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sapp travels
25th Jul 2018 - Paris & London 2018
Popping to Paris

In an unplanned turn of events, but with an opportunity to catch up with my Mum who is holidaying in France and to see my brother who lives there, I have decided to take 8 days off work and pop to Paree. 

Flying out a Tuesday night meant I could squeeze in two full days of work at the start of the week, race home Tuesday night to pack (last minute packing, always guaranteed to not pack all the right things!) and dinner with Paul on the way to the airport and then he has dropped me off and I am sitting in the Qantas club with a glass of sparkling wine to prepare for the long journey ahead.

I hate having to board a whole 40 odd minutes prior to take off, the suspense game of who will be sitting next to me, do I have everything I need? Kindle - check, noise cancelling headphones (borrowed from a friend, thanks Toggs) - check, water bottle - check, phone - check. Good to go, hurry up hurry up and I really really hope I get the seats to myself. 30 minutes in and it's looking good for some space to try and get some sleep between Perth and Dubai. Soon I hear, "Cabin crew arm doors and cross check" and halleluiah I have a row of 3 seats to myself!!

We take off. Interestingly they are serving dinner, on a flight leaving at 10.30 p.m., I decline, as do most around me and just ask for more water. I always ask for more water. They never give me enough. It seems okay to ask for endless coffee but apparently one little tub of water should be all you need. I am grateful that at some stage during the flight when I return to my seat, the nice flight attendant has returned and left me 3 tubs of water and a little pack of cheese and biscuits. He was the nicest flight attendant on the whole trip.

The 11 hours is long and I read books and watch movies and eventually sleep with the added benefit of being able to lie across the 3 seats. Eventually I am in Dubai and making my way as quickly as I can through the airport. I want quality time in the lounge, as due to the Terminal I am leaving from, I am able to use the Business Club lounge. I head straight to the showers, have a much needed shower, change of clothes and then off to find a seat in the lounge and have some breakfast. The 3 hours goes fairly quickly and soon I am boarding to head to Paris.

This time, the plane is packed and I have a window seat and feel very cramped. Three hours into my 7 hour flight and I am needing to move around. Unfortunately the couple next to me are both asleep. I fight the feeling trapped panic and try and focus on watching a movie. Finally I get to move around a bit and then psych myself to get back into my cramped space up against the window. I am so tired, and would love to sleep but it’s too crowded. Book, movie, book, movie. Fidget fidget. Finally we are on the descent into Paree!

I make my way through passport control, then there is a technical glitch with the luggage and conveyor belt so I wait forever and a day for my luggage and then finally I am on my way out. Mum and Joseph are there to meet, family! I feel the humidity and 36 degree heat slap me in the face, and I embrace it after having spent the last 6 weeks in Perth whingeing about rain, cold and dark mornings. We catch to metro into Paris and walk to Joseph’s apartment that he has kindly vacated so that Mum and I can stay there. Due to the tiny space available, Mum and Joseph head downstairs to a bar below the apartment so that I have room to shower and change and then I head down to join them. We make the most of the air conditioning in the bar and chat and work out the what now plan. Joseph heads off to catch with his girlfriend leaving Mum and I to go for a wonder. We walk around, giving me the chance to get my bearings and nut out a loose plan of things to see and do.

Later we meet up again and the three of us head for dinner. We wonder a little bit aimlessly looking for the right place to go. I am verging on snapping at the lack of direction, mostly fuelled by no decent food for 24 hours and not a lot of sleep. Mum tunes into the fact that I have tuned out and wisely suggests a pizza place. We settle into a salad and shared pizzas with a very cold glass of wine. After dinner we head off down the street (which appears to be interchangeable between a footpath and road) and as we go past a bar, Mum comments on it as she had been there before during her holiday. Joseph knows everyone in hospitality it would seem and the people working there are more of his friends. We go into the bar called The Little Red Door. What a fun funky little place! And the menu was so great. It was a hard cover fairy tale looking book with little lift up tabs to show the drinks underneath. I was smitten. And wanted a copy. As it turns out, they do sell them, for €75 – eek  - no thank you! But, I managed to come home with one, thanks to Joseph and his friendships in all the right places!

We had a couple of drinks, though I only ordered one, but it would seem that when you hang with hospitality people they can be very hospitable. It was a fund night, but soon my I have been awake for too long was taking hold and it was time to head home. We farewelled Joseph and made our way up to the tiny little room generously called an apartment. Mum and I worked out the sleeping arrangements, that is, which side of the bed do you want. Opened the window (now known as the air-conditioning), and settled in. It was after 11pm and we had a bike tour booked for the morning, I was asleep before my head hit the pillow!

Next: Big Big Parisian Day!
Previous: Ending on a high

Diary Photos

ALL the apartment

Descending into Paris

Paris street walk

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