Because It’s My First Time… in Paris

I never thought of undertaking this journey alone. I am not that type of person, or at least, that was what I thought of myself. Until now, travelling has always been a fun activity for me, where I am not afraid of ‘being lost’ in that place. I vividly remember when I went to Singapore a few years ago with my friend. I heavily relied on her for directions, destinations, and even how to communicate. Well, Singapore, being the nearest neighbor, is still relatively easy for solo travel. But at that time, I did think, without my friend, I would surely be confused and lost.

Then, the opportunity arose. The chance to visit Europe again. This time, without the fear of getting lost, I gathered up the dreams that had been postponed since 2011, the first time I set foot on the continent.

Charles De Gaulle

We arrived at Charles De Gaulle International Airport in France at 21:30 Paris time (if I remember correctly). Still half-conscious from the long hours of flight, my travel companion and I followed the flow of other passengers to collect our baggage, contemplating how to get from Charles De Gaulle to Chessy, a town located an hour outside Paris.

Even though it was only 21:30 local time, airport activities like the information center were already closed. We were greeted only by stern-faced security personnel. None of the male or female security officers gave a ‘welcome’ expression to either of us. In my thoughts, I pondered how ‘cold’ this city seemed.

At that hour, Charles De Gaulle Airport didn’t leave a ‘Wow’ impression on me. I didn’t even have time to observe the design or architecture of the airport. The two of us were solely focused on figuring out how to get to the train station and head towards Chessy. Our ‘homework’ was not only to find out how to get to the train station but which train to take and how to purchase tickets. Honestly, I was of no use at that moment. Despite efforts to inquire here and there, I relied on my friend :(. After wandering around the airport for over an hour, we finally found clarity. Yes, we eventually found the train that would take us to Chessy

suburb area

EuroDisneyland, Paris

Although it’s called Euro Disneyland, Paris, it is not located in the city of Paris. Euro Disney is situated in Chessy, a small town outside Paris, requiring approximately 1 hour by train to reach our destination. Yes, because we also participated in the Half Marathon event at Run Disney 2018, we had to stay near the event location.

The atmosphere changed as we exited the subway towards the surface. Cold air immediately hit us. Luckily, I was still wearing a hoodie and training pants, so I got some warmth, but it didn’t last long. Long story short, we arrived at the hotel named New York Hotel at 23:30 locale time. Hungry and cold, but our tired bodies conquered all. We all collapsed on the bed.

I will share about the Half Marathon event in a separate post.

Paris, We are Here!

finally i see this in front of my eyes

We moved towards the city of Paris after the Half Marathon event because there were several seminars taking place in downtown Paris. However, Mon Dieu! The journey with the subway, or called ‘Metro’ in Paris, was not as picturesque as I imagined.

Dragging the suitcase, which weighed almost 20kg, was indeed exhausting. Not to mention, I also carried a backpack with a laptop. Initially, it was enjoyable (at the airport), but when entering uneven and rocky terrain, I had to balance between keeping up to avoid losing my friend and ensuring the suitcase wheels didn’t break. Moreover, many Metro stations in Paris turned out to have no escalators, so we had to go up and down stairs with a considerable number of steps. And here we are, pushing the luggage in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Parisians.

Heading to our hotel on Notre Dame de Lorette Street was full of challenges. Stairs adorned our journey every time we changed stations. We sweated profusely in the cold autumn air. However, I couldn’t hide my admiration for the surroundings. I watched Parisians busy rushing for the train—although no one helped us—with amazement. I was also amazed by their train stations.

Finally, we arrived at the last station, and from there, we exited the Metro. Once I reached the surface, I was faced with the beautiful city as I had imagined. I remember vividly, in front of the exit of St. George Metro station, there was a roundabout, with a fountain in the middle, and although the roundabout was small, the surrounding buildings had beautiful Parisian architecture. And then I just realized, we were in Paris!

Metro, Roof Tops, Sidewalk Cafe & Stones road

I can’t explain how beautiful this city is. I know earlier I complained about the Metro in Paris. But after wandering around with the Metro and buses in Paris several times, I found enjoyment in this fashion city. Eiffel, Louvre, or even Versailles is beautiful, but what makes me like the city are the ordinary sights that are everywhere in Paris.

A little fact that I know, after sufficient exploration. Every Metro station has a different theme. I didn’t have the time to ask my friend about this, as I only realized it later. Some are ordinary, some are themed. Each station leaves an impression and becomes an object of my observation.

The cobbled roads that I complained about are a witness to the age of a city. I found that stone roads are part of the history of the city. I discovered the beauty in every cobbled street I walked on. I feel like I want to explore every street in the city of Paris.


A busy and beautiful city. I know, many films showcase the lifestyle of Parisians with rows of sidewalk cafes. That’s true. When night falls, the beauty of this city transforms. The city is filled with lights and the sparkle of light reflecting from wine glasses. Not to mention the handsome Parisians, both in their faces and their unique fashion styles.

I didn’t want to miss out. Trying to adapt to the style of the Parisians, we sat in one of the cafes in Le Marais, a trendy area in Paris. We enjoyed wine and savored the night.

Eiffle, Louvre, Versailles and Père Lachaise

Magnificent! is the word that describes each of these places. Each of them has its own beauty.

Le Louvre, as the Parisians call this museum. Consisting of 3 parts, you can find famous works such as paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci, including the Mona Lisa, here. It took us 6 hours to explore all 3 parts of the Louvre. And for your information, I didn’t see all of it. Some parts I just walked past without seeing what’s in it. The ticket, around 20 euros, is truly worth it.

Thank God. I have a friend in Paris. His name is François, and he has a car to drive me to Versailles. Turned out it was located outside Paris too. It took around 1 hour by car.

Versailles is a superbly magnificent and extraordinary compound. Even from the gate, it already left me in awe.

La Tour Eiffel, surely you must know. A landmark that you must visit when you’re in Paris. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience when visiting this landmark. However, that experience taught me to be more careful, especially when I separate from my friend later.

Lastly, there is Père Lachaise. If you’re not familiar, it is a cemetery area. Don’t imagine graves like in Tanah Kusir or Jeruk Purut. Père Lachaise is more like a museum than a cemetery area. You need a map to navigate this cemetery area, especially if you want to find the graves of famous figures. Mentioning Frédéric Chopin, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, and even Jim Morrison. Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery area in the city of Paris. I don’t know why, but of all the landmarks I mentioned above, this place is where I could most enjoy during my visit.

tempat menyimpan abu setelah kremasi

Those little things

Beside all the tourism experiences, there are many small things that actually make me want to stay longer in Paris. The greeting “Bonjour Madam” every time I step into a shop or restaurant during the day. Or the aroma of bread from boulangerie shops and how they are very strict about the opening times of the restaurant (though it’s only 5 minutes away, they forbid us to enter the restaurant :D). Or how they speak to each other in French. Even the cheese shop where my French friend and I shop for groceries, I found it interesting and will miss it dearly.

I would love to go back there, but the second time, I don’t want to solo travel again. There is indeed tranquility and freedom when you’re solo traveling, but there is also a feeling of loneliness when you need to discuss something you see while you’re traveling or when your inner child is eager to go out and do random things and be spontaneous. Well, that’s another goal that I must achieve before I die.