The French Misadventure – Paris

I eventually gave up on waiting out the rain. It clearly wasn’t going to stop any time soon, so I once again braved the rain in search for the train station. It took me an awful long time to find it, but by following the tram tracks (I still haven’t been on one yet) I managed to find it. By this time, I was tired, wet, cold and more than a little dehydrated. I have never been so happy to board a train. It sounds a little weird, but I just wanted to sit in the window, watch the world go by and read my way to Paris.

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have sat backwards on the train. It just made me feel worse, not then helped by feeling utterly lost in Paris. It quickly turned out I wasn’t just feeling lost; I was lost. Continuing the theme which had dominated my time in Le Harve, I managed to walk in the completely wrong direction. This was partly my rubbish map reading skills and partly because I hadn’t properly set up my mobile on a Europe tariff.

I eventually made it to my hotel, a little place called Hotel de la Vallee (If I’ve spelt it right). It looked like it was in the midst of Paris’ red light district. Looking out my room’s window was a sexy lingerie shop and just down the road there was a “DVD and toy” shop… I did not go in to either of those shops…

While I was here and settled into my temporary base, I decided to try to work out where the music venue was. It turned out to be about an hour walk away, if I didn’t get lost. Keeping in mind the ridiculous number of times I’d managed to get lost over the weekend so far, I decided to leave base with about two hours to spare.

I didn’t get too lost on this journey. This was mostly because it was more or less a straight line up a hill and there were a few posters advertising the venue on my way. I was impressed by how easily I found it and felt pretty smug as I settled in line fairly close to the front.

It’d been quite a long time since I’d been to a concert and it was the first time I’d ever been to one alone. This whole being alone thing meant that I chickened out of jumping into the front area. This place had a literal pit and it looked terrifying when I stepped in when it was empty so I think I made the right decision by staying closer to the back of the venue.

Scary looking venues aside, the entire thing was amazing. The support act had a lovely voice, even though I didn’t understand what he was saying. It was at this point, as I was leaning against some post that I wondered whether they’d be singing in French rather than English. I decided that the language was irrelevant, simply because it’d still sound good. I was in luck though; they did not sing in a different language. I’d never been to a concert where the audience was so easily riled up and calmed down by the artist. I mean, I’ve seen the Royal play several times now and I’d never witnessed such an amazing crowd. It was pretty intense and definitely one of the coolest concerts I’d ever been to.

I ended the night… getting lost… again.

It’s clearly something I need to work on, this whole map reading lark. I went to Guides as a youngster and I do that sort of thing with the Scouts now but could I get from the concert to base: no. I eventually made my way back due to a kindly taxi driver who searched for the hotel on his phone and pretty much rescued me.

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3 thoughts on “The French Misadventure – Paris

  1. I love reading your blog. I am writing a magazine article about traveling on a budget and wondered if you could answer some questions. I am going to email you a number of questions that I would love you to respond to. Many thanks Lauren

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