Sunday, 14 February 2010

Le Voyage :

I must admit, our little vacation (how American of me?!) didn't get off to the best start. In fact, the fiasco with the coaches was effectively a small hint at how the organisation of the trip would pan out. But I'll explain that later on.

Come 12.30pm Sunday night, and we are waiting outside our beloved Bonington, ready to leave for gay Parie, with the anticipated three coaches on their way (and late, by the way). And then there were two. Two coaches. After a bit of moaning, and a slight look of panic in a few faces - mainly lecturers - we squeezed onto two coaches and set off. Just as we are all settling, iPods intact, covered in blankets and getting comfy into pillows, or scarves for those of us that weren't that prepared - a mini disco occurs in the form of the coach lights performing a sequence of on, off and semi reading light, until we pull over on the hard shoulder, broken down.

Fantastic, right? We'd not been travelling long... I'm not entirely sure how long, music makes time fly. But anyway, we had overheated and stopped, and told that we'd have to change coaches. Some form of highway officials or breakdown people appeared, and consequently left the scene, at which point we set off again. Regardless of the heating. But we were off, and excited for Paris. Oui!

Note to self : photos at this time of the morning, sans makeup are never a good idea...


And although I never actually slept properly, the rest of the long, long coach journey was a bit of a blur really. There were a few toilet breaks, but I pretty much spent the entire time in my seat, glued to my Blackberry/iPod whilst all normal, non-nocturnal people slept. The Eurotunnel was, well, interesting. I would not recommend it for any claustrophobic travellers... it went fairly quick though, and it was hard to tell that we were actually on it other than the odd bumpy phase.

A few toilet stops en Francais later, and we were at the hotel. Now, when I say hotel, don't go assuming I mean a lovely, picturesque hotel in central Paris, with welded iron window embellishments and décor reminiscent of historical eras gone by. No no no. Welcome to possibly the ugliest, yellow building Paris has to offer. Bonjour, Hotel Balladins. Situated in an ideal location, next to some sort of motorway, in the kind of area that you would simply never walk through if you'd have lived near by. At the end of a tube line, with a only a petrol station and similar hotel for neighbours. I must admit, we weren't exactly thrilled at the situation, but we were in ♥Paris♥!

Et voila, Kate, in our home to be for the following week...


With Twilight finished and my iPod exhausted (it wasn't the only one...) we had arrived. Bonjour Paris, bonjour Bobigny, bonjour Balladins.

x x x x

Préparation :

True to form, I left packing until about 3 hours before we were due to leave. Which is plenty of time, if you don't happen to be the world's worst packer, a la moi. So about an hour and roughly 25kg of clothes/shoes/ridiculous amounts of shower stuff and magazines later, my suitcase was ready, and (just!) shut.


After the mammoth task of packing the suitcase, came packing my hand luggage. Have I mentioned that I can't travel lightly?

Inside my bag

My fabulously light (ha!) hand luggage consisted of:
- iPod, a travelling essential. I had charger for said essential packed, do not panic.
- French phrase book, I did say that my French is appalling...
- Huge, knitted cosy slipper socks - why are coaches always so goddamn cold?!
- Blackberry, for obvious reasons (although roaming rates are ridic!!!)
- Twilight... desperate to finish this book. I love it. And Edward. He made my coach journey so much more enjoyable ♥
- FCP Paris guide :)
- GQ and 10 mens mags, for researching mens fashion. And I'm not going to lie... for a bit of eye candy!
- My Paris notebook. Amazing Paperchase purchase (Kate had the same, crazy!), it had little slots to put postcards in. Perfect for my travels!.. and I did fill it, too!

Not pictured were other essentials, lipbalm, huge Ikea blanket (best idea of 2010 to date), ibruprofen, and the most essential of all. My camera! Which was not in the photo for obvious reasons... I was using it. Ha.

x x x x



So for those of you who know me well enough. I have a bit of an existing love for gay Parieeee. From my experience of the fashion cities, so far, Paris has been by far my favourite. And no doubt you will laugh when I tell you that, yes, I have only been for a day, previous to the university trip I went on last week. So, on this little blog will be my Parisienne adventures, photos, ephemera... in short, my Parisienne love, expressed via the wonderful world of blogging.

Enjoy... or should I say apprécier!

x x x x

Disclaimer: my French is actually appalling, especially for saying that I love the country so much. I will learn it fluently, one day. Oui.