13 In Europe/ France/ Travel

Paris: Why Getting Lost Turned Out To Be My Favourite Story

Sacre Coeur at Mont MarteOften the best travel stories are born from accidentally walking in the wrong direction.

One of the funniest stories to tell on our return from Paris was getting lost forgetting a little that we were in an unknown, foreign country.

Our story begins on a morning trip to the catacombs. We had tried to go the previous day but being huge haters of standing in lines, my husband and I retreated vowing to come early the next morning. We arrived about 45 minutes before opening and the line had already started to form. My main thought was that this had better be worth it – it was.

catacombs parisI found it a pretty awesome experience as I was not really sure what to expect. After climbing what felt like a million stairs straight upward we rose around 4 blocks from where we entered. A little bit disorientated and tired from previous days of walking, not to mention the stairs, we headed off to find a subway station to journey to Sacre Coeur at Monte Marte all the way on the other side of the city. The subway station we were looking for was quite a walk away still so being tired I made the suggestion to just get on the closest train as it would take us quite close to where we needed to be.

As we ascended from the subway station we started to realise that maybe we were not in the right area. I started to become very aware of the bright coloured top that I had chosen to wear that day and we tried to wipe the look of tourists off our faces. My husband went to get out his phone to look up directions but as it happened every time we went on the subway his data would switch off and the phone would need to be restarted to activate it again. Not wanting to stop walking but not wanting to walk in the wrong direction I was very close to turning around, straight back down to the next train out of there.

As we were waiting an old French man started to walk towards us, I was slightly alarmed and at first tried to walk away until we realised he was saying ‘Sacre Coeur’. Yes, we said quickly! He had obviously seen us standing VERY out of place and realised why we were there. Without us understanding French and with him not understanding English he gave us directions to where we needed to be. Not wanting to chance it any longer we headed off quickly in the direction he said.

After a quick and pretty interesting look at the lower socio-economic side of Paris we arrived at the bottom of the biggest set of stairs. It had to be at the top. So we climbed and climbed until I nearly collapsed at the top in the searing heat. What we were greeted with was beautiful, starkly contrasted to where we had just come from. Sitting down to rest listening to a harpist play the Andrea Bocelli classic, Time to Say Goodbye and taking in the view, we were able to reflect on the kindness shown to us by a stranger and the ability to overcome language barriers.

paris m.m paris mm paris viewWe walked around and found an Irish pub selling ice cold beer and fish and chips. This was exactly what we needed after our morning. After exploring the area a little more we decided that was probably enough and took the correct train back into the city and back to our apartment.

parisWhat travel mishap turned into your favourite story to tell?

Until next week, don’t forget you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date!

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  • Reply
    August 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Love this story 🙂 I can’t wait to visit in a few months time!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    This is making me super excited for my honeymoon in Paris later this year! So looking forward to it!

  • Reply
    Helen K
    June 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Beautiful story – I just love the idea of wandering, and Paris is the perfect place to do it (we had a family holiday throughout Europe last year and loved it!) Our unexpected day, which really was a highlight, was an extra day visiting different beaches along the Côte de Basque on the west coast, near Spain – such a lovely series of villages and fantastic beaches!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Loved our trip to Paris. It was a long weekend trip before our two weeks in Ireland and it was just spectacular. I really want to see more of the French countryside too. After hearing that you really enjoyed the catacombs I am really hoping to return to see a few more things that we didn’t get to last time mostly due to summer crowds as we were there in July. Great blog! 🙂

    • Reply
      June 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      I would love to go back and spend time in the country side as well, such a beautiful country! I imagine it would be crazy in July, we where there in September and just got perfect weather and a really relaxed atmosphere. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 16, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    That day sounds exhausting, I bet that pub was like an oasis in the desert. I have rellies that have just come back from Europe, I was amazed by all the jet streams in the sky in their photos, and I see them in yours too. So many awesome sights to see over there.

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    June 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    What beautiful photos and a heartening story to match. I am so looking forward to my Paris adventure in October♥

    • Reply
      June 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      I am so excited for your trip – Paris truly was a wonderful experience. We were there in September last year and the weather was amazing so I hope the same for you! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Reply
    Min (@riteofthemiddle)
    June 15, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    What a lovely story Sally! I enjoy your travels over there in Europe. I hope to get to Paris one day! So nice of that man to help you and isn’t it amazing that you managed to communicate even with the language barrier. The photographs are beautiful! OMG – the stairs! LOL I bet that lunch and a sit down was fantastic after all your walking! 🙂

    • Reply
      Min (@riteofthemiddle)
      June 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      ‘envy’ … not ‘enjoy’ …. oops!

    • Reply
      June 15, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      I certainly hope you do get to Paris one day, it was one of the most amazing places I have been and I feel I left so much more to see and experience that I must go back again! Nothing like a good lunch to recuperate! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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