So the first day started with the flight over to Paris. I had to wake up at 6:30am(!!!!!!!!) to travel to the airport in time. We got there at about 7:40, exactly two hours before the flight. I was so proud of my wonderful timing <3
So we had to check in at one of those automated machines and then later go over to bag drop. THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY WINDOW SEATS. I was absolutely GUTTED. But then at bag drop my case was 14.8kg and my luggage limit was 15kg. Felt genuinely godly once again.
We went through security within the space of about… three minutes after having to remove pretty much every article of clothing I was wearing and went for breakfast. (WHAT is it with airports and making you want breakfast??! They’re literally THE only times when I eat breakfast.) Sausage barm I had anyway, it was AMAZING. Bloody hell airports are expensive though.
After eating that we only had about half an hour until the 9:15 boarding time so I went and had a look round the shops and was very, very, very close to buying an iPad but I’m relieved I didn’t now. I don’t need one. Just want.
Anyway, I headed over to the gate at about 9:05 and my plane was one of these!!
I was very impressed! The sexy bitch!
We boarded and I think the French accent threw me off because my seat was 16E but I was convinced it was 12E, I don’t even know, so I went and sat in 12E, disappointed that I didn’t have a window, but thrilled because it was an emergency exit row!! So I had extra legroom. However, a lady came and said her seat was 12D, which mother was sat in, and asked if we could move up, SO I GOT A WINDOW AFTER ALL!
The flight was very regular, apart from the fact that Air France give out complimentary beverages and they had Pepsi Max on board. I was sobbing from joy.
After what felt about… ten minutes in the air we already started to descend so when we got quite low I joked that I could see the Eiffel Tower out of the window, to trick mother and the lady next to her and then after thirty seconds later… *BOOM* Eiffel Tower appears. IT LOOKED AMAZING. I can’t believe you can see it from the plane. THAT was impressive.
Anyway, we landed and just as we touched the runway an Air France A380 was taking off on the parallel runway just next to us which looked incredible!
We reached the gate and got off the plane, France looked very nice but the airport was HUGE and the signage was awful so we were looking for baggage claim and this daft French bitch who worked there asked if Paris was our final destination and if so to follow her. SHE LEAD US TO DEPARTURES. Straight past baggage claim and we had no way of getting back in :| By this point I was hyperventilating. Anyway we finally managed to get back into baggage claim and pick up the luggage and get on the RER train to Paris and into the city.
We reached Porte Dorée metro station, the one outside the hotel, and I LOVED the area that we were in. It was just an ordinary corner of Paris, no tourists, no overpriced tourist traps, no people selling crap gifts and memorabilia of the city. Just an ordinary place.
I had NO idea where I was going because I’d never been able to find the hotel on Google street maps but I went with it and was walking down this street with a suitcase aimlessly pretending to know where I was going but then I turned a road and the hotel was just there! EXACTLY where I was expecting it to be. I was so happy! My sense of direction is, somehow, really good! The hotel was nice, simple but nice, and the area made it even better! And also that there was another entrance for the metro, literally outside the front door of the hotel. Brilliant.
After a VERY short amount of time in the hotel we jumped back on the metro and headed off towards the Eiffel Tower. I’d forgotten just how tall that bitch is!!! It was so very impressive, a few photos here:
(Click the thumbnails to view the full size image)
Then it was off over to the Arc de Triomphe which was fantastic. I loved the architecture and intricate detail of it. Wonderful:
Then we went to an Italian for some food! I ordered bruschetta and a bolognese pizza and mother had French onion soup and an omelette main - weirdo! The restaurant was HILARIOUS though. My bruschetta came and the pizza came about… a MINUTE later so I got both my dishes pretty much as once and mother’s didn’t come at all! I’d pretty much eaten half of my main by the time mum’s dishes came… and they came at the same time too! Worst organisation EVER but it was bloody hilarious.
Then at around eight we went back towards the tower to get ready to go up it! We sat in this café FULL of Spaniards, so of course I was perving on their conversations and listening to what they were saying - just so I can improve my listening skills, of course!
At nine it was time to go up the tower and oh my GOD that bitch is tall. The lift took us straight to the second floor and that felt SO high up, especially because it was open to the air so you REALLY feel the height up there. It’s ridiculously tall.
I was TERRIFIED about going all the way up to the third level, it was SO high and I’m never usually scared about anything but this was something else… It was horrific! But I got up there and wow! It was so wonderful and awe inspiring and wow. I loved it! And the fact that I saw a woman slip on a wet floor and fall down a flight of stairs made it all the better - THAT was pure comedy gold! Hilarious!!!!
Then nightfall came and the tower lit up and did a sparkling light show on the hour, every hour! I managed to capture a few shots of this.
The Louvre and Notre Dame
The next day came and it was time to go to the Louvre museum and Notre Dame. I’d planned to stay at these places for a lot longer than I actually did but I was so nervous about being on time for Shakira that I found myself rushing round these places so I could get back to the hotel and get ready for the night.
Nonetheless, I loved the two places and they’re just two more fantastic examples of the flawless Parisian architecture and attention to detail. The glass pyramids are the main focus of the Louvre and what makes it so famous but the old buildings around are far better than the pyramids and just phenomenal.
Photo taking was sparse on this day, again, because I was so nervous about Shakira I just wanted to get back, but there are a few photos of Notre Dame below.
So I could FINALLY go back to the hotel and try and calm my nerves! I wasn’t even planning on setting off to the arena until 18:30 but at 15:45 I was pretty much hyperventilating and couldn’t cope because we were half way across Paris and hadn’t got ANYTHING done.
We travelled on the metro back to the hotel and there was a burger place on the corner, about three doors down from the hotel, so we just stopped there to grab a bite to eat because I couldn’t cope with going to a proper restaurant: there was NOT enough time in my opinion.
I forced down a burger and pretty much RAN to the hotel and up the stairs but when we were in the room, for about 16:30, I could feel my nerves beginning to calm - we had plenty of time to get ready!
So I had a shower and just threw some ordinary clothes on and did a bit of tweeting, of course, before putting on my Shakira t-shirt and jumping onto the metro to head off towards the arena, it was PACKED. I’ve never seen a metro so busy, I loved it! And walking out of the station to the arena, the stairs up to, and the arena surrounding, the arena was teaming with people all singing and laughing and being generally excited about the night. It is the best approach to an arena that I’ve ever experienced. Ever. I loved it.
We took our seats and I was BLOWN AWAY about where we were sat!!! Opposite the end of the catwalk about seven or eight rows back, AMAZING seats. Even better than I thought they were.
And then on came the support, two DJs and a man with a microphone. They were SO FUN. They played really famous English music, all upbeat songs and got EVERYONE in the crowd singing and jumping up and down and punching the air and dancing. It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever witnessed at an arena. I LOVE FRENCH AUDIENCES. The best crowd I have EVER been in. I’m definitely going back to Bercy arena. As soon as possible.
Then Shakira entered the stage and I can honestly say it was one of THE best nights of my life. EVER. She started part way up the stairs in the middle of the crowd and walked right through the standing audience before entering the stage and doing TWENTY-TWO songs as well as all the dancing she does, being on stage for a total of two hours and ten minutes.
It was DVD NIGHT!!!!! You can see one of the camera cranes in the picture above so she performed the entire set of all the songs that had been sang on the tour, even Underneath Your Clothes, which she stopped doing after forming a relationship with Piqué because it was about her ex-boyfriend and Si Te Vas which she only performs in Spanish countries, plus an extra song which was half in French and half in Spanish.
The extra songs FLOORED me and I was SO happy I got very overwhelmed, especially when Si Te Vas came on because it’s my second favourite Shakira song and I’d never heard it live before. It meant everything to me. The full setlist was:
- Pienso en Ti
- Why Wait
- Te Dejo Madrid
- Si Te Vas
- Whenever Wherever
- El Nay A’atini Nay
- Nothing Else Matters/Despedida (medley)
- La Tortura
- Ciega, Sordomuda
- Underneath Your Clothes
- Sale el Sol
- Las de la Intuición
- She Wolf
- Ojos Así
- Antes de las Seis
- Lo Quiero a Morir (Je L’Aime a Mourir)
- Hips Don’t Lie
- Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
The setlist was absolutely FANTASTIC. The performance and the night was absolutely flawless!!! You could tell she was SO happy to be on the stage and loving every moment of being there.
She was so professional as well! When she ripped her jacket open during Sale el Sol she got her bracelet caught in the jacket (which was hilarious!!!) but she never let on to it and carried on singing like nothing had happened.
My third and final The Sun Comes Out Tour show was perfect, what I’d been hoping for and more. It meant everything to me and the fact that it will be immortalised on DVD makes me so happy I can’t even begin to explain. This night was EVERYTHING.
The next day was Disneyland day! I had to get up EARLY again but I was still hyper from the night before so this was fine! Though I was gutted that I couldn’t go to this night’s Shakira show too, but I was so grateful that I got to see the full setlist that I was ok with not being able to go to both shows. I was overwhelmed with just one. So walking round the park all day I was just talking about Shakira very loudly all day instead!
It was great to go to Disneyland again, really nice to relive those old memories and see the rides and attractions again.
My favourite ride was definitely the hotel ride in Disney Studios with the maniac lift which drops you over and over from thirteen floors up! I was not expecting that at all!
Disneyland was fun! Doesn’t have anything on proper theme parks but it’s definitely nice for a change and I love how everything is themed and everything matches, the attention to detail is wonderful.
So then it was time to travel home. We went via a DOUBLE DECKER TGV train from Disneyland to Charles de Gaulle airport and I fell in love with it this time. Check-in was so easy! There was nobody in the queue and the same went for security, apart from the fact that I set the metal detector off and got felt up by a French man… ok that bit wasn’t too bad either!
It was time to eat yet again and the man in the airport weighed the food! What on earth?! I’ve never seen anyone anywhere weigh food! But… whatever! Each to your own.
I had a quick look round the shops and then located, what I thought, was the gate and went and sat at a gate called E36. After being sat there for about five minutes I looked up at the screen and realised the flight going from there was to Buenos Aires, not quite Manchester airport then! Numbers and I this holiday just didn’t go well together at all! First the wrong row on the plane and now this!
I then realised that our actual gate, E26, was downstairs so I scaled down two flights of stairs and the second my foot touched the floor and was about to walk across to E26 an announcement was made saying our gate had now been moved to E28 which was back upstairs!!! WHAT a piss take!!! So then we had to go back up to there and to E28.
Boarding was hassle free, though, and we quickly got on the plane, which was one of these:
The flight was nice, the best bit was one of the cabin crew getting the safety demonstration wrong:
“The seatbelt is fastened…”
*Puts on life jacket*
and I also had one of the best sandwiches ever! And got a free Wispa bar. It was wonderful and that was around all really!
The bottom line is, I had a fantastic time in Paris and absolutely loved it! I’d love to go back again, it’s a brilliant city and as for Shakira… the woman is a god. An utter god.