How I Missed My Flight When I Was in Paris
Some people say that Paris is one of must visited city in Europe, while the other people say that Parisian are too arrogant and the city itself is dirty. Should we believe what people say? I think it would be better for having experience by ourselves.
Paris is our first destination in Europe. We arrived at Charles De Gaulle Airport around 7 a.m. The first thing that we did was buying travel pass for whole days. Based on our plan, we just stay in Paris for two nights. In the last third day we’ll fly to Venezia to continue our trip. In Paris, there are many zones. The closer place to center Paris, the travel ticket will be cheaper. The further point from center Paris, the price will be more expensive. Actually the tourist spots are in Zone 1 and 2. However, we considered buying until zone 5 because we planned going to Palace of Versailles. It located in Zone 5 and CDG airport itself located in Zone 5. So we bought ticket for 2 days which can be used until Zone 5. The price is €40.
We booked an apartment via AirBnB which located at Rue De La Villete. It’s nearby Jourdain Metro Station in Belleville, quite near from city center. We directly went to apartment, took a rest for a while, took a bath and continue our city tour.
In the first day, we started to visit Notre-Dame. The most famouse Catholic cathedral in Paris. I wasn’t surprise with the place, just okay. Nonetheless, the birds on the sand add the value for that place, I think. My sisters were excited to take a picture with them. I’ve tried to take a picture with bird on my hand, but I just too scary hahaha
From Notre Dame, we wanted to go to Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge. We just walked slowly while enjoying the city. We went through the alley, tried local snacks, and absolutely took more pictures. We also stopped by in the local coffee shop at the street. The place is so Europe (pardon me, because that was my first time hehe), yet the price is still fair. I mean for cappucino, the price is just €3.
We arrived at Sacre Cour around 9 p.m. Some of us didn’t go directly until in the front of Sacre Coeur, they just did shopping around the street. Nevertheless, Dira and I took the loooooong and hiiigh stairs to reach the Basilica. Actually there’s cable car to reach the Sacre Coeur. We didn’t take it because we thought the price will be a bit expensive. Evidently, we can use our travel pass ticket to take the cable car. So we used it to go down. Sacre Coeur in the night was magical and we can see the city of paris from that elevation. Nice view.
In the second day, we went to Louvre Museum at the first. I love the place because it is sooo spacious though there are too many tourist there (of course). If you want to buy Eiffel keychain, I recommend you to buy there, because there are many seller who sell it just €1 for 6 keychains, maybe you still can bargain the price. I didn’t find the cheaper price at other locations. If you just take some pictures, an hour will be okay. However if you want to enter the museum and enjoying the artworks inside, you should spend at least 4 hours.
We had a lunch then stopped by at Musee d’Orsay for a while. If you don’t want to enter the museum, I suggest you to skip d’Orsay, because the view from outside is not that good, just so so. We continued to Champ Elysees by foot. We didn’t expect it would be that long. We want to take bus, but google maps states we also need to walk for a quite long distance. Therefore, we just follow the road until Champ Elysees.
Champ Elysees is the road, full of branded shops such as Channel, Nike, Prada, etc. Kak Sita and Kak Irfan bought some stuffs there, I just enjoy the street through the lens. I also want to reach Arc de Triomphe which located at the end of Champ Elysees. FYI, Kak Irfan did test drive for Ferrari there. You can pay €90 (€110 with full of insurance) for taking pictures with Lamborghini and driving Ferrari until Eiffel Tower. Because the space is just for three people (one person who drives and two people at the back seat, while the guide will be accompanied beside the driver’s seat). Dira, Yazid and I continued to Arch de Triomphe then headed to Eiffel Tower.
I made the appointment with Martha. She is friend’s of my friend. Anyway, if you want to go to Eiffel Tower, I suggest you to stop at Trocadero station then walking to the tower, because you can take a picture with full of tower as your background from that point. Eiffel is not that good at the day, yet it will be amazing at the night. While waiting the sun going down, we looked for a dinner a few miles from Eiffel Tower. Because the carrefour nearby Eiffel is already closed and the restaurants nearby Eiffel are expensive. That’s why Martha asked us to take a train and having a dinner a few miles from there. Eventually we found McD and it was my first McD in Europe haha.
Backed to Eiffel, we fortunatelly saw the Eiffle when the lamps are sparkling. As I know, the lamps will be glittering every one hour when the time exactly at 9.00, 10.00, 11.00, and so on. After taking a pictures, we directly went to apartment. It was already around 11 p.m.
We arrived at apartement around 00.30 a.m. Our next flight will be that day at 8.40 a.m from BVA airport where located far away from city center. We need to take bus from Porte Maillot (bus station) to BVA airport, and it takes €16. We set the alarm at 3.00 a.m. However, we woke at around 5.20. We shocked and directly prepared and call the Uber (without having a shower). We arrived at Porte Maillot at 6.00.
FYI, the cancellation fee for Uber in Paris is €6. So, just pay attention for that thing. Because when I request an Uber, then he cannot contact me (because I don’t activate my sim card), he cancelled and there’s a bill €6 for that cancelled trip.
It took around one and half hour to reach BVA station. We arrived there at 7.40. We feel blessed, because we still have time. Going through the gate, I directly asked the officer while showing my ticket. He directed me to the line. I already chill out and excited to go to Venezia (our next stop city), when I was in the first line, the officer said “it is luggage drop, your line is there”. I moved to the line she pointed out. Queueing again about 10 minutes, when I already at the first line, the officer checked my ticket and the officer said “your flight is not here, you have to move to another terminal”.
OH MY GOD!!!!! THIS IS INSANEEEEE!!!!!!! WE WERE PANICKED!!! The distance from that terminal to another terminal is just about 50 meters. We walked quickly and ask the officer. She said “I’m sorry the line is close at 8.00, 10 minutes ago”.
Do you know how was my feeling? I just thought my life feels like in the movie, but it was real. I begged the officer, but she cannot allow us. She said the seat were taken and they cannot allow us because we brought the luggages and the time was over. She gave us option to reroute to other place and just paying for €100.
We relaxed ourselves in cafetaria, having breakfast while thinking about our plan. In the end, we bought the ticket for the next day from ORY airport, directly to Rome. So, we skipped Venezia first. However, we shortened our time in Rome from three days to two days. Therefore, we have one day to enjoy Venezia.
We backed to Paris, booked new hotel nearby ORY Airport. At the first we just want to relax in hotel, because our pace in previous days was a bit exhausting. Nonetheless, my sisters and I went to Palace of Versailles while Yazid and Bang Irfan went to Champ Elysees again to do shopping.
We walked out from hotel around 5 p.m. Had a late lunch for a while then used Uber to go to Palace or Versailles (our travel pass just for two days). We arrive at the Palace at 8 p.m. Though the sun didn’t go down yet, the palace is already closed. So we just took picture in front of the gold gate.
If you want to explore that Palace, you must spend a full day, because the place is too big. My friend said, she came there twice. There are still a few spots that she didn’t explore yet. I recommend you to go to this place, because when I already in Palace zone, the road and the buildings are so cool. I didn’t find that kind of view in the city center.
In the next day, we just went to Airport to continue our trip to Rome. Paris was so exciting for the first city. The city where the people walk fast and having good sense of fashion styling. I just feel want to stop some of stranger and taking portrait of themselves. The faces are so photogenic, but my time and energy wasn’t enough. Three days, first time, taking pictures of touristic places with ourselves and recording videos as well, too many things to do. Paris, I’ll be back with my wife. Amiiin
Fun facts & tips:
1. There are many scams there. People who say they are muslims from Syria and asking you for the money
2. Metro is main transportation there. But, for one place to another places, in my cases, I need to take two until three Metro. I need to transit and move to other trains. And from the road to the train, we need to walk quite long. Moreover from metro station to touristic places, we also need to walk around 500 metres
3. There is no elevator to go to Metro. So, if you bring heavy luggage, you will be difficult to go through the stairs. You will spend so much energy.
4. Before the day or at least in the morning of the day, you should write down your itinerary while looking for the maps. So you will go to places efficiently from one place to other closer places.
5. People say Parisian are too arrogant and they won’t respond you when you speak in English. I didn’t find that case. I think it’s all about how we interact with human. I found many people who are nice, though there are still many people who are not that friendly, but that’s human. We cannot generalize them.
6. Do not believe what google maps states. For instance, if google states we need 30 minutes to walk, we will spend around 1 hour. Because we don’t know the direction for sure, and while travelling we want to enjoy the city, not just walking in a rush.
7. For international route, I advice you to arrive to airport at least 3 hours before your flight time. Because in Indonesia, we just need to spare two hours for international route. In some country, two hours before fight time is too tight.
8. Do website check in for every flight, so we don’t need to queue for that long