So how can I start this story.
This year, I wanted to go to Peru and Bolivia for Machupicchu and Uyuni lake which I’ve always wanted to go. SO I searched for the flight during my winter break, however the price was little bit over my budget and I couldn’t simply book my flight. Then, the word “Europe” suddenly pop up in my head because more than 10 friends from my high school in Tokyo are in Europe for exchange programs this year.
And I found a flight LAX to Paris for only $500 round trip. I instantly sent bunch of messages to my friends in Europe to know if they would be there during the winter break.
So this was how this crazy Europe trip began.
You know what is interesting? I told them that I was not going to visit them in Europe because I did not have any interest in going there when I went back to Japan and hang out with them last summer. But I ended up going there and this trip actually changed my life little bit. I’ll tell you how it changed my life at the end of this Europe blog.
So, I called one of my best friends in Europe to plan out this trip, and we decided to travel Rome, Barcelona with whoever can go.
My trip was originally 20 days.
first 7 days in Paris
3 days in Grenoble
4 days in Rome
2 days in Barcelona
4 days in Finland
Total 20 days.
And I traveled with only a backpack. I traveled not only one country and I flew more than 10 times during this flight, so I decided not to carry any check-in baggage to save money because some cheap airlines charge for check-in baggage.
Here is my first day of this trip.
It was December 25th, literally the day of Christmas, I flew from LAX and arrived in Orly international airport in Paris on 26th.
My friend, Josh dropped me off at the airport on Christmas. I’m so fortunate to have such a great friend who took me to the airport on such a special day. It was kinda sad to leave San Diego for such a long time and say good bye to Josh.
I travelled with Norwegian and I had a few hour layover at Oslo in Norway. I was so hungry because I didn’t get to eat anything during the flight since I had to pay to get meal/ snack in the plane, so I bought a sandwich and water bottle at the airport. However, their currency is Norwegian Krone; 1US$ is about 7 NOK. I didn’t know how much the Norwegian krone worth was when I bought it. The total was about 140 NOK, which means the sandwich and the water were total $17~$18.
Wow how expensive was that! Thank god I was staying there for only a few hours haha
And I finally arrived at Paris around 8pm. I forgot to tell you but my friends in Paris were all out of town because they were traveling for Christmas, so I did couch surfing which I always wanted to try. Couch surfing is basically crashing to someone’s couch for free! You download couch surfing app and make your account first. You want to put as many information as you can so hosts can know you better through the app.more and better information you put, the more hosts would accept you. And you just simply find a possibly host and send a message that you want to stay with them. You want to pick a host who has good amount of references and I recommended to send messages to bunch of hosts because not all people replay to your message and accept you as a guest. I was scared and worried about it at first because I stay with random people that I don’t know. However it was absolutely a great experience!!
So I kept sending message for maybe a week and found 2 possible hosts who could host me for 3 days. I couldn’t find them until right before the trip because they weren’t sure about their schedule and didn’t know if they can host me. But fortunately, I got two acceptances and I decided to stay with Rodolphe who lives in an apartment in the center of Paris.
I took a bus called “Le Bus Direct” from Orly airport to Paris. Ticket was €12 and you can purchase at the ticket machine by a bus stop. It took me about 30 min to get to his apartment. I arrived at Rodloph’s place and I was little nervous to meet him, but he was really nice actualy.
We talked about ourselves a little bit and he asked me if I wanna go to club tonight around 11pm. It was already 9pm and I was super tired of traveling all the way from California but I kinda wanted to go too…
So I took a couple hour nap before we go and we hit the town for the night. The club was called “Le Duplex”. It was free entry for students and experienced a night clubbing in Paris for my first night..
We enjoyed our night out and we caught a bus to go home. Metros are stopped around 1, however buses are still in service when we got out of the club around 2:30am. I don’t remember, but buses are in service either until 5am or so or 24hours. So you do not have to worried about to missed your last train.
This is the Triumph of the arc when we were waiting for the bus
Also, ticket for the metro and the buses are the same, and if you stay more than 3 days, you should buy 10 tickets for 15 euro. Each ticket is 1.9 euro, so you can save 4 euros if you buy 10 tickets.
So that was it for my day 1 and day 2 (Dec 25th & 26th) in Paris. Basically I just travelled from CA to Paris and went to club. it will be more exciting on the next blog, see ya there!