Monthly Archives: March 2013

It’s a snow storm!

Since I woke up this morning, it has been snowing. It really is a snow storm, the flakes are huge and it hardly ever stopped since it started. Having so much snow is quite rare in Paris, so you can imagine just how much it disturbs our lives.

Photo du 12-03-13 à 15.15Sorry for the bad quality, this was taken with my webcam…

I watched the news this morning and it really affected the transports. I heard that most of the trains were either delayed or cancelled. As for the buses? Well, this morning NONE of them worked in my town. I don’t know exactly how it was in Paris, but I can tell you that: the traffic was awful.

Let’s face it, Paris under the snow is beautiful, romantic or anything you want but definitely not practical. Today was particularly intense though, it isn’t always that bad, but it’s better knowing what to expect if it ever happens when you are here.

First thing to know: check the RATP and SNCF websites for updates about the transport before going anywhere. If you don’t have a WIFI access, you can still ask the reception. Even if it works, it can be slow/crowded. Also, if the snow is really bad, TV and radio release information.

Second thing to know: pavements are slippery. Be careful!

Third thing to know: the Eiffel Tower (for obvious safety reasons), the Gardens (for less obvious safety reasons) and some other some famous attractions are closed when it snows. No matter how much.

Fourth thing to know: life itself is slow in case of snow, just because people can’t go to work. Paris is hard to reach if the RER doesn’t work, so there are plenty of things that don’t work perfectly or as smoothly as usual.

Fifth thing to know: DisneyLand Paris is beautiful under the snow, however, as stated in 1st and 4th, transports can be difficult. Reaching DisneyLand is probably hard, even with a car… and most of the attractions probably close if there is too much snow.

I surely forget many things, so stay tuned for another “Paris under the snow!” article in the future!

SunsetPink

PS: Today is my Mother’s Birthday! I wrote an article about her on FancyLittleTalk :)

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

LONDON – DAY 6 (last)

Good bye 21-beds dorm!

Sixth day… I cannot believe we only stayed for six days, it really felt like it was much longer! We did so many things that I felt like I was living several days in one. We were a bit sad to know we were going to leave so soon. When we woke up, we had already packed most of our stuffs and were almost ready.

On day 5, the electronic cards of our rooms had messed up and didn’t work anymore. Remember that my friend (who, by the way, shares the FancyLittleTalk blog with me!) and I went out quite late? We were really worried that it might not work when we came back. I don’t remember exactly how we entered the room though, but I think it wasn’t closed. Those electronic cards are great but, you know, it wouldn’t have happened with physical keys!

Anyway. We went to breakfast for the last time of the week. A bit nostalgic, isn’t it? We took various photos in the Hostel before leaving, saw a guy we had died to talk to for 6 days (but we never got the courage to do so, and ended up leaving without even knowing his name… what a shame!) and finally gave back our keys. It was probably around 10 in the morning and our train was at 5:30PM~, so we still had time to quickly visit some places we didn’t see before.

We were able to leave our luggage at the hostel in some locked storage so we could still walk around without worrying about our heavy suitcases.

room

Heading to Hamley’s

We crossed Piccadilly Circus, and seeing it on day light was rather different from the night-view we already had. Then we passed by China Town, which was an area we hadn’t seen before. It was nice and well decorated. Then, we headed to Hamley’s… you know, one of the biggest toy shops in the world?

It might seem childish, but Hamley’s was an amazing experience. Honestly, I really felt like a kid again! There were staff showing how to use the toys and children’s eyes were all bright and amazed.

And, and and… something so unexpected happened there… I was able to… take a picture with the Queen!!!! I swear!

queen&me

Fine, Fine, this isn’t the real queen, but still, it counts, right? right? I was reaaaaally enjoying myself. Such a kid. I wanted to buy everything. In particular this queen-dressed teddy bear. So cute! Look at this crown! But hey, £35 (~53USD / ~40€) is too much for me. Even if I love teddy bears. And the queen.

teddybears

Harrods

Harrods is huge. I mean, really huge. I don’t know exactly how much though, because we didn’t have much time to spend there. We saw many, many beautiful jewels. It was almost a torture to be there. And plenty of foods. everything being so costy, and we being so poor, we bought nothing in there. But it was definitely worth a look.

harrods

Leaving London

We then bought a few post cards before heading back to our hostel (remember? we had left our luggage there). Since it was around 3PM, the staff was really busy welcoming the new travellers. It was a bit weird thinking that we were going to be back to France in only a few hours.

Because our luggage was so heavy, we weren’t too motivated to take the underground and decided for a bus instead. We were a bit on a rush because we were running late (based on our schedule, don’t worry, there were no risk for us to miss our train anyway, but we prefered being early and wait a bit rather than adding more stress).

At the station we brought our travelcards back and since the deposit was refundable each of us ended up with £5. We obviously didn’t need it anymore though. I came back with only £10. At the beginning of the week I had £125, which means that I only used £120 (I paid the accomodation and the travelcard with my credit card, so the deposit doesn’t count in the calculation). I think I was rather thrifty!

In the end, this trip cost me £70 (accomodation) + £73 (train) + £30 (travelcard) + £120 (food & other spendings) + £29 (Harry Potter studio tour ticket). So around £320 (+/- 370€ or 480USD). If we had booked our hostel earlier, we could have paid a bit less for it, though it wasn’t that expensive either. I don’t think I could have saved much more.

I really hope you enjoyed my posts about this trip to London! I sure enjoyed writing them :)

From now on, I’ll be posting once every two weeks or so. My second semester is already well started and I have to study a bit, plus there is this other blog going on. But don’t worry, I’m not forgetting this one! Since I’m only 20, I don’t have many travel experiences like this one, therefore my future posts will be more random, like about a place I went or something I liked. I won’t be writing this diary-style posts anymore, simply because I don’t have any other trip like this one that is recent enough for me to remember that well about it!

Thank you very much for reading,

SunsetPink

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey everyone!

Just to tell you that my friend and I just started a blog here: Fancy Little Talk

Pay us a visit if you have time! We are new, so there aren’t many things just yet, but stay tuned and we will add new stuffs!

Don’t worry though, I’ll continue to blog here and give you exclusive details about my trips!

Thank you very much,

SunsetPink

LONDON – DAY 5

It’s me again! There is one thing I did not write about in my London – Day 4 post because it didn’t really fit there, but it is important to understand what will happen next. When we arrived at the hostel my friend and I, we only found a note of my two other friends saying they had gone looking for some famous people in the city. We were like, really? They really went after all? Well yeah, they did.

But the worst was that, when they came back, not only both of them were tired, but they were broke, too. They had spent all their money at Oxford street. Because of that, we were a bit limited in the activities we could do.

City of London

There was no way we could avoid going to the city, right? I mean, it’s emblematic. We learnt about it in class and all. So we went. The weather was not really agreeable that day, but it’s London after all. I noticed something interesting about The City… there are clocks EVERYWHERE! Seriously, I took pictures of them – not all of them though, because we could have lost too much time – and it was funny to see how many they were.

CityofLondon

St Paul Cathedral

We didn’t visit it. Though we wish we could, it was so expensive! In France, we don’t pay to visit a church, so that’s always a bit surprising to have to give way £15+ (I don’t remember the exact price) for that. We just entered it but had to stay near the door. For what we saw, it is a beautiful Church. Photos are forbidden, of course.

After this, we were looking for a place to eat. It was super difficult to find one. The City is expensive, and we did not really want to take the Tube again. Finally, we found a “Eat” and, well, ate there. I recommend “Eat” a lot, because the food is good, cheap and healthier than Burger King’s or other usual Fast Food chain. Since two of my friends didn’t have money anymore, it was a good compromise.

Tower Bridge & the Thames

It’s a must-see in London, right? So we went. The four of us even took a picture in front of it (on of the rare 4-shots we got during those holidays. Asking someone to take a picture is always a bit like… “will they run away with my camera?”). Then we lost ourselves walking along the Thames. Like, really lost. We arrived in weird places and there was no metro, though there were signs announcing one. We passed by awkward people, and one of them was obviously drunk since he insulted us (mainly because two of my friends are asians), which surprised us a bit. Until that moment we had thought that Londoners were actually quite polite and respectful, but in the end, there are rude people everywhere, right?

Tower Bridge

Camden Town

Another shopping place. You want to buy cheap souvenirs? Go to Camden Town. There are plenty of veeeeery cheap ones. It was a funny experience. The buildings were all decorated and there were huge bronze horses in the middle of the shops. You can really find many stuffs not too expensive, however a lot of shops had the same products, which is a bit disappointing. And remember, we had no money, so no shopping, just looking!

Camden

Famous People Hunting

Then it started. The craziness of my friend has no limit. I don’t know how she did it, but she knew where to find the studio, so I went with her while the two other were tired and went back to the hostel. Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything interesting. It was a residencial area and people were looking at us as if we were out of place. Well, we were out of place! But even if it was a complete failure, I was happy we saw this area, it was beautiful.

Residencialarea

We came back at the hostel around 7PM, with a crazier plan in mind – if that’s even possible. At 9PM, we left the hostel again, direction Mayfair. I dreamt to visit Mayfair, but it wasn’t part of the program so of course I was happy to go there, even that late. We were going to spy a club entrance to see one of my friend’s favorite star. Once again, it failed. But you want to know? The worst is that we stayed there from 9:30PM to 1AM! Yes. That long. In the night. The cold. Everything. It was quite interesting though.

Mayfair is AMAZING. Beautiful cars everywhere! I love cars. Really, I do. There were plenty of luxury stores too. Cartier, Dior…. and the people. Like. We were even ashamed of ourselves! Guys were all wearing suits, girls had beautiful fancy very short dresses and no tights. We were a lot more covered, to face the cold, you know. But seriously, those girls had to wait hours in the cold to enter in the club. And they were all saying “I’m gonna die!” or “It’s freezing!”. Well, OF COURSE it’s freezing! It’s 11PM, in February, in London! What did you expect?

But the funniest part… was around 11:30-midnight. Amazing. They were all drunk already. Not a bit drunk, but, reaaaaaaaally drunk. Laughable. Those girls who were looking so great a few hours earlier, it was a complete mess. One of them even fell on the ground, others were screaming, or staggering. One guy even regurgitated on the pavement. So not classy.

In the end, we failed. We didn’t see the guy we had come for, but we still saw another celebrity, so it was 50/50. We also had the opportunity to talk with a paparazzi guy (not exactly a paparazzi, in fact, it was more of an informer), who explained us his job and all. It was fun!

cartier

Getting back at 1AM

That. was. impossible! We were stupid though, we weren’t paying attention to the hour. In Paris, there are metros up to 2AM, so we were not used to the London system where the Tube stop at 0:30. Honestly, why so early?

We didn’t have money to take a cab, so we thought we had come back with the bus. What a mistake. We took no one, bus SIX buses to finally get back to the hostel. We ended up in weird places, at 2AM, it was really scary. Be careful with it. We should have asked someone for help, but we really thought we were going to find easily. Well, that made a good story to tell everyone when we came back!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,