Two years ago this month I travelled to Paris with University thinking that it will be the start of many more European adventures. Little did I know that a month later the pandemic would change quite a lot of things but we aren’t reflecting on that part. I thought it is about time I shared my trip to Paris and why I want to go back so badly!
We travelled to Paris via the train and Eurostar on the 11th February. I’ve never been on the Eurostar before but I found it quite comfortable and it didn’t feel as though it took as long as what it did. I spent the majority of the journey playing on my Nintendo Switch just to entertain me a little bit. We stayed at St Christopher’s Inn which wasn’t too far from the centre of Paris I believe. I shared my room with Chloe, Isabelle and Maxx but we all had such a good time. On the first night, we didn’t adventure too far but we did experience a very expensive McDonald’s. I couldn’t get over how busy it was especially so late at night but I suppose that’s because I’m not used to living in the city centre or a capital.
The first day we could do whatever we fancied so we each picked something that we wanted to do and off we went. We were the last out of the hostel from our group so we managed to hunt down the metro station and work out not only how to buy a set of tickets but how to navigate to where we wanted to be all by ourselves. I know, call us independent! Let’s just ignore the fact it took us nearly 45 minutes to understand the systems but we got there in the end.
First up was the Louvre Museum but before that we decided to get breakfast at a lovely little café called Le Café Marly. We had a selection of pastries, hot chocolate and fresh orange juice to fill us up before heading into the museum. Obviously, the Louvre is well known for the Monna Lisa which I would have loved to have seen properly but the queue was so long just to get a photo. We opted for taking a glance from the sidelines and reading about the painting on an infographic stand instead. I knew that the museum was big but I didn’t expect it to have so many paintings and statues. I was amazed by it all and felt a little bit overwhelmed but it was incredible! I’m pretty sure I didn’t even get to see everything that was there either which is one of the many reasons I would love to go back to Paris.
After we left the Louvre Museum, we down towards Champs-Elysées which is an iconic street with plenty of high street shops and designer stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Adidas. We did a little bit of retail therapy before heading towards the Eiffel Tower. Gucci had some stunning displays that I felt a little bit under dressed walking round in a pair of jeans, Converse and a denim jacket. Adidas really did impress me; some of their displays included plus-size models which made the store feel size inclusive something that I have never seen in the UK. As soon as I saw the Eiffel Tower I was in awe and that was without seeing it at night when it was lit up and sparkled with lights every hour. It was spectacular! I wish we had enough time to have travelled up it but unfortunately we didn’t and everyone who I was with wasn’t too keen on how high it would have been.
We ended the first night with a chilled trip back to the hostel and having dinner at a restaurant near the closest metro station. One thing that I quickly realised when in Paris that 90% of places to eat are called café so I found it very confusing figuring out where we had actually eaten on this trip. I do know that the cheese burger tasted amazing though!
The second day was the main reason for the trip. We headed off to Premiére Vision. This is an exhibition that brings together creative suppliers and buyers globally. The idea is so that all the players within raw materials and services can effectively assist fashion professionals to develop their collections by providing forward thinking analysis of evolving trends and market conditions. There were talks and so many stalls in a range of halls to explore. There was: Manufacturing, Leather, Accessories, Jewel Focus, Designs, Sport and Tech, Textiles, Fabric Selections, S/S21 Perspectives and Tradeshow for Fashion.
I spoke to a lovely guy who works for Polygiene who explained that their aims are to create technology clothing to help clothes stay fresh and odour free for longer. Did you know that two thirds of the environmental impact of apparel occurs during consumer use? We use 65% CO2 gases, 73% energy consumption and 54% water just to wash our clothes! As of February 2020, they have worked with a range of brands including Adidas, Millet, The North Face and Champion to name a few. I went round the exhibition with Abbie, from the year above me, and Ulli, another girl studying Fashion. It was such a lovely day and I left Premiére Vision feeling so inspired and even more in love with my course and what I was studying to be involved with.
After we got back to the hostel, we headed out for dinner on our last night. Just so we could see the Eiffel Tower one last time, we found a restaurant called Le Tribeca that catered to all of our needs. Chloe and I shared a baked Camembert and had a glass of red wine for starters. I felt very French! When we got back to the hostel, most of our group headed downstairs to the bar for a drink and a bit of a boogie. It was actually really enjoyable although I did feel a bit sorry for myself the following morning.
It was travel day again on the Friday and we finished our little Paris trip off with pancakes or crêpes as the French like to call it. I chose Chocolate and Banana which tasted divine! Before getting the Eurostar back to London, I picked up some macaroons for the journey home.
Overall my time in Paris was most definitely the best education trip that I have been on. My tutors, Freya and Marissa, had done a really good job organising it all and the girls who I had spent my time with made the trip extremely enjoyable with lots of memories to cherish. I hope I can go back to Paris soon so I can enjoy seeing some more of the different sights that the city has to offer.
Have you ever been to Paris before? What European city shall I travel to next?
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