Paris

Today was one of the most surreal days I’ve experienced. On this day, two of my beautiful best friends were celebrating their birthday. Taylor turned 21 and Shristi turned 22. We awoke to a slightly cloudy – but no rain! – day and headed straight to the Eiffel Tower.

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This was my second visit to Paris. I visited with my mum 4 years ago and was lucky to see the Eiffel Tower then. It was still incredible to see it in person again, I think it’s one of those things I would never get used to. Some people think it’s just this big pile of metal – true – but it’s just beautiful in its own unique way.

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The line to get to the top was crazy but of course worth it. We stopped at the halfway point first were you must change lifts and then headed further up the monument.

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The view is breathtaking. The views I have seen on my various other destinations traveled to in Europe have been incredible, but I don’t think any view compares to the grand and unique experience only Paris can offer.

There was a very handy kiosk at the top where you could purchase champagne. We were celebrating not 1 but 2 birthdays on this day and so drinking champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower was definitely justified. This was the first surreal moment of the day. The three of us were sipping delicious champagne while enjoying Paris from above at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I think the fact I was at the top of the tower with Taylor who I haven’t seen for 6 months, and Shristi who has become one of my closest friends over the last 6 months, was one of the best feelings.

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We descended the Tower and purchased sandwiches, pastries, more champagne and strawberries, and made our way to the park which has a direct view of the Tower. We made a little picnic for ourselves and this was the second most surreal and beautiful part of the day. The sun also came out a bit more around this time and sitting there staring at the tower and people watching was so relaxing.

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It was already around 8PM when we made it to the bottom of Champs Élysées. Here, Shristi said we would find the most incredible Abercrombie and Finch store that had shirtless male models at the entrance you could take pictures with. We were there quite late so unfortunately we only saw 2 models – with shirts on, to our dismay. The store nonetheless felt so exclusive. It was found down a secluded, hedge pathway away from the busy street and once you get inside there were so many levels with dark lighting and blaring music.

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Finally, the third surreal part of our day was when we went out for Taylor and Shristis birthday dinner. We went to a restaurant called L’Avenue which hosted Kim Karsashian only a few weeks ago, and has also hosted the likes of Rihanna and Justin Bieber.

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We did splurge a little on ourselves here, but it was completely worth it. The meal was delicious even though I was surprised to be served a plate of raw beef. Here we also tried snails, which were delicious! The most delicious part we unanimously agreed upon was the melting chocolate cake we shared.

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As a whole the day was nearly perfect, we wanted to go explore Paris a bit more after dinner however we realised soon that the Champs Élysées was flooded by police. Apparently early in the afternoon France beat Nigeria in the World Cup and so the French were celebrating by flying flags out their window and beeping and speeding down the road. We later discovered however that another World Cup game was on where Germany beat Algeria and so the Algerians were rioting in the same way. Apparently Algerians in France have been rioting like this after each game. It is related to France debating whether it should ban dual nationality for its citizens.
After being warned by various people we passed that being on the streets of Paris on this night was dangerous, we spent 30 mins trying to hail a cab and finally made it back to the hotel.

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