So where do I begin…?

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1978 I visited Paris for the first and only time in my life. So far.

I was 20, young and pretty and travelling alone. I had been to London, Malta and Greece on holidays before that, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends. I was used to travel alone but Paris was a nightmare.

I was groped in the streets by men who just laughed when I defended myself and I spent 20 minutes in Café Angelina waiting to be served by a waiter who just ignored me. Finally I just left.

I vowed never to return to this awful place. I was cursed with the Paris-syndrome, a well-known psychiatric diagnosis that often befalls young Japanese women who are brought up to be polite and cannot handle the Parisian rudeness.

But for me things changed. I am now an old, evil-spirited woman who can hold her own. And when I saw photos from the sweetest Parisian hotel in Marais, I just knew I had to give the city a second chance. It also helped that a huge retrospective exhibition of the work of Christian Dior is on display at Le Musee de Artes Decoratif…

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This is the hotel that lured me to Paris! Just around the corner from Rue de Rivoli, 5 minutes walk from the Seine and 10 minutes from Notre Dame. Perfect in every way!

I have to admit that as the trip came closer and closer I was getting more and more anxious. The language thing being one, the fact that I would travel by public transport in Paris and all by myself if things got shitty…

I shouldn´t have worried! It was a great trip and I can actually honestly say that I am a little bit in love. In Paris and traveling alone. So let me begin to tell you the story.

I got a Paris visité card before I left, from Box office. It was the smallest thing! I was so nervous all weekend that I would loose it, so I used a paperclip to hold it in a compartment in my handbag! If anyone has any suggestions on how to keep these little buggers safe, please tell!!

I also checked the map to make sure I got which metro-station to aim for. The Paris system is really easy and manageable (especially compared to London and New York) but it´s nerve-wracking before you know, right? When I arrived I just followed the signs and it was easy enough. On my way in to town the RER stopped at a lot of stations, but when you are new in town you don´t really care. Everything fascinates. On my way back I got on a direct train to the airport (sheer luck actually!) and saved 20 minutes transfer time…

So why didn´t I get a taxi? Well, its a 55 euro ride single way (=110 euro both ways) and a visité card for five days was 73 euros. But then I could use metro and buses all over the city for my entire stay! As I plan to travel more I also need to learn to keep costs down, and this was one step in that direction.

I had great expectations for the hotel Caron de Beaumarchais and it didn´t disappoint. I got a cheaper rear side room, and was a bit taken back first by its size. I knew they were smaller than the front side rooms, but it was really small. And I would certainly recommend to get a front room if you are two people staying. But over the next four days I got to appreciate the cosiness and most of all the quiet! It was the most quiet hotel-room I´ve ever had…

The beams added quirkiness, and there were little details I came to appreciate like the fresh roses in a jug on the desk next to a small box of candy…

But most of all I enjoyed the breakfast. As always.

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Breakfast in bed! At no extra charge…

As you know I am never sponsored, so all this hotel-info is just informative. I spent hours looking for a good hotel on the internet, so I know how hard it is to get hold of information that isn´t biased. It´s not a cheap hotel, even though I noticed it would have been a lot cheaper if I had waited to book until the last moment. But that always involves a risk that a place you really want is fully booked. Might be worth it if there are several options, though. Would I stay again? You bet.

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Next time I will write about the Dior exhibition, I still feel my heart beating faster when I think about it…

 

 

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