There is no question of escaping the romance of Paris . Be it the love locks or cruising the seine, every lover on earth longs to lock lips under the Parisian charm.
My tour guide gave a special tip to the pretty women in the group -” Never trust a guy who gets a combination lock”. So, the favorite past time of eligible bachelors in Paris is to date foreign girls!. Who wouldn’t wanna miss the thrill of falling in love in Parees. And every single girl wishes for the same …A lock , a love-lock on the bridge. Apparently Parisian men hate it !!! They hate it cos its soo cliched. Not every one is lucky with love, so they engrave “I love Pizza” or “I love macarons at Laduree. How sweet is that!
The tip is, the guy who gets you a combination lock is gonna come back, remove the lock and chase another lover. Come’on!! Are you saying that a cheap lock is not worth me???
But its a truly mesmerizing experience to breathe the romance in the air.
No matter how many times travel experts tell people to try to avoid visiting popular cities like Paris during the high summer travel season, there will still be gazillions of people like me for whom there really isn’t another viable option for their vacation being a solo female traveler. The moment I landed in Charles De Gaulle airport, I knew what I was in for. Immigration counters were extremely busy and the line kilometers long. I had carefully chosen a hotel in the Latin Quarter, across the beautiful Luxembourg garden which was around 40 minutes by train from the airport. Got down at the Luxembourg station and was dragging my luggage, when a swift teenager came to rescue. How nice, and people say Parisians are rude. She was a nice girl, I thanked her and walked towards the exit. I decided to check the map, and instead what i got was a rude shock…she had pick pocketed me!!!!
My heart sank. This was my first day in Paris and had not even come out of the metro station. God, what am I gonna do. Stood there for almost half an hour not knowing what to do, whom to call. Being stranded in a foreign country is a scene that we have watched in movies, but I never thought it would happen to me. My throat was dry, and I desperately needed some water. Not sure how far the hotel is from this place. How do I get there ? Checked my bag again, and heaved a sigh of relief to find my passport and phone safe. And yes, I did have a return ticket home. Since i was coming back from the US, there must be some left over USD inside the passport. That was my only Psuedo Smart back up plan. Checked my bags again, and found $100 which was tucked away in another corner of the bag that the teenager probably could not take out. But how am I gonna survive for 4 days. My travel app pointed towards the direction of the hotel. No option but to drag my luggage through the cobbled streets. Taxi seemed out of reach. Hotel was pre-booked and they had charged my credit card, but what if they ask me to show the card. Was hoping to call up my friends back home and make online reservation just in case they make fuss. The guy at the reception smiled “Bonjour”. I explained my situation in one breath , totally exhausted. He had a pile of print outs with check -in details of that day. And confirmed that my room was ready and that credit payment was validated without any issues. Now that was a big relief. I have a roof above my head.. No breakfast but free Wifi ..”Bonjour”. Technology feels like a curse, at times.Stripped me off one “free” meal also.
Latin Quarter is the ideal location to stay in Paris, if you are on a budget and a solo female traveler. Almost all major attractions except Eiffel Tower and Arc De Thriompe are within 2km radius. I have decided, am gonna breathe and live “Tour by foot” experience. The little app on my phone, “Vist a City” says Pantheon & Notre Dame and even Louvre is within 3 km radius. Now that’s good news. First stop at Western Union to convert my precious 100 dollars. 85 euros is all what I get. And am on a mission to count every penny. This part of Paris is the touristy with Mc D’s and Starbucks. But my try this small supermaket. Picked up a bottle of water for 1 Euro. Sandwiches for less than 5 euros. Wines at 12 euros. Cool !
French breads are so yummy that you woudn’t miss anything else, with a few ac-compliments and should be able to survive for the next couple of days. Now that’s not too bad. My shopping cart was full so was my heart.
Tummy is happy and am all set to conquer the land of Napoleon. “Impossible is nothing”.