This what I will write about the next weeks is an experience I will never forget in my life. I went to Paris exactly 1 week after the attack of the IS. The airplane of the flight Dublin – Paris was just half full. And I was able to smell the fear of the people inside the airplane. Even I was afraid, I didn’t know what I would find there.
After the landing I got through the pass control and saw armed military everywhere in the airport immediately. I remembered that I read some days ago that they were planning to do an attack at the Charles De Gaulle Airport as well. So I was a bit afraid because of that. I went to the Tourist Information and ask for the quickest way to the city center. The lady at the desk explained me I had to go to Terminal 3 to get the train and also told me to not go out during the night time. It was not safe enough.
At the train station in Terminal 3 I was waiting for the train. But the first one was not stopping. The voice in the speaker said something in French and there was a murmur going around the people on the platform. I got the thought that something could have happened in the city again straight away and they won’t let us in anymore. But 10 minutes later the next train came and stopped for us. I stayed on the train all the way to the station Chatelet Les Halles.
At the metro station I was shocked. It was so dirty and old! It looked like I was going out in a station in The Bronx of New York. This couldn’t be a central station in Paris! But soon I figured out they were renovating it anyway. From the station I got into a big hall with a red carpet. I have to admit I kind of liked it to walking on it. There was also armed Military standing everywhere in the hall.
When I got out of the hall I saw an Irish pub right away and felt instantly like back home. On the street there I asked an oyster monger for the way to the Louvre, he explained me the way in French and somehow I was able to understand him, but I answered him back in Italian, instead of French, so awkward! On my way to the Louvre I got lost again and asked another guy at the next crossroad. This guy was from Italy, lived in my city Nuremberg for a while and spoke perfect English. He even lived near the Louvre and brought me there. At the Louvre I was looking for my hostel but couldn’t find the right street, so I asked a young punk couple sitting on the street, for the way. They spoke a good English and explained me the way to the hostel.
When I finally got to the hostel, I checked in and the guy at the reception was really nice to me. He introduced himself to me and told me if I need anything, I can ask for him. And I always thought the people in Paris would be rude! I brought my stuff to the room and then went back outside towards the Louvre.
It was almost 11 pm when I got to the Louvre. And it looked so beautiful! The glass pyramid was shining bright with a red shining string in the middle. I also saw the Eiffel Tower from there.
After that I went towards the Eiffel Tower. I had to cross a bridge. But I couldn’t find one! Instead of a bridge I saw just locks, everywhere! So I went over the locks to the other side of the river and got to the Assemblee Nationale Palais Bourbon. The whole building was shining in the colors of the French flag – red, white and blue. I walked beside the building and the fence on the street. Suddenly there were 2 eyes staring at me. My heart stopped for a second until I realized it was just a guard, but he looked really creepy at me. I walked promptly away from him.
I couldn’t see the Tower for a while anymore, however a few streets further I went around a corner and saw the huge tower in front of me. It was stunning to see the massive steel construction. But even here was armed military everywhere. It was a bit of a scary feeling. Especially since this could be an interesting point for terrorists. I went under the middle of the tower and saw a giant sphere in the middle of it. Unfortunately it was too dark to see what it was exactly. Perhaps just a Christmas decoration.
From there I went to the Palais de Chaillot and had a great view over the area and was able to see the tower in the French national colors blue white and red. It was so beautiful and sad at the same time to see the Eiffel Tower glowing in those colors.
From there I went all the way back to the Louvre. Fortunately nothing special happened on my way back. There was no one outside at this time, it was almost 1 am. Most of the buildings had already turned off the light. Just the Nationale Palais, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre still had their lights on. At the Louvre I found some bushes and thought it could be a maze. I got so excited about the thought of it that I went inside. Straight away I saw about 5 guys standing in there staring at me. As quick as I went inside, I went out again. Then I got back to the hostel and slept there.