Last tuesday, my classmates and I met at University at 6:15 and set off to Paris.
Once we had arrived in the city we travelled to the hostel, I didn’t know what to expect because I had only stayed in one other hostel and I didn’t enjoy it. We stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn by the canal, the room was clean and so were the showers. I really enjoyed staying at the hostel purely for the girls who were in my room, I certainly became a lot closer with my classmates from going on the trip. As a group, we brought metro tickets and we ventured onto the French underground for the first time and went to the Pompidou centre. Unfortunately the Pompidou was shut for a private party, we went and had a not so great meal at Pizza Hut and regrouped. My year decided to leave earlier than the 10:30pm curfew and failing to find our teachers, we went back to the hostel on our own.
Once we had eaten breakfast (unfortunately without croissants) we took the coach to the Musée de l’orangerie and saw a Monet exhibition which was beautiful to see in person. We then made our own way around the streets of Paris, we discovered the designer shops and visited Alexander McQueen, Chloé and high street shops such as Zara and H&M. We walked through Paris by using the map, my previous experience and asking for directions. We found the Palais Galliera and visited an exhibition about a French Countess and her influential style, in my opinion the exhibition was not as relevant as other exhibitions which were on at the same time, for example the Louis Vuitton exhibition which was free; but it was better to book in advance and would have been more interesting. We found somewhere to get lunch and sat in the Jardin des Tuileries, we then walked to the Champs Elysees and met the tutors at Chartier, a traditional French restaurant that didn’t live up to our expectations after a long day of walking.
The whole party met and we got on the coach to Premiere vision, this was a trade show where print designers, manufacturers and trend forecasters meet and trade business. It was huge and we were set the task of finding British printers to ask about internships. The trade show was really interesting and it was amazing seeing all the different areas and businesses within the fashion industry whether it was the production of shoe heels to lace. While we were there, one of the students spotted Kanye West and we managed to find him before the crowds flocked. Unfortunately we were unable to speak to him as he was speaking to manufacturers for his clothing collection but it was a shock to see such a big celebrity and influence on a student day at a trade show.
Once we had finished at the trade show we took a boat trip on the Seine. On the journey to the boat, the coach driver gave us a mini tour and opportunity to take photos where we stopped by the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. The boat was slow and instead of going past Notre Dame, we visited the financial district of Paris which I was disappointed with. After the boat trip we got on the Metro to Monmatre, had the best meal of the week at a small restaurant and walked up to the Sacre Coeur. We soon realised why there was a lift and after running up the first flight of stairs we were shattered. The views of Paris were beautiful and it was the most enjoyable night of the week with my friends.
After packing and putting our bags away; we got the metro to the Grand Palais in hope of seeing the Louis Vuitton exhibition, unfortunately it was a two hour wait so we decided to walk back into the centre and explore. We found some shops and purchased items on the way, I brought a bomber jacket and a roll neck jumper from Zara. We then walked to the designer department store Galleries Lafayette, this was an opportunity to see the overwhelming amounts of designer garments that were on offer. We went back to the hostel on our last metro trip, put our bags on the coach and drove home.
After an exhausting week of walking, exploring Paris on our own and getting closer to my classmates I enjoyed the trip, however I think this is because we went off on our own and did what we thought was good in Paris.