Saturday, August 15, 2015

A one-way ticket and a weekend Paris city break

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Back in July, I had a random idea to travel but hadn't done any planning until the very last moment my 2-week leave was about to kick off. Time flies. I realised that I had to make a decision anyway.

"Paris seems to be a nice destination for city break, maybe." I talked to myself one night while surfing Instagram and spotted photos of some random French pastries. I instantly booked a one-way ticket from Hong Kong to Paris on the same night. The rest of the trip...hmmm...will see....

Anyway, there I go, Europe!

A Must-Do: Checking-in on Facebook with a snapshot of the most touristic place in Paris

I rushed to Hong Kong International Airport on the Friday evening and was in the glare of Paris sunshine on the next morning. Nice start of my very first solo city break experience.

The concept of city break is still pretty new to me, guess probably because I am too used to travel with assignment/specific goal and always got trapped in unusual situations, like, being dumped by driver in nowhere of the remote Caucasus Mountain area and had to hitchhike all the way from Georgia to Russia. Simply going to a foreign country and to do nothing but enjoy city life is something I would consider as completely SPECIAL (also abnormal)!

Note: My backpack weighted 7.2 kg only, probably because there was no DSLR this time, just iPhone and a Praktica SLR + 55mm f/1.8. Achievement unlocked!

Room is tastefully decorated with pastel colours

The sitting area

Hotel Balzac is a pretty boutique hotel located right in the heart of Paris, literally just off the Champs-Elysées and very close to the Arc de Triomphe. The deluxe room was spacious and its comfy king-size bed quickly healed my jet lag.

The hotel itself has an antique look&feel that any vintage-loving hipster (like me) would fall in love with at first sight, not to mention if you are also a foodie, the Pierre Gagnaire’s eponymous, and highly regarded, 3 Michelin stars restaurant can be found just downstairs. The only "downside" of this hotel could probably be their tight availability. Having only 69 rooms out from the whole building meaning their rooms can go really quick during peak season. There is a chance to get a nice discount like 20% off if you pre-book the room 20 days in advance. Also, better to secure the number of night needed for the room upon arrival/during the booking.

Just 2 mins walking from the hotel

I visited most of the touristy places in Paris when I first travelled to Paris with my sister years ago (missed the sweet young backpacking time though...) so this time, I decided just to relax, wandering around the streets and markets, spent a whole day in the Paris weekend flea market and I wasn't disappointed after all.

Those touristy places...all checked last time

Before I head to my next destination, Poland, I went up to the Sacre Coeur on Montmartre in the early morning and it was filled with tourists already. Hmm...

Less crowded way uphill but have to walk all the concrete steps

Sacre Coeur, checked!

This city view though!

My so-called Paris city break experience was nothing special or fancy, pretty much just loads of eating out, some sightseeing, a bit of shopping along Champs-Elysées and eating some more french fries while watching telly on bed at night....

I am not too sure if I like this kind of travel but it is always good to experience something new.

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