Yes! you read correctly. My trip to Paris blog post is finally here. I know it took me several months to post this, but with a newborn to take care of, I did not seem to find time to write about this trip. Baby Luciana was born a month after coming back from Europe. There will be the good and the bad that I experienced. I know that Paris is a beautiful city that most of us want to visit someday. It was for sure on my bucket list. I wanted to experience first hand what was all the hype about. So, if you want to know how it all went I invite to keep reading this post.
I know that February is the month of love. Valentine’s day is approaching and I wanted to share this blog post of the city of love. So, when my husband and I were planning this trip I was 6 months pregnant and when we traveled I was 7 months pregnant. Yes, I did get clearance from my OBGYN so we were not worried at all. But, in a case of baby Luciana wanting to come earlier to the world, we were covered by our insurance. So, I packed my bags and we flew away.
When we arrived at the airport Charles de Gaulle in France, I was super excited and not tired at all from the flight, and I just wanted to explore the city. Therefore, my husband told me that we should take the train from the airport to get to the other train station (Canal de la Villette). This was because he wanted me to go to rest at the hotel and he wanted to change and take a bath. Therefore, we got out the airport and we went to the train station and I remember that we couldn’t buy the train tickets because the ticket machine was not accepting the credit card and was not also accepting cash. There are people at the train station of the airport that will help you, but you have to wait for almost 10-15 minutes to be helped as they are helping others as well. So, it was somehow tiring because we waited for almost 30 minutes.
Once we got to the train I was surprised that it was not what I was expecting. It was like an old type of metro train and neither clean nor modern as in Japan or South Korea. They had the smell like people left trash and might have vomited in it. So, I was frustrated and I remember that I had to move to the next wagon of the train, but it was still smelly. Once we arrived at the other train station, we took an Uber car and we got to the hotel and just explored the city while we waited to check-in.
I remember that I just wanted to try some French Crêpes, so we had a yummy lunch and then I had the crêpes as dessert. Baby Luciana and I were just content. Then, we were trying to get a wheelchair. Yes, I needed a wheelchair because it was prescribed by my OBGYN as I was going to be walking around for several hours every day while I was in Paris. We went to a pharmacy because you can rent wheelchairs at the pharmacy for almost $300-200 US dollars, but you have to leave a deposit of $800 US dollars so they can give it to you. I was expecting that as well, so what we did was to speak to the hotel where we were staying and luckily they had a wheelchair and they lend us the wheelchair for our whole stay. It was a nice gesture of them and we totally appreciate it!
Once I had my wheelchair my husband was in charge of taking me everywhere in it. It was kind of funny sometimes. But, sometimes it was a huge headache. lol. Especially when we were traveling in train. I had to be on and off of it and my husband had to carried it up and down all the subway stairs (Yes, the subway stations in Paris are at all not wheelchair friendly) but I’m thankful that there were so many French kind souls that helped by husband carrier it.
Sometimes we traveled in Uber and other times we did not. It was because it was faster to get to the other location by train than in Uber because of the traffic. So, for example, the same day I went to Arc de Triomphe, I also visited the Eiffel Tower. So, it was impossible for us to get to the Eiffel Tower by car due to the traffic jam. I mean you can surely get to it by car if you have a longer stay in Paris. We were only there for 5 days, so we wanted to make sure we got to all the places we wanted.
Once we got to the Eiffel Tower we were tired, yet happy. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why people dreamed about traveling to Paris, right? So, my husband went to buy the tickets and when we’re waiting for our turn to pass security we asked the security person to disconnect the magnetic door (the one for security purposes) and he responded in a very unpolite way to us saying he would not do it. I mean, he was responding to me back and forth, I do understand a little bit of French that’s how I felt he was so rude plus the nonverbal cues will never let you down.
So, I immediately told my husband that I did not want to enter and see the Eiffel Tower because the security person was being careless. -Let me explain something to you guys so you can get the point here.-
Since I was pregnant I did not want my baby to be exposed to any type of electromagnetic waves. I mean I know there are some in the airplane, but the less exposure the merrier. Even at the airports, the securities did not let me pass that magnetic doors. They took me to another area (the same where they are checking everyone that for “x or y” motive can’t pass the magnetic doors). I was really careful during my whole pregnancy and as silly as it might sound I did not even do my nails to avoid some toxins in it. (I still don’t do my nails until I stop breastfeeding my baby), so I would not expose my baby just to see an object and for someone who was arrogant.
So we were backing up in my wheelchair when the supervisor came and forced the security person to turn off the magnetic door and he let us come in. He was a truly kind soul. The rest in history. Once you’re in the Eiffel Tower is breathtaking. But at the same time is so crowded! So many tourists there (-don’t even think about the long lines at the restrooms-).
So, we keep on traveling by train to other locations such as Disney Paris, which is a magnificent experience if you have the chance to visit. The train to go to Disney is clean and it does not smell awful as the ones in the city. Now talking about disgusting smells let me tell you that the beauty of Paris is robbed away when in the subway or even on the streets you smell urine. Yes! I had to cover my nose every time. I mean urine has a strong odor. Could you imagine this?- It could have been there for several days or months, or who knows for how many years?- It was just disgusting! I remember that one time we passed a train station that there was a huge pool of urine! I also remember that another day a homeless person was peeing in front of people and children on the street!
So, a major hint if you are a parent please do not consider taking your children to Paris and travel by train or to take a walk on the streets because there are some homeless that do not care if there are children around and will pee wherever they want. I also do not recommend if you are pregnant to travel to Paris (unless you’re staying more time than I did) because it can get uncomfortable trying to walk as fast as you can to get to a place where it says it would close in 20 minutes, but when you arrive 10 minutes before it closes, It has already been closed! It happened to me several times when I was going to stores! Plus some people on the train are drunk at night and might want to touch your baby belly. Believe me, it happened to me. A drunk was on the subway the day we came from Disney Paris and he wanted to touch my baby belly. I don’t even know how but I dodge him and I quickly moved to other place.
Other places we visit were the Museum of Louvre and the Palace of Versailles. Okay, so the Museum of Louvre is a place you must visit. It just has all the famous and gorgeous art that is well known around the world. If I had to choose between going to the Museum of Louvre and the Palace of Versailles I would totally go to the Museum of Louvre. That is because it is located almost in the center of the city of Paris. Therefore, there are more public transportation available and places to shop and eat. Whereas at the Palace of Versailles it is located outside the city of Paris around 90 minutes and you have to get in Uber if you want to tour all the palace as the lines are huge. Inside the palace everything is beautiful. Well to be real just the ceilings and the hall of mirrors. This is because I was not a fan of the old bedrooms, but I was interested in seeing their bedroom decors. Another thing I did not like at all was that the bathrooms are crowded and dirty (well at least the day I visited was like that, and they are not as fancy as I thought they would be for being in a Palace!) I mean I could breath because I always carried perfume in my bag just to tell you how strong the urine odor was. Oh, and please remember to carry hand sanitizer as the sink in the family bathroom at the Palace of Versailles was not working, so you have to be ready for those type of inconvenience when traveling. Once I got out of the Palace of Versailles there is nothing or not that much to tour around, so that is another reason why I would not go there again.
Now, I’m not saying that I did not love my trip to Paris. I love every time I have the chance to experience a new culture and country. Paris is a gorgeous city. It is so elegant and classy. I mean you can see other bloggers on Instagram posting gorgeous pictures about Paris. Yes, it can be like that, but if you have the budget to stay in a hotel that per night is around $500+. So, you can walk around the streets and get everything fancy and stylish. I do not like to travel that fancy with my husband. We love to experience what locals do, eat, and how they commute, etc. But at the same time, we like to visit those places that are considered a must-see when you travel to an iconic place such as Paris. So, you can get the fancy Paris experience if you have the budget and time to do it. In our case, our budget was a $200 hotel per night and we wanted to know how Paris was in the perspective of a local, not the same tourist perfect picture. Now, if you ask me would you travel again to Paris? I’d say NO. That’s because I didn’t feel comfortable the whole time. I mean not because there are violence or robbery (that I know of) or because I was pregnant. It is mostly because I do not like to spend vacations in a place where I mostly have to cover my nose to stop breathing strong odors every block I walk or even if I catch the train. You’re safe if you are traveling only by car. 😉 I would consider going back to Paris only if I have the budget to travel fancy and once my baby is a teenager as I don’t want to expose her to filth.