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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Paris, France: Déjà Vu

After nearly 7 months of travelling I was back where I started, Paris, the city of love (well for me it's the city of getting robbed). I checked into a hostel and was put in a 6 bed dorm with 3 Brazilian girls and 2 Mexican girls. The Brazilian girls couldn't really speak English and one of them snored really loud... Not quite a man's dream.

After a much needed sleep I went to the Louvre with my new Mexican friends, Fab & Stephanie, from Juárez, a border city with a reputation for being one of the most dangerous in the world... So I knew I was safe with these girls. They were very friendly and happy girls.

The Louvre is huge and you do need an entire day to see it all. The entrance is like boarding a flight with your bags going through an x-ray machine. Surprisingly the girls from Juárez made it through with no alarms going off. The Louvre is split in to many sections (paintings, sculptures, etc) with each section being split by country. The paintings are either religious or of boobies and in many cases both. The interior of the building is just as impressive as the art on display.

The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre


The Mona Lisa
I'm sure you know what this is

Inside the Louvre
One Room of the Louvre


Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo - Not quite the same as The Simpsons

Checking whether it is bath time

Wet T-Shirt Competition

After a long day at the Louvre we were off to check out the bridge with the padlocks and Moulin Rouge... Déjà vu.

Bridge of Love
Lock your love and throw the key in the river

Dos Mexicanas y un Australiano en Moulin Rouge

After a long day I was off to see my old friend, Lea, for drinks and snacks at her place. Freakishly it happened to be exactly 2 years from the day she hopped on a plane to Brisbane to commence her Australian trip.

I returned to the hostel at midnight, right as Fab turned 21 so I kicked off singing Happy Birthday, loud and bad.

The next day I said good bye to the Mexicans, left my luggage in the luggage room and went off to explore the city in Winter and take a few photos this time.

Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Arc de Triomphe


After a day of walking around I collected my stuff from the hostel and met my new Couchsurfing host, Stephanie, at a station in the suburbs. At the end of a fun and relaxed night at her place I discovered my tablet had been stolen from the hostel... Robbed twice in Paris!

The next day I visited my old hostel which was incredibly uninterested in my stolen tablet. I decided to use the day to take the photos I didn't take during my last visit. I also met up with Miren, my host from Rennes who I also met in San Sebastian,  for some drinks in the evening... Small world!

Notre Dame
Notre Dame de Paris

A King ready for battle

Jardin de Luxembourg
The French Senate in Jardin de Luxembourg

Paris Sunset

 I got incredibly lost in the suburbs on my way back to Stephanie's place. My phone also happened to die after trying to confirm directions. After 2 hours of walking around lost late at night in the freezing cold Stephanie pulled up next to me in her car. I apologised and we had a very good laugh about it.



The next night I checked into a hostel close to a major train station with a line straight to the airport. I decided to have one drink in the hostel bar. This turned into being shouted all night by a group of Brazilian guys and the bar continually giving free shots. I woke up 2.5 hours before my flight was due to leave still drunk. I had a quick shower and took off to the train station across the road. After seeing a screen full of delayed messages next to the airport trains and getting someone to translate the announcements coming over the speakers I established the trains weren't running on the airport line due to a power outage. And there was no ETA. I shared a cab to the airport with  US guy I had just met. We arrived at the airport 55 mins before my flight was due to leave and the taxi didn't take credit cards. I ran to check in and told the US guy to meet me at the desk so we could go to an ATM so I could give him my half. After checking in only 50 mins before my flight back to Australia was due to depart the American met back up with me and told me not to worry about the money... I made it!



After 7 months of travelling in 5 countries, meeting many new and old friends, eating amazing food, trying many different beverages and sleeping on 68 different beds, couches, floors, tents, overnight buses and a footpath it was finally time to return home.

Lessons Learnt:
Watch your stuff in Paris.
Travelling is awesome.
Don't drink the night before a big flight.
Make sure you know you way home if staying in the suburbs.
I will probably need a chiropractor one day.

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