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  • Writer's pictureLinda De Angelis

A transit fiasco between the moon & Paris City!

Discovering a beautiful city like Paris is like falling in love.  Do you have this feeling when you get lost in the beauty of a magnificent city like Paris?  It is as if the city enters your heart as you discover the splendor and character in all its historical sites.  Returning to a charming city like Paris is like rekindling a romance with a long-lost lover, you fall in love with the city all over again like the words of the reminiscent song “la vie en rose”.


Unsplashed image by Halanna Halila

My last journey to Paris started out like a “rom com” transit misadventure!  It was a traveller’s worst nightmare of delayed flights, endless circus hoops to jump through of airport auto check-ins and snail’s pace security queues!  Every time I looked at the flight indicator board and saw my flight schedule time, I was convinced these airport obstacles would stop me getting to the boarding gate!

 

However as soon as I passed the final security check, I landed into the perfumery department.  It was wonderful to breathe a sigh of relief with the help of all the luxury fragrances, a spritz of my all-time favourite perfume Bvlgari “Au The Vert” (green tea) made me forget the hectic chaos and I was able to enjoy a leisurely pace to the boarding gate through the homogenized airport maze of global high end boutiques, shops, cafes and bars; making me feel like I could be anywhere in the world.  I even had time for a preflight glass of champagne!

 

It was a quiet flight, my fellow passengers were subdued, all in our own zone, maybe they were also recovering from their own airport fiasco.  As soon as the “fasten seatbelts” sign came on, we started our flight descent over the City of Light. Fireworks were going off in the outer perimeter of Paris, made even more special with the Eiffel ‘Tower whimsically jutting out of the shimmering city grid!  This spectacular sight sparks a conversation with my neighbour, Nancy, an American who ironically was about the same age as me. I asked her when she first visited Paris, her answer was “many moons ago” which incidentally is the same time I first visited Paris!  I asked if she had been back since and she said, “many times”.  She said how she felt Paris goes through a constant evolution.  We talked about how time changes a city and travel changes us.

 

Finally, our flight landed.  As it was so late, we were quick to pass through the customs and baggage collection queues.  I bid farewell to my fellow passenger Nancy and wished her a Bon Voyage!


Unsplashed image by Lisa

With the flight being so delayed, I was grateful the transfer company had communicated about the delay with my driver who was waiting patiently at the exit gate to whisk me to my hotel.  Driving into Paris is so surreal, as by now it is midnight, and it is more like I have woken up in a French impressionist painting (profound that the French impressionists used painting and light to create the dream of an image).  Most street corners had a bar with bright party lights and lively with patrons enjoying the evening celebration, this is a city that does not sleep.  I noticed many of the street posters were of the latest perfume by Jean Paul Gaultier, this glamourous poster boy all over town added such a contemporary impression to the city and was totally fabulous.  As if this scenario could not get better, I now pass the moulin Rouge, with the iconic red windmill (moulin) lit up and buzzing with atmosphere, this is an amazing welcome back to Paris.


Unsplashed image by Lola Delabays

Returning to the City of Light, it reminds me of the words in the song “la vie en Rose”.  It is as if Paris “does something to me, as if it has entered my heart.  The pain and bothers fade away and I see life through rose-coloured glasses”.

 

Arriving to my hotel, it’s just like the movie set for some French film on a quintessential Parisian Street, with bars not so far away and people walking around enjoying the midnight soiree.


By the time I get to my hotel, it is way past midnight, thanks to the flight delay!  My rooftop room is on the fifth floor.  It is a beautiful balmy early summer evening.  I open the windows as the air conditioning is not working.  I can hear the party revellers are having fun at the discotheque, the familiar party anthems waft through the air.  This made me feel, strangely, very at home. The “Macarena” was playing, then “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, followed by “Voulez-Vous” and the perennial favourite – “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, everybody knows the words.  I could imagine everyone dancing and having a good time.  I can hear exuberance of fun and laughter.  It is just as if time stops still, and we are all young again.

 

After having a refreshing shower, the warm air of this beautiful summer evening enveloped me.  With the air conditioning not working and my window open, I poke my head out to feel the night breeze.  I can smell coffee wafting through the streets, so I imagine that the expresso martinis are flowing by now - giving everybody that extra buzz for the singing and dancing to keep the effervescence flowing for the disco revelers.

 

It is now the bewitching small hours of the night, the Parisian discotheque is showing no sign of finishing any time soon, however, I am really enjoying the vibrant vibe or is it that jet lag has not yet caught up with me.  I am so grateful to be back in Paris!  After my transit fiasco, I unpack my bag and start washing my light apparel.  It seems just so continental to open the window shutters and have all the lacy intimates and my favourite brand Kitten D’Amore silk tops drying in the summer evening air!  It does not get much more Parisian than that!


Photo of me on my 1st day of my latest trip to Paris in my favourite @Kitten D'Amour botanical dress

REFLECTION:

My dear readers I would like to remind you of the Seven top tips from Virgin Atlantic of what you need for a smooth check in:

1.       Your booking reference.

2.       OR Your eTicket number

3.       OR Your Flying Club number

4.       Your passport

5.       Your computer or device

6.       A can-do attitude

7.       Be aware, each airline sets their own baggage allowance, with restrictions on size, weight and amount of pieces for both checked luggage and hand luggage.


If you find yourself trapped in transit chaos it sometimes it does feel like the words Peter Allen wrote in a song “caught between the moon and New York City” or in my case, between the moon and Paris!  These words have inspired this blog and reflection.  Peter Allen imagined this line when his plane got stuck in a holding pattern waiting to land at JFK airport in New York.   I always think of this line when I am trapped in transit.  It all will be ok and once you arrive to a magnificent city you can get lost in its splendour, like the words of the song “la vie en Rose” the city will do its magic “as if it has entered your heart.  The pain and bothers fade away and I see life through rose-coloured glasses”.


Unsplashed image by Geoffroy Hauwen

 

Reflecting on the words of these two songs, I am reminded when travelling, your day can start out as a transit fiasco, seeming like you are “stuck between the moon and New York city”.  However, with luck and the right attitude it can end up like a shimmering rose coloured dream – “La vie en rose”.




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Welcome to Destination Serendipity for inspired travel journeys. I’m Linda De Angelis and I have travelled all over the world as a professional travel advisor. Remember to sign up for my inspired travel blogs. Just click on the button below.

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