Saturday, September 28

Paris, Day One: A Change of Plans

Around a decade ago I made a promise to myself, that I would never go to Paris unless it was in a romantic context. Yes, it's a lame condition but I like to think it was qualified by how a) I had already been (albeit as a five year old) and b) it's not the most inaccessible of places for a Londoner to visit so could be done at any time. And so I spent the time since declining various trips and outings I had been invited on, the most regretful of which being the bros' Mosque-Crawl-cum-Before-Sunset-Reenactment-no-homo of Ramadhan 2009.

But ten years is a long time and all plans have an expiry date. And so I found myself booking a late ticket to join an already planned family trip to Paris.

I have to say that the Eurostar is pretty impressive. Yes, we all know the theory, but to get on a train and arrive in the capital of another country is something very novel for those who live on an island like Great Britain. It's amazingly convenient and also quite striking to realise how close Europe is.

After settling into the cosy apartment, we immediately headed out to get started on the sightseeing. Sacre Coeur has always been vividly locked in my memories for some reason so I was especially poignant as we approached the, in my opinion, stunning church at the top of the butte Montmartre. I always become dismayed when I hear of people who leave Sacre Coeur off of their tourist itineraries, and a part of me was glad that we only had the one item on our own list this afternoon - there would be no rushing through here.

My cousin and I decided to walk home from there, which was a nice and efficient way to soak in the city with the small amount of time we had. It didn't take long - around an hour - but we got to visit street markets, take in some local architecture and generally hang out with the locals.

It was great to have my suspicion of Paris having so many halal places to eat too - not that it mattered of course as we had brought our own food from home. Naturally.

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