WOW!!! Finally my dream came true…to be in Paris for my birthday. What I have learnt in my life so far is …that when you want something you have to fight for it and in case you are too subtle for this “Universe”…well, make it happen on your own 😋...just to make sure you get it. More or less this is the big picture of our trip with the van.
So, the “excuse” for travelling to Paris was an amazing concert: ZAZ on 22nd of March while my bday is on 24th of March..Isn’t that fascinating????? And lately, I got stuck with this phrase “Be careful what you wish for!” And as I love travelling together with my hubbie and Horea, my 5 years old son: Paris, be careful, we are coming: a Romanian family in a minivan camper.
Paris is so astonishing in sooooo many ways, but I really had mixed feelings about it: hate it or love it? Not sure 100% which one is stronger.
Have a look below from where we got those mix feelings!
6 Things We Loved About Paris
- ZAZ concert
Have you ever wanted so bad to hear a song live, to feel the bit, the voice, to see the moves and excitement around you?
I love live concerts! I love the energy of crowds singing together, the feelings you get when you see that peace and love can prevail on Earth based just on music - I know, I sound a bit too positive and unrealistic, but it is just amazing how music can bring together so different people, from many countries, speaking different languages, but singing the same songs, having different color skin and different religion….and I will keep asking myself how come this is not possible to see all over the world? How come we, as human beings, are so cruel and insensitive in general?
Horea enjoyed the concert as well and it is amazing to see his joy and enthusiasm to hear live music and get into that energy.
The concert was astonishing and I will leave you here a piece of one of my favourite ZAZ’s song: Je veux.
- Baguettes and croissants
I have always wanted to try the real croissant directly from the source. OMG!!! They are just amazing, while the baguettes are delicious made with different cereals and seeds, so many choices for every taste.
We have tried them also in Luxembourg, but the taste was not the same. Definitely the croissants and the baguettes are on the MUST TRY list while you are in France.
- Eiffel Tower during night
After one day of walking in Paris we have finally reached the Eiffel Tower as Horea really wanted to see it in the evening. We have seen it the whole day from far away while enjoying our walk in Paris, but during night with all his lights on it was WOW!!! A very nice visual experience…
You can reach the top of the tower if you are up to. We were too tired to even have the patience to get to the escalator…so, we have chosen to walk away. I can imagine is just outstanding to see Paris during night from top of the Eiffel Tower.
- The horse gendarmerie (Horea was really excited about it)
The touristic areas are under the surveillance of the horse gendarmerie. It is quite impressive to see the horses and their calm.
Also, seeing them in action comes with extra drama and WOW effects. Kids can get very excited and they will get an extra idea of imaginary play.
- Hop-on Hop-off electric scooter
The hop-on hop-off electric scooter is a very convenient way to visit the city. You can take your scooter wherever you can find it and leave it almost wherever you want. There are some rules to be followed depending on the scooter provider. You will have to install an app (the app depends on the provider) to be able to pay your ride. You will find all the needed details on the scooter itself.
The architecture of Paris is just astonishing bringing together in harmony styles from the Middle Ages and 21st century. It is the haven of all architecture lovers. The history of the architecture is so vast and incredible. As Horea was asking us loads of question it was the perfect moment for us to learn more about this subject and understand how Paris has developed over centuries.
So, we have seen the Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (OMG and meanwhile I was trying to put together this article the Cathedral was set on fire), the Grand Palais, the Arc de Triomphe, the École Militaire, the Renaissance wing of the Louvre and the modern one.
A good question we had got from some of our friends was if we have visited Disneyland. Well, no, we haven’t been to Disney. We had considered that it’s not really our focus, while Horea is not aware of Disney cartoons and their characters. He might have heard about some of them from his friends or he saw them on some of his clothes, but that’s it. But I can imagine it can be a very nice experience…of course, if it is not too crowded and you do not have to spend too much time waiting in a queue.
While Paris can be wonderful, I feel that it has lost its French allure and real Parisians are a rarity. We came across with some aspects of Paris that created kind of mixed feelings: either you love it, either you hate it….more or less.
6 Things We Really Hated in Paris
- Eiffel Tower dirty area
We were really hit by the dirt found near the Eiffel Tower. Amazing place, but the smell and the garbage on the streets outside the visiting area of the tower was too much to handle for me. I have been travelling a bit; I have been in India couple of times, in Kenya, and other European countries, but my expectations for a clean Paris were really high. I have to remember that travelling without expectations, only with the joy of learning and discovering new and new things is more rewarding.
- The lack of implication from the government to find a solution for emigrants
This is just our subjective opinion as tourists. We are not leaving in Paris so we should not know the efforts made by the authorities in this direction, but Bogdan was saying that in this direction not much has changed from his last visit in Paris 22 years ago.
The touristic places in Paris are being packed with emigrants (and not only for sure) who are trying to sell things I guess to make a living. I got so mixed feelings. Why? As an empath, having the ability to feel everyone’s emotions (still I cannot adjust, control this ability in a more beneficial way for myself) and giving all my energy away, suffering for days, even years for something I had seen or experienced in the past…I am wondering if we cannot find solutions for the emigrants, for people trying to make a living. I can imagine some of the implications: loads of money, education, programs for making them part of the society and maybe most of them do not want to be part, but there must be some solutions. I hope that one day this world will be all about peace and love ..and yes, I know, I am a dreamer, but I refuse to give up and one day I will be able to do more than I am doing in this direction.
Horea was asking us why the horse-gendarmes are chasing those people away. Hard to explain to a 5 years old kid, but he was happy with the explanation in the end.
- The touristic areas have lost the French allure
Yep, it is a rarity to see nowadays a Parisian in Paris. And it is a normal path with the globalization and the tourists all over the world…but still…we were kind of missing the French allure. Again, expectations!!!
- The Champs Elysées devastation after the violent protests
This was another hit for my empath side. The buildings on the famous Champs Elysées Boulevard were severe damaged. We have seen devastated stores which were literally barricaded with different materials to protect the glass displays and advertising materials.
- The complicated and under-explained public transport
The first interaction with the subway and trains public transport in Paris was a bit confusing for us. While we were trying to reach the ZAZ concert location we have seen ourselves trapped in finding a map or information what types of tickets to buy to be valid outside the city and inside the city. Paris, itself is a small city, but it has encapsulated the areas near it and it has transformed itself in a huge metropolitan area named Paris. While we get this, we were unable to figure out from the beginning what are the station inside the original Paris and when you are outside Paris…as the tickets for public transport where different, of course. But we get it in the end with the help of a lovely lady. Thanks for that as we were able to reach the concert in time…maybe even too early.
- The dust on the ground near the touristic areas from the sand ”pavement”
We were covered by this dust especially when the gendarmes where crossing by with their horses galloping. Definitely not the best street covering option. By the end of the day I had dust on all my clothes, shoes, in my mouth, breathing it all day.
Even so, I am sure I will get in Paris soon again. Why? I am a big fan of live concerts and I would love to go back and get locked in Louvre for at least one month just to explore the art pieces.
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