25 October 2014

15.10.2014 // Walk around Paris

Well that took a while, to open this blog and finish these damn posts. I have had some pretty lazy days after returning to Finland, as traveling is exhausting! I have been trying to get over those vacation-blues but I just want to go back already. That is why I have not felt like going trough all the pics. But here it is, my thoughts on Paris. Be ready to scroll - just a few pics ahead(as I have the worst memory ever so I wanted to make sure to remember how pretty this place is!)


My second day in Paris started off early and full off energy. I had a list of what to see during the day and I even made this little map for myself, you definitely won't get lost with this one lol :-D
10 places done, four to go
The plan was to be a full-on tourist and see all the must-haves, and it turned out to be a perfect tour around the city center. (I was out and about for the whole day so a huge shoutout to my Nike Roshe Runs!! Without them I would have not survived walking around for 12 hours and probably closer to 30 km. The perfect shoe for an active vacation for sure.) Even with the plan, I just went with the flow and explored the beautiful Paris as I wanted. And of course had some delicious coffee breaks every once in a while ;-)
How could I not stop and get a little somethingsomething in here?
Place de la Concorde
Jardin Tuileries
École du Louvre
Louvre Palace
Pyramide du Louvre
Right at my first sightseeing stop it started raining but not so much that I would have bothered to buy an umbrella. There were so many of those annoying sellers around the sightseeing places, pushing you to buy one and they just didn't want to believe I would survive without! Otherwise it was the perfect weather, not too hot with +19'C and some slight overcast. 
Ile de la Cité
Le Palais Royal
French art students having their class at Palais Royal
The black door had a pretty fascinating story I heard from an old frenchman. There used to be one of the best restaurants in Paris on the second floor and this street was one of the busiest streets with important people hanging around. Also, a lot of prostitutes..
Galerie Vivienne
Something more upsetting happened though. When I was perfecting my pics at the Tuileries Garden this woman came up to me asking if I speak english. Of course being a proper citizen, I was happy to help her. Or that is what I thought she wanted. She told me to write my name on this piece of paper and in the end of our conversation started to demand for money! At this point I kind of put together the pieces that this was not some charity thing but something I do not want to support, and also probably illegal. As she saw I had some cash with me, she got super angry I didn't want to give them to her. I got so mad and upset I actually went and believed her in the beginning!
This street had some awesome menswear for sale, and some handsome people hanging around ;-)
Place Dauphine
Troughout the day I took so many pictures, met some awesome people telling me all these cool stories behind the places and just took in all the beautifulness of Paris! I am obsessed with the architecture - everything was just so pretty I could not get my head around it. I must have looked like one of those Japanese tourists taking pics of even the apples in the supermarket(well i didn't but almost..). So no need to confirm the fact that I totally fell in love with Paris and am already craving for more!
I just love these French buildings and their rooftop gardens!
Wouldn't mind living in these apartments either!
I love traveling alone as you get to decide all everything by yourself; the schedule and so on. You don't have to compromise so go to some place you could not be bothered but your company wants to see/do/eat. Especially if you are going to spend only a couple of days in one city, it is so much easier and stress free, as a vacation should be! Also, I don't need ten people around me to enjoy my vacation and sometimes that just gets me annoyed as everyone wants to go to different places and I like to do my own thing. There was not one moment I would have felt unsafe or threatened during these four days, so all those rumours for Paris being dangerous/scary I can not confirm.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame
Gorgeous windows - the north transept rose
This one taken from Ile Saint-Louis
In the evening I finally made it to the Eifel tower which I had spotted many times during the day but only from far. It was the perfect timing as the sky was still somewhat clear to get good pics and a few moments later I got to see the lights being turned on. Even though it is probably the most touristy thing you can do in Paris, I did not want to miss it for any price. A total must see, even if you are trying to be all cool and only see the "undiscovered" Paris.
Le Jardin du Luxembourg
Just your average University building - Université Paris IV Sorbonne
Universites de Paris - and some pretty cool looking students around here!
At this point my feet started to be pretty tired already but I still had Arc de Triomphe and of course Champs-Élysées to see. On the way, there were all these restaurants crammed with people enjoying dinner and drinks, some of them scattered on the streets as the terrace was so full. That's just awesome! We don't have any kind of after-work culture here in Finland except maybe on Fridays for some people but I wouldn't mind it. (It is also totally against all the rules to take your alcoholic beverage outside the very precisely marked terrace area...)
Finally - Tour Eiffel
Champs-Élysées was of course very beautiful with all the lights and people but nothing too special to me, I prefer to do my shopping along the way/throughout the day in smaller boutiques. 

Walking back to the apartment along Seine riverside I felt so unreal being there and seeing all what I had only dreamt before. I was very tired but at the same time extremely happy and grateful I have the chance to experience and travel the world.

14 October 2014

14.10.2014 // When in Paris...

Oh boy what a day it has been! As you might see from the title, I am currently enjoying my life in Paris. A couple of weeks ago I came across these fairly cheap flights to Paris so I went ahead and booked a little getaway for myself. I don't have school this week at all, so perfect timing!
My day started way too early after a horrible night. Those who know me can prove that I have this tendency to not hear the alarm clock ringing if its too early for me.. Not just once or twice have I missed school or something else because of my sleeping in preferences. So I stressed the whole night I would not wake up early enough to catch my train and flight later on. After just couple of hours of sleep, I travelled four hours to the Helsinki airport. I have a thing for airports. I really like them. I don't know why exactly I like them so much. Usually they are pretty to look at, very clean, there are people from many different places to look at and expensive coffee to drink. Maybe not the best reasons but that's all I got.

The flight was operated by Finnair and have to say I am very pleased with their services. The flight was not fully booked so I got three seats just for myself, vegetarian food was excellent and the staff was friendly and professional. As a bonus we landed early so there was no need to hurry at all.

At Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) I headed straight over to the train station located downstairs of terminal 2. In my opinion all the signs were excellent, directing you to the taxis/train/other terminal etc. It took about 45 minutes with the RER B train to the station Gare du Nord. This station then again, oh god.. Felt like a mission impossible to get out from there!! There were signs to every of street surrounding and connections and everything.. I walked around for like good 10 minutes trying to find some sunlight. I was only carrying a large Longchamp carry-on and my Proenza PS1 large so I decided to walk to my apartment. At the same time I got to witness the frenchies walking around and doing their thing. They are just something else, in a good way. I can't believe how many good-looking, well dressed people can fit in one city. 
During my search for a hotel I found out that it is pretty freaking expensive to spend three nights in a good hotel in Paris. However I remembered this one site I had seen mentioned in a blog and started to look for it. A website called airbnb offers rooms, apartments and houses for rent. They are rented by normal people, basically anyone can start renting their apartment trough this service. I think it is a great concept for an alternative accommodation. I found myself a very cute parisian apartment right next to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Yep, perfect location! It is rented out by a french girl who is living somewhere else at the moment. Her friend welcomed me to my new home and gave me the keys. Now I am literally living like a parisian for the next three nights! How cool is that? And this even saved me a couple of hundred euros.
For today I had this big plan to walk around the neighborhood, check out Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, walk down to the riverside and see the pyramid of Louvre. I only made it to Printemps. And may have done some damage to my bank account. That place is just magical and pure pain at the same time. There is everything you could ever ask for under one roof. At some point it kind of got a little overwhelming as I am not really into all the high-end clothing, but the bags.. Oh the bags. I could just walk around the first floor and pet every leathery piece of art they have in there. But I am way too weak for that, I would just end up walking out with ten new handbags :-D I think I will do a separate shopping post of what I bought etc. but here is a little sneak peek of my happy moments at Printemps ;-)
Ready to hit the town!
And this is what happened.. :-D
On the way home I just grabbed some food from the supermarket and my plan for tonight is to take it easy and rest for tomorrow so that I will be ready for a mahosive sightseeing spree. This time actually executing my plan! :-D Bonne nuit!
I am obsessed with houmous!!