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Our disappointment in Paris – and what it taught us.

One of the perks of having family in France was being able to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris. On the run up to our next adventure all we could think about was our first romantic NYE getaway; the fireworks, the food, the atmosphere. Dec had been for, but this would be my first time. So to say I was excited was an understatement. I’d heard and seen so many good things that I couldn’t wait to experience them myself.

Getting to Paris:

We took the train in and watched the sunset as we arrived into Europe’s most romantic city. We even found our hotel without a fuss, which was good going for us! It was the perfect beginning. Throughout the next day we did the customary touristy things, (and treated me to some new shoes – because heal’s were not OK for this city) before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the evening’s festivities.

Now, New Year’s Eve in Paris is obviously very popular – so we were prepared for crowds. We were even prepared for the rain – because, you know, we’re English. However what we weren’t prepared for, Ha, rookie mistake, was the extremely high bill following just one glass of wine and a beer; it topped London’s high-end prices! Then came the rude waiter… who didn’t return with our change, despite us asking for it. No big deal, they were busy, we could forget about it, move on.

Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve in Paris

More disappointment for our New Year’s Eve in Paris; 

Midnight was drawing near. For every excited tourist there must have been 4 beggars or scammers; trying to sell dodgy banned alcohol as well as other dodgy knock-offs. you expect it in a city. I am not naive enough to think otherwise, but it went completely against the vision I had built up about Paris. Unfortunately my night still had further to drop.

We found ourselves a nice spot by the Eiffel Tower after battling our way through endless drunken teens. Here we waited for the spectacular firework display we’d seen so much about. Ready for the perfect shot, everyone got their cameras out to record the show as the countdown began. Nobody could have been prepared for what was to come… 3… 2… 1… … nothing. We waited…. and waited… Not a swoosh, squeal or a measly pop.

We could hear fireworks going off over towards the Arc De Triomphe. Even by the Notre Dame Cathedral too. The American and English mumbled in disappointment nearby; these had obviously built the night up in their heads the same way I had. After a few seconds, the Eiffel Tower twinkled with yellow and white lights, but that was the only show we would be getting that night.

Looking back:

I am in no way ungrateful for the holiday we had. However, I would definitely do things differently next time. I wouldn’t have hyped it up so much in my head on the run-up. It will never end well if we carry high expectations and I definitely would have stopped to enjoy the moment of just being there; instead of comparing what I got to what I was expecting, and complaining about it.

It’s easy to expect too much from our travels. Especially if you pay too much attention to the brochures and Instagram posts. Despite me walking away feeling like never returning to celebrate another New Year’s Eve in Paris again; at least I was able to experience that disappointment. It certainly beats spending yet another New Years Eve at home in front of the telly watching other people have all the fun!

 

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