and until last November I also had never been to London either. Traveling in Europe is not really on my bucketlist as I have been to most of the countries and the destinations are kind of too standard for me. I will visit these cities when I am 60 I always say. Right now I rather sit in a dodgy little bus crossing the cheap countries in Central America or something like that.
So why did I travel to Paris? Surgery…
Little side note: about a week ago the hard disk of my old Macbook crashed. Im super happy with my new Macbook. But for those €1,500 I could have also spend two months in Thailand, you know me. Anyway worst thing was that my my files could not be retrieved from my old Macbook. I actually already wrote a funny blog post about my trip to Paris. :(
Let’s see if I can repeat that!
Much time to recover from my fantastic trip to Namibia I didn't have. Just 36 hours in Netherlands before I had to get to my bus to Paris. A bus? Yes! Traveling by bus is the way to get around in Europe on a budget. I mean what if a train cost €90 and a bus ticket only €15? Easy choice right? How? Flixbus is the answer! Check out the prices on Omio, formerly GoEuro.
- Trips from Amsterdam to Copenhagen? €30
- From Paris to London? €15
Arriving in Paris
It was an overnight bus and from Maastricht via Brussel I arrived in Paris about 6,5 hours later at Paris Bercy. IT was early morning and as soon as we stopped a team from France border police got into the bus interrogating everyone asking the most stupid questions. So you are a blogger? How do you earn money? Why are you in Paris? Surgery! Plastic surgery? I looked at him like saying WTF! He was not happy with me but finally let me got off the bus.
Arriving at Paris Airport? Read this guide if you are interested in buying a sim card for tourists.
Thanks for the warm welcome France…
This is the line for a taxi, it is like an amusement park. People are crazy!
I of course had no clue where to go yet and needed to find my way to the hospital. Yep, I didn't come to see the Eiffel Tower, but more about that later. I sat down in a nearby train station with free WiFi. Within a minute two ‘French’ guys in a tracking suit looking way too cool for school came up to me speaking something in French on a serious tone. As I was already annoyed I looked at them just as arrogant saying: if you want something you have to speak English! This is my sofa, not yours, move! Haha you must be kidding me idiot I thought but ok, I already was about to grab my bag and move on but I didn't even get the chance. The two idiots suddenly ran away fast. In a split second I thought they stole something from me, but that was impossible. Did I look so cool? LOL! A second later I saw a heavily armed police force entering the train station.
Ok, I feel safe now Paris!
The hospital was not too far away anymore and I had two more spare hours so I decided to enter a coffee place for a cappuccino. That is €4,20! Damn mate hope your coffee is gonna be good! Here you go! No sorry I ordered a cappuccino not a coffee with milk. This is a cappuccino! No it is not, can I please have a new one! I was not making friends in the country! LOL
Oh Paris you are so not my city I thought, why am I here! Exactly reasons like this is why I don’t like to travel in Europe. Everyone always questions the safety of the countries I travel to, but I can tell you that on my trip to Bangladesh I had not been harassed a single second, or when traveling to Thailand I had problems with locals. It is not that I don’t feel safe in Europe, but I do keep an eye on everything surrounding me. Not constantly but it at least is on my mind to be aware.
But don’t be too harsh for one of the most loved cities in the world Tom. You are only here for a couple hours. Give Paris a chance!
This streetlife picture of Paris looks actually super laid-back! May be I am gonna like it I thought... :)
Staying at Hotel California Paris
It was a real pleasure to get out of the metro walking up to the Champs Elysees. Looking right at the Arc de Triomph knowing that my hotel was just a few steps away from this landmark made me smile. Hotel California is located in a quiet side street just 100 meters away from Champs Elysees. When I arrived the guy surprisingly knew my name. Simply someone speaking English was already a blessing. Sorry I cant help it to say but if you are looking for Enlgish speaking people in Paris you gotta do your best. At Hotel California they all spoke perfect English and service of the friendly staff was extraordinary from the moment I arrived.
I got a room with street view and a bottle of wine and some macaroons were waiting for me on arrival. Wouldn't you want to walk into a room in Paris like this?
The location of this hotel was simply perfect being so close to many landmarks.
In a city so expensive I was also super happy with the buffet breakfast provided at Hotel California. You know I like to stay fit while traveling so if you have fresh cut fruits and nuts for breakfast I am a happy man!
Weekend in Paris
So what to do on your first trip to Paris I asked myself. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomph, Louvre and simply get lost in the streets and sip on too expensive drinks on the terraces. After another overly expensive coffee and extremely shit service I kind of gave up on that last thing, but I of course went to see the Eiffel Tower. It was a rainy night and couldn’t sleep so I decided to walk in the rain in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. It was my first sight ever of this world famous building. I admit it looked amazing, but I do expected it to be bigger honestly.
Of course I also had to find out what was the best prepaid sim card in France and where to buy it in Paris. Travelers help travelers so I did a little research and got lost in the narrow streets trying to find the France mobile operator shops. Getting lost is all part of the fun of exploring a city and I found lovely little hidden squares with terraces. Did I start to like Paris? :)
Of course I understand why people travel to Paris, it is a unique city! Even me got impressed, but it did take a little while. It will probably never become my all time favorite as spending a weekend in Paris will always cost a lot of money and since I have traveled so much I tend to compare. Probably a strange to many people but I feel more at home in Bangkok…
Now I at least can say can say that I have been to Paris, but no I did not get in line at the Louis Vuitton! But why again did I actually come to Paris?
Eardrum surgery in Paris
As I told you already the reason I traveled to Paris was because of a surgery. So what was going and why in Paris? I don't like to call myself a professional travel blogger, I rather say I am a professional adventurer. Traveling is my number one passion and everything that is an adventure I love doing. Flying first class with Qatar Airways? Yes please! Hitchhiking in Namibia? Yes sure! On my Instagram account you can see me doing the craziest things, but what you probably miss is scuba diving! Before I started blogging I loved scuba diving around the world and in 2014 I decided to do my Divemaster training in Koh Tao and then it happened… I ruptured my eardrum!
Ever since it never healed and here we are now in Paris: getting it fixed! I found a surgeon specialised in fixing eardrums for scuba divers, so fingers crossed!
As you can see on the photo all went well and this is how I walked out of the hospital. Thank you all for encouraging messages. I am still replying to those people who wished me all the best, I was overwhelmed how many people actually took time to send me a message! You guys are the best...