Top Three Favourite Memories from Paris

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I have slightly taken inspiration from Becca again as she has started posting ‘top three must visit’ places for the countries she’s been and I decided to do something similar. You can read Becca’s top three places to visit in Paris here [x]. However, instead of describing three places I think you must see though I decided to write about my favourite memories from each trip because I love reading back on the fun memories I had with my friends.

Paris will always have a special place in my heart as the first trip the four of us went on abroad and although a lot of things went wrong it’s still one of my favourite trips we’ve been on. It’s hard to condense it down into just three favourite memories but here are what I’ve chosen.

Disneyland

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Although I don’t particularly like rollercoasters or theme parks in general I’d wanted to go to Disneyland for years. Because who doesn’t want to go to Disneyland, let’s be real? I wasn’t 100% sure it would work but luckily you could buy park tickets that came with a shuttle bus that took you from central Paris to Disneyland. We booked the tickets and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my life.

We vlogged the day and I love rewatching it, Becca caught the moment I spotted the castle for the first time on camera and my reaction is brilliant. I was doing some weird dancing and I said “This is what I do in the club-AHHH THE CASTLE!” (You can watch the vlog here [x]) I spent the whole day just being amazed by absolutely everything and I had the best time with my friends. All I regret is that we didn’t see a parade and that we didn’t stay until the park closed and just caught the train back.

My highlights from the day included meeting Mickey Mouse, going in Alice’s maze and the Armageddon special effects attraction. Even though I don’t like rides I found I still had an amazing day and I’d love to go back someday since we missed a whole section of the park and I want to be able to see a parade.

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This year we’re hopefully going to Disneyland Tokyo so that should be just as good and me, Becca and Jess will be able to make just as good memories!

The Catacombs

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I wanted to visit these after watching the film ‘As Above, So Below’ because even though the film was absolutely terrible the catacombs still looked and sounded interesting. We visited them on Thursday morning, the day before our trip ended and the day after we’d looked around all the obvious tourist attractions. We got there pretty early but there was still quite a queue but I don’t remember standing there for absolutely ages. Maybe I was just having fun, I like getting an opportunity to just talk with my friends.

We got to the front and the tickets weren’t that expensive then we went down the spiral staircase and I’m going to be honest that was horrific. It felt never ending and I was taking it slowly so I couldn’t see my friends anymore so I kept calling out to them because I felt like the staircase would never end. I hate old-fashioned spiral staircases but luckily it was a one-way system so there was no one trying to force their way up, you could only go down.

Eventually we made it to the bottom which was a relief because I had begun to believe I’d died and gone to Hell and was stuck on the eternal staircase but there was a bottom! Going through the Catacombs is also a one-way system, you follow the corridor and you can’t go off exploring them by yourself. They’re actually massive and you only see a small portion of them on your visit but even that’s amazing and if you could explore the entire Catacombs you’d probably get lost.

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I think the Catacombs were probably my favourite from the trip, they were really interesting and a little creepy. If I ever went back to Paris I wouldn’t mind going on another visit into the Catacombs, I’d be more interested in revisiting them than I would Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe.

If you’re in Paris I definitely recommend giving the Catacombs a visit because they’re not to be missed!

K-Con Paris

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This was the whole reason we decided to come to Paris, it was solely for K-Con. The original plan was to come to France on the morning of K-Con, go to the concert then come home the next morning. Luckily we had the chance to extend our trip so we could have a proper look around but my highlight was definitely K-Con Paris, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a better concert in my life.

The morning me and Jess bought the tickets was honestly the most stressed I’ve ever felt in my entire life. You need to understand that usually when I buy concert tickets I’m up against everyone else in the country or the town. In this instance we were up against the whole of Europe – every European K-Pop fan was after these tickets and they were not easy to get. The entire website was in French which I didn’t understand a word of and an hour later me and Jess were still desperately refreshing the website trying to get a ticket. Eventually Jess managed to get some ‘Category 1’ tickets in her cart and she went through the check-out process whilst I desperately tried to use my laptop to translate the page she was on. In the end we had three tickets and our trip to Paris could finally come together!

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We had the most expensive ticket type which was seated in the best section so we didn’t show up to the arena until about half-an-hour before the doors were due to open. That was maybe a mistake. The queuing system was extremely confusing but eventually we got to the back of the longest queue I have ever seen in my entire life and it began. We were in that queue for like an hour and a half playing endless games of fuck, marry, kill to pass the time. I’m not gonna lie it did get to a point where I was worried we’d miss the start of the concert.

Also France don’t give a damn about security, we were supposed to have a pat-down before we went in and the lady half-heartedly tapped my side and my arm before waving me in.

Once inside my anxiety about missing the start of the show disappeared so me and Jess bought ourselves a sandwich much to Becca’s absolute horror because now she was worried we’d miss the start but luckily we didn’t!

We found our seats and we genuinely couldn’t have asked for better tickets. The stage was in a sort of Z shape and if an idol was on stage and wanted to get to the middle section they had to walk right past us. Also all the idols entered the stage on our side so before the show started we saw all the groups, including BTS, heading towards the stage and all three of us completely freaked out. We were also sat a few rows behind the President of South Korea and had no idea. We sort of made it onto the Korean news too.

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I’m so sad there wasn’t a K-Con in Europe last year because it was honestly an amazing concert and I’d give anything to go back to another K-Con. We didn’t bother with the convention during the day which we regretted at the time but I’ve read a lot of people saying they were disappointed by the system to get into the convention so maybe I’m glad we didn’t bother.

K-Con, please come back to Europe soon? Please?

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So there we go, those are my three favourite memories from Paris – it was a lovely city and if you ever get the chance I’d definitely recommend going. Everyone needs to visit Paris at some point in their lives!

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Travel Fails!

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I love travelling so much, especially with my three best friends but it’s safe to say that something goes wrong on pretty much every trip we go on. So I thought I’d write a quick post about some of the things that have gone wrong on our trips because although they weren’t fun at the time they do make good stories now!

Paris

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Our first trip abroad was to Paris so that we could go to K-Con Paris (except for Hirst who just wanted to come to Paris) – the concert tickets weren’t released until a month before we’d need to leave so we rushed to book everything in time. Unfortunately everywhere we looked plane tickets were quite high so in the end we ended up booking a coach which was extremely cheap and would get us to and from Paris!

The coach on the way to Paris wasn’t too bad; it was an overnight trip so it wasn’t the worst – however there were a number of delays, the biggest one being when we reached the ferry. The captain wouldn’t let us on the 11:30PM one (which our driver was pissed about) so we had to wait for the 12:50AM ferry. This wasn’t too fun but we didn’t have any commitments in Paris to worry too much about so the delay wasn’t the worst thing ever.

However, the journey back was Hell. We had to get up at stupid o’clock the morning after the concert (I blame Jess for insisting we watch the concert videos before we went to sleep, I knew it was a bad idea) so we were all extremely tired and during the journey back we realised the only food we’d thought to bring with us were three mars bars and a box of maltesers. Hirst and Jess had woken up so late they hadn’t been able to get breakfast and for some reason we’d left the boxes of cereal on the side instead of bringing them with us. I shared out the mars bars (poor Becca didn’t get one), Jess shared out the maltesers and that was that… All of us were looking forward to getting on the ferry as there was a proper café so we could get a proper meal. We were all disappointed to discover we were actually going on the euro tunnel and not the ferry. We wouldn’t be getting a meal.

Luckily the driver did pull into a service station when we got into England so we finally managed to get something to eat but I just cannot believe our stupidity? Bloody three mars bars and a box of maltesers for a nine hour journey? Hirst had about 999 kinder Buenos but they were in her suitcase in the hold area of the coach so they were no good.

We had more delays on the way back meaning we missed our coach from Victoria that would’ve taken us back to Wolverhampton so we could catch the last train home. Instead we had to book a different coach which took us to Heathrow where we had to catch another coach to get back to Birmingham International. Luckily Hirst’s Mum came to pick us up as there weren’t any trains running by this point and I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to see her to be honest. It took us about eighteen hours to get home. Eighteen hours from bloody France to England. It’s less than an hour on the plane.

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Unfortunately that wasn’t the only bad luck we had in Paris. I wasn’t impressed with the hotel we’d stayed in so when we got home I decided to write a quick review on tripadvisor because I love writing reviews. Because we’d booked everything in such a hurry we hadn’t bothered reading the reviews of the hotel beforehand so I was pretty horrified to read so many reviews of people claiming their rooms had been broken into whilst they were asleep and their possessions stolen.

I popped up to my friends to tell them and they recalled the moment we’d checked in the man at reception had fished out a key at random from a basket and given it to us. We are 100% certain that the keys open every hotel room as most of the other reviewers believed too. We were very lucky not to have our room broken into – when we went to K-Con Paris we left Hirst in the hotel room by herself. I dread to think what could’ve happened.

Also the room next to ours had suffered a fire the week before and the whole corridor stank. For our first trip abroad together it wasn’t a very comforting hotel.

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We did have a lot of fun sightseeing but disaster struck even then. This one is down to my own stupidity and awkwardness more than anything else. When we visited the Eiffel Tower I somehow got split up from my friends so Hirst and Becca were walking at the front together, Jess was off to the left and I was off to the right when some lady with a clipboard approached me. Now I hate being mean to people so I smiled and listened to what she had to say and signed her clipboard for her charity. I tried to ignore the part about a ‘donation’ but she pointed at it so I fished in my purse and gave her five euros which I had thought was pretty generous.

Now some lady had also been talking to Jess, had taken her five euros and walked off but for some reason came over to me and said “Actually it’s five for the disabled and five for the orphans.” Hang on, what kind of bullshit charity collects for both the disabled and the orphans? But I was confused and still trying to be nice so I also handed her a ten euro note and then she stuck her bloody finger in my purse and was like “Give us that twenty” so by this point I was like um no, I asked for my five euro note back and let them walk off with the ten. I was salty for the rest of the day. I hope they were happy with that ten euros, I truly do.

I also got called ‘Lady Gaga’ because of my outfit by some random man selling mini Eiffel Towers – I didn’t have the best time at the Eiffel Tower to be truthful.

Amsterdam

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After the hotel disaster in Paris we decided to do more research for our trip to Amsterdam. This time we used airbnb and found what we thought was a nice apartment. It looked cosy, convenient and for some reason we were all really excited at the thought of looking after this man’s cats. We messaged him and he agreed we could stay there. Our accommodation was sorted and we were free to enjoy the trip!

We flew there on Hirst’s birthday – it wasn’t great timing but me and Becca really wanted to see 24K so we couldn’t go at any other time. When we reached the apartment I did start to feel bad because Hirst looked like she was going to have a break down. Although the apartment was a good size it was a bit grubby and filled with weird stuff. While most of it was interesting I did have to remove a creepy mask from mine and Hirst’s bedroom (and placed it in a room designed for a child that our host just hadn’t mentioned at all) and Becca came into our room with a jar she’d found which said ‘Every Artist is a Cannibal’. There were teeth in the jar.

It wasn’t too bad but it was bad enough for Hirst and Becca to say that next time we’d just pay the difference and stay in a decent hotel. However apartments are convenient because you can cook your own food etc. Or so we thought.

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The next day after a long day of sight-seeing we came back to the apartment really hungry so we decided to make some of the food we’d bought earlier. Me, Hirst and Jess were going to have microwavable burgers and I’m pretty sure our vegetarian friend Becca was going to have microwavable pancakes. Luckily for me and Becca we offered to wash up while Hirst and Jess ‘cooked’ the food so we escaped the horror of what they found.

Bear in mind his kitchen was already the grubbiest room in the apartment like we’d had to lay down towels in his fridge so that our food didn’t touch his dirty fridge but again it wasn’t too bad at this point. Until Hirst found a plate in the microwave with another plate on top. She brought it down, took the plate off and discovered the mouldiest plate of food she had ever seen in her life. It must’ve been there months. I’m pretty sure Hirst actually vomited and both of them lost their appetite.

We decided to text our host, who had told us he was only 15 minutes away if we needed him so we decided to ask him to come and clean up his grubby food and maybe give his microwave a wipe while he was at it – you know, if he felt generous. He replied to tell us he was in Belgium and that he didn’t see what the problem was.

In the end we sat in mine and Hirst’s room making sandwiches whilst we made an official complaint to airbnb. We packed our bags in case he came back and kicked us out of his apartment. Luckily he didn’t kick us out and we could finish our holiday – we just couldn’t make any of the food we’d bought now and had to eat out for every meal because his kitchen was so rank that we couldn’t use it.

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When we went back to his airbnb page we realised that although all the English reviews were positive, which were the ones we’d read before booking, all the foreign ones we now translated said the general hygiene wasn’t great. I guess we just can’t win.

Luxembourg

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Luckily our accommodation in Luxembourg on Jess’ birthday was a lot nicer. Which was just as well as from the moment we made it to Luxembourg the four of us were absolutely exhausted. That morning Hirst’s Mom had driven us to the airport at 4AM so we could make our flight on time. Therefore I’d been up since 3AM, I’m pretty sure the others had been up even earlier so by midday I was ready to drop.

We did our best. We walked around sightseeing as much as possible before the four of us flopped onto a tour bus to look at what we could do the next day. I was sat by Becca and the music played through the headphones between information was making me even sleepier. Not as much as Becca though who genuinely fell asleep several times. In the end we had to mess around on Snapchat to keep ourselves awake.

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We were in the hotel by about 5PM and in bed by about 9:30PM. We completely underestimated how tired we’d be – even the next day after a long sleep I was still exhausted.

Another slight fail we had while we were there was that we kept entering tourist attractions and not realising what they were. We took a photo outside of what we thought was a famous art museum – it was an opera house. We went to the bock but didn’t realise we were there so left. We visited the palace and thought it was a parliament building so we didn’t appreciate it at all. We kept doing it everywhere we went – I apologise to everyone in Luxembourg, we’re such idiots.

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Lithuania

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The biggest disaster in Lithuania had to be Jess getting sick. We all completely blame Becca. The same week we went to Lithuania Becca had just decided to become a vegan. I imagine eating out in England would be hard enough for a vegan but it was much worse abroad. So on Saturday night after Becca had barely eaten anything all day we went to a vegan restaurant where she could take her pick from the menu. I’d never heard of anything on the menu and they didn’t have the random thing I ordered so I ended up going for pumpkin ravioli because Jess and Becca had gone for it.

I remember taking the first bite and telling my friends “actually its bearable” which was a big deal for me as I’m a fussy eater. However, by the third mouthful I’d completely changed my mind. I tried to eat it as quickly as possible but I just couldn’t do it so I ended up leaving a lot. Becca ate most of hers but Jess completely finished her plate. That night she was up and down all night vomiting. I was dead to the world as was Hirst so luckily Becca got up to take care of her.

First thing in the morning we left Jess in the room whilst the rest of us headed to the nearest convenience store (a fifteen minute walk away and up a bloody hill, of course) to get her a good stock of water, dry food and a teddy to cheer her up. We brought them to her and then headed back out for a day of sightseeing. We all felt pretty bad about leaving her.

We followed Jess’ itinerary that she’d printed beforehand and went to a park that was about a forty minute bus ride away. After all the walking we’d done the day before none of us particularly minded being on the bus for forty minutes. However we paid to enter the park where we spent maybe an hour before realising we could either get the bus in ten minutes time or wait two hours for the next bus. If we waited two hours we’d miss our reservation at the cat café so we had to sprint back to catch the bus back into town.

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Once back we realised we had a bit of time to kill before our cat café reservation so we went to a museum that was free with our pass thing we’d bought the day before just to kill some time. To be honest we always go to museums but most of the time we end up a bit bored.

So we went to this museum, I think it was the ‘National Museum of Lithuania’ or something like that and it all started out pretty well. Then when we got to one section we noticed this lady was following us and we were like ‘oh okay’ but she was trying to be subtle about it and she really wasn’t? Eventually we decided we’d had enough and headed off and she glared at us as we left! So we kind of laughed it off but when we got down to the reception area there was a long corridor full of exhibits and there were like four staff members in this long line and I kid you not they were all giving us the most foul looks ever.

Neither of us really knew why but we quietly left the museum and had a bit of a laugh about it outside because we honestly hadn’t done anything wrong. We’d had a bit of a giggle but we were quiet and we didn’t touch anything. I told Hirst and Becca I wanted to take a Polaroid of them in front of the museum and as I went to do it I noticed two of the staff members standing in the doorway of the entrance, still glaring at us! They’d been quite nice to us when we’d walked in, I honestly have no idea what changed and how every single one of them hated us for the same reason?

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The staff at the cat café were lovely and we had the best time ever anyway.

So there are our trip fails so far! I imagine we’ll go on plenty more trips so before long we’ll have way more trip fails and I’ll be sure to share them with you guys. Please feel free to comment your own travel fails, I’d love to hear them!