Although I live quite close to Paris , I’ve only been there (not just drove by) two times. Nevertheless, both trip gave some special memories to me.
My first visit was back in 2008. I went to Paris with my fellow students. We took a bus and stayed in a dorm. With a limited budget (the trip was arranged by young student – a guy btw) our goal was being able to visit every landmark in Paris within 3 days. Semacam Roro Jonggrang ya 😂.
Actually the itinerary he made was not that bad. Within three days, we could visit Eiffel Tower (they had blue lights on it, since at that time was France time as the head of EU), Louvre Museum (not inside tho 😆), La Défense, Palace of Versailles, and even La Vallée Village (temenku beli tas long champ cuma €20 aja! sungguh nyesel ga ikut beli hiks).
However things went wrong when we wanted to visit Notre Dame. Since we were a bit lost, we went to ask two people we met on the road: a drunk guy and an old man with a suit. Both of them couldn’t (or didn’t want to) speak english. So we had to guess what they were talking about by looking at their body gesture.
Problem came when they gave us different information on where we should go. One person directed us to one side, the other one pointed the opposite direction. Well, you might guess it right, instead of trusting the drunk guy, we followed the old man’s direction. At first we said that the drunk guy is crazy. Plus, we found small building (a church as well if i’m not mistake, but small one) that captivated us, and due to our lack of knowledge, we thought that it was notre dame lol.
At one point, one of us turned back and saw the two tower of Notre Dame seeing so far from where we stood hahaha. Then we realised that we made a BIG mistake by trusting people only by the outer appearance. Lesson learned rite people: don’t judge the book by its cover!
The second time I visited Paris was in December 2016, when my juniorhigh bestie came to Europe for work (she extended the stay to see me and Paris 😁). At first I had a bit of doubt since my baby was just 3 months old (well, he’s almost 4 months at that time) and he needed a passport to be able to go with me (he was full breastfeeding at that moment thus I couldn’t leave him). Luckily the passport is finished on time so we could go to Paris the next day.
We went by train (grateful for Thalys!) and stayed in a hotel not far from Gare du Nord. Since I was with a baby, we took things easily. Meaning no goals or whatsoever. We took hop on hop off bus (yes, we were THAT tourist 😁), and went back to hotel by taxi (we still got reasonable price btw).
We had a chance to visit Eiffel Tower (this time the color of the lights were yellow), got chased by key chain sellers (duh), joined River Seine Cruise, and then went to Louvre again (we arrived late in the evening there so again no entrance zz), eating in Indonesian restaurant – located not very far from le jardin du luxembourg (the food was lekker btw!), eating breakfast in a cafe close to the hotel, and took photos around Arc de Triomphe.
And thanks to hop on hop off, I finally can see (and took few pictures around) Notre Dame from close. After Eight years pending 🤣.
I’m glad I did the trip and stepped out from the bus to go see the Notre Dame from close. Last week they were on fire and the fire ruined some part of this historical church. They were quite lucky that not long after it happened, people already started to gather some funding for its restoration. The number they have reached up to now was quite a lot (around €500m – LV has donated €200m for the fund) and the president of France has made a commitment that they will restore the church within five years.
Oh, I’ve heard as well that at the same time Notre Dame caught on fire, the holy Mosque Al-Aqsa was also caught on fire. But some people said that its not Al Aqsa but the other mosque located not far from Al Aqsa. Wallahuallam.
Btw, while Notre Dame is under reconstruction, I wonder where is Quasimodo now and, could it be happened that the fire was coming from him? *mamakhalu😁