Liverpool

Next Stop: Paris, France

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On the third night that Joey was in Leeds, we were sitting in my room, and I went over my bucket list. When I reached the bottom of the list (#33), I turned to Joey and I said: “Wanna go somewhere? Like fly to a different city?” and he said, “Let’s do it”.

I pulled out a world map on my Ipad and randomly picked a spot… it was the Atlantic Ocean. And so, since I didn’t feel like swimming in late November, I randomly picked another spot. PARIS IT WAS! WE booked our tickets, accommodations and other means of transportation 36 hours before our flight from Liverpool departed. I’d call that a spontaneous trip (crosses #33 off bucket list).

Journée 1

We arrived at the Charles de Gaulle airport after flying with Easyjet from Liverpool. We arrived around 8:30pm. We took the metro (RER A) from the airport straight to our accommodations. Again, I strongly recommend travellers who are looking for cheap places to sleep to check out Airbnb.com! Joey and I stayed with this lovely Parisian couple who were renting out there futon for a really cheap price (compared to the rest of Paris). They provided us a map of Paris, showed us all the touristy places, and their  own personal recommendations. They lived in a very old-styled Parisian flat that had a key that was similar to the key in Hugo. Because it was so late at night, Joey and I crashed the first night in Paris.

Journée 2

Bonjour mon ami(e)! Ca va? Je suis tres bon!

Joey and I woke up to the restless streets of Paris around 8am and decided to begin our day with a trip to le Supermarche (the supermarket). We bought some food for breakfast as well as snacks and drinks for the day trip to the busiest parts of Paris. The only noteworthy thing that happened at the store was when Joey paid for his food. He gave the cashier a 10 pound note, instead of 10 euro note. He got so confused when she stared at him blankly, and returned his money with a “non”. Confused on the situation, I told Joey he gave her a British note, and that the currency is Euros here. It was his first blonde moment of the trip (among many, sadly). I couldn’t help but laugh and make fun of him for the rest of the trip.
I’m cruel like that.

Instead of taking the metro into the city, we decided to walk the entire way there (2 hours), and take a few detours along the way, including a stop at Starbucks. STARBUCKS IS SO EXPENSIVE IN PARIS. It’s probably the only spot with the most expensive drinks. Beware.

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Jardin des Tuileries
was the first place we visited. It’s an enclosed garden and holds the Musee de Louvre! It was pretty spectacular and was one the way to the Eiffel Tower: the main thing we wanted to see that day. As soon as we saw it through the trees and past the buildings, we got really excited and couldn’t wait to see it upfront!

And BAM! There she was…

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Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was phenomenal! The whole time we were in Paris was mainly cloudy, but the one hour we were in front of the Eiffel tower, the sky cleared up and the lighting was absolutely beautiful. We were insanely lucky. After taking photos and video in front of the Eiffel Tour, Joey and I decided to climb the Eiffel Tower… it was on my silly bucket list. I pretty much had a heart attack, and Joey died halfway up. You had to pay extra to use the escalator and wait for a good hour to get to the very top of the Eiffel tower, and I just didn’t have the patience (or money) to wait in line… The view was probably the same; amazing.

After seeing the beauty that is the Eiffel Tower, Joey and I wandered around Paris for a few hours before night fell. We came across the Christmas Market and spent most the day walking along the Seine River. We made our way to L’Arc de Triomphe and walked along the shopping strip. Everything was all lite up for Christmas and really put you in the Christmas spirit.

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Journée 3

We began our morning with a walk through Pere Lachaise Cemetery where there were thousand and thousands of graves and monuments dedicated to very influential, successful and historical individuals… such a great start to the day! The cemetery was very beautiful and extremely old. The paths were all cobble stone, and you could walk for hours, not to mention get lost in the maze of dead bodies.

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After the cemetery, we took the metro to Funiculaire de Montmartre to see an extremely beautiful basilica as well as an even more beautiful view of Paris. Although it was an amazing place to visit, I had a really bad experience. I was approached by a guy that pretty much grabbed my hand and started making a bracelet, even though I told him i didn’t want one, nor did I have money. He continued to make the bracelet and then asked that I give him a payment. I told him I didn’t have any change, and he said that if I had a bill, he would give me change back. I gave him 5 euros, and gave me no change back. He then asked that I make a second payment to his boss that was watching both of us from afar. I had no other bills on me, and eventually found 2 euro coin… this dumb little bracelet cost me 7 euros… and I now I have it on my desk staring at me… It makes me angry every time I see it. No matter how rude it is, next time someone approaches me trying to sell me something, I will ignore them and walk away from them.
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Next stop on our things to see was Notre Dame! Joey was saddened when I told him that there is no actual hunchback that lives at the Notre Dame.
Near the entrance to the cathedral was an old man waving his hand in the air with about 25 tiny birds following his hand. He was giving people food and showed them how to get the birds to follow your hand. It looked so magical with 25 little birds moving with this old man’s arm waving back and forth.

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Inside the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris was spectacular. The architecture, paintings and feel of the cathédrale was absolutely exquisite. We both lit a candle for a our grandmothers and made a donation. To make matters funny, they had lots of signs that said “Silence” and “No flash” said in various languages. What was most humourous was the fact that they had separate large signs in chinese or japanese around the church that said “No Flash” with a picture of a crossed out flashing camera. Clearly they had to emphasize and get a message across to a certain cultural group of people.

IMG_3638We ended our second day in Paris by going to the first museum I wanted to go to while in Paris: Musee D’Orsay. They had an exhibition on impression (one of my favourite types of artwork), and fashion (something Joey would like). It was nice to try out my art history skills after a year of studying the subject in first year of uni. I was a little rusty at first, but eventually could have given a guided tour and take about the works of art, especially impressionism. The last painting that I saw in D’Orsay was Whistler’s Mother. Although it shouldn’t have, it reminded me of the Mr. Bean movie that I used to watch a lot when I was younger. It was so cool seeing the actual painting in person. Not many people have the same opportunities as me, and this makes me thankful of the amazing opportunities that I have been given.

Journée 4

Basically, we slept in and Paris decided to be very rainy. Bad Paris.

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Due to the late start and rainy afternoon, we decided to spend the entire day in the Musee de Louvre. This was a dream on true for me, seeing as how I could spend an entire day in an art museum, especially one that had an amazing Raphael exhibition, and showcases one of the most famous paintings: The Mona Lisa. The Musee de Louvre was also located beside a shopping centre which was all decked out in Christmas spirit.

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OH hai there Mona. It was nice to have met you. Although, I must say, you’re tres petite! (The painting is very small)

Musee de Louvre is now my absolute favourite museum in the world. I absolutely fell in love with it (not the price tho…)
Loved the Raphael exhibition, loved seeing the Mona Lisa, and loved how humongous it was. You could literally spend the entire day in there and still not see everything. We did end up spending the rest of the day there as well as portion of the night. After getting a quick sinner with another Canadian guy that we met at Musee de Louvre (I ALWAYS FIND OTHER CANADIANS; No matter where). After we went our separate ways, Joey and I decided to walk around Paris, at night, in the rain. So romantic…

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Journée 5

Being the last day in Paris (I know, so sad right?), I really want to splurge a little and drink coffee at a really fancy french cafe and read my art history novel. Because I’m classy like that. One of my good friends recommended that I check out Angelina’s Cafe, and so, on our way to the airport, we made a pit stop and enjoyed a delicious (and classy) lunch at Angelina’s.
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Yes, I actually did read my art history novel while chilling in a fancy french cafe with delicious sandwiches and croissants available.

This is the life.
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On our way to the metro station to catch our plane, walked through the Jardin de Tuileries and crossed the “love lock” bridge. This bridge was literally filled with thousands of love locks! Each lock had two names or initials of the people who locked their love for eternity and threw the key into the Seine River. Afterwards, we said our last good-byes to the Eiffel Tower and travelled to the Ryanair airport which was an hour outside of Paris. It’s much easier to fly with EasyJet if you are planning to come to Paris!

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In the end, this spontaneous trip to Paris (which wasn’t even that expensive seeing as how we booked 32 hours beforehand) turned out to be an amazing weekend with my best friend joey. We had such an amazing time staying with the lovely Parisian couple and we both fell in love with Paris. It makes my top 3 favourite places in the world.
Can I live here? Pretty please?

Til my next adventure, stay classy folks!

~Ryan

Follow me and my travels on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanthomaswoods

Check out my Youtube videos on Paris: http://www.youtube.com/user/BorderlineForFools

Article: 10 Things to Do and See in Paris, France

Any comments or questions, please leave a message above! If you have any other suggestions of places you highly recommend in Paris, then leave a comment below!

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Categories: Autumn, Blog, Easyjet, Edinburgh, England, Fall, Flights, France, Glasgow, Liverpool, Night Life, Paris, Ryanair, Scotland, Seasons, Survival Guide, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Next Stop: Liverpool, England

With a love for The Beatles and spark of interest to visit such a historical city, I was finally able to cross Liverpool (or “Liverpewl”) off my Places To Go list.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning when my friend Caroline and I arrived in Liverpool. We didn’t go with a tour company and had all the free time to do whatever and go wherever we wanted.

Because it was so sunny and beautiful that morning and didn’t know what the weather would be like later on, we decided to journey to Albert Dock, which is one of the most touristy places in Liverpool; mainly because of the shear beauty of the docks, but also due to the fact that the Beatles museum  as well as other museums that are located in the vicinity.

   

Albert Dock was the first place I visited and the last place I visited; it was my most favourite place about Liverpool. It was so incredibly beautiful and full of history. They had the Beatles Story Exhibition, the Tate Liverpool, International Slavery museum, and so many restaurants, shops and cafes. They even had a Yellow Submarine at the docks; if only I had gotten a chance to ride on it.

After a beautiful morning at Albert Dock, Caroline and I decided to venture into the heart of the city and see the three main cathedrals and churches that were of immense significance and beauty. We travelled through Chinatown to get to our first cathedral on our list: The Liverpool Cathedral.

  

Words can not express how beautiful this cathedral was, and most important, how huge it was. This Anglican Cathedral Liverpool of is the largest in the United Kingdom and the fifth largest in the world.

The exterior was just as beautiful as the interior; except this cathedral was free to see the inside, which makes things much more epic! The inside was awe-inspiring and even just the staircases reminded me how beautiful architecture is (and this was all because of a staircase). The photo to the left just reminded me of a scene from Harry Potter within Hogwarts. I wonder if these staircases move? Probably not. They were still magical to see none-the-less.

I rarely go to church, but I would most definitely go to a service if it was held in this magnificent cathedral.

   

Our next stop consisted of this run-down Church called St. Luke’s. It was located on the top of Bold Street and was significantly destroyed from bombing during the 1940’s. It is commonly now known as “the bombed-out church” and is quite interesting to see.

As we ventured through Bold street, which is known for there vintage shops and cafes, and finally came to the third and final church on our list: the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral.

This cathedral looks like a bloody spaceship. It was actually really interesting to see and to take a look inside. I felt like I was in space or at least in a futuristic setting.

What I liked most about all three of these churches was the fact that they were all free to see and go inside; those are my favourite types of churches.

Caroline and I began to walk towards Mathew Street where The Cavern was located. The Cavern was where the Beatles first performed at a club during the 1960’s, and is now a huge tourist attraction.

      
After we hung out with The Beatles, we journeyed through the more industrial and busy area of Liverpool until we came to the World Museum. This was the start to journey of seeing all the museums in Liverpool.

Seeing as how time was limited, we decided to only go into two of the three museums on our list. The World Museum was not one of the two we really wanted to see.

Instead, we made our way back to Albert Dock to see the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Inside this museum, the had free entry to see the Titanic exhibition, as well as entry to the International Slavery Museum.

  Both the Titanic exhibition and Slavery museum were extremely interesting and knowledgeful. Both the history of the Titanic, as well as the history of Slavery interest me in a mixture of ways, and I learned a lot from both exhibitions.

After viewing the two exhibitions, we decided to head to Liverpool One, to see what it was all about. Basically, Liverpool One is like a giant shopping mall, except that its outside. You can climb this giant hill to reach the top floor of the shopping centre, and when you look below, you feel like your in an indoor shopping mall, but you’re not. It was really interesting to see, and there were lots of interesting and fashionable shops.

We realized that we had a few more hours left and decided to go to the Tate Liverpool. They had a Monet exhibition going on, but it costed a large amount of money to see it, and since I’ve already seen a lot of Monet paintings, I decided not to go. Instead, we were able to view some works of art on 2 floors of the Tate museum (because it was free). The works of art on these two floors were very contemporary and fairly odd pieces of art work; interesting, but questionable. I wasn’t as pleased by the art works offered at this museum compared to most of the free museums I visit, however, when I came to the last piece of artwork available, I was completely satisfied. They had one of the most recognizable, controversial and questionable pieces of art that really questioned “What Is Art? Who defines what is it?”: Fountain 1917 by Marcel Duchamp. I flipped when I saw this in the Museaum… but under close inspection, I realized that it couldn’t have been the real thing. Then I looked at the description block available on the wall, it backed up my hypothesis; a replica. Dang.

  

We spent the rest of our evening getting some Subway for dinner (YOLO!) and walking around the city and docks some more before we head to catch our ride back home to Leeds.


The sights and sounds of Liverpool were very beautiful and interesting. Even though Albert Dock was probably my most favourite thing about the city, I’m unsure whether I would have another reason to go back; it seems that Liverpool is just one of those cities that you only see once in your life and probably never go back. For me, it was missing that wow! factor…

I loved the churches, and found the museums very interesting, and would recommend the places I visited to those who have a desire to visit Liverpool. The air rings with Beatles music wherever you go, and if you get to visit Liverpool on a beautiful, sunny day; then you’re in luck.

~Ryan

Categories: Blog, England, Liverpool, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop: Glasgow, Scotland

Go to Scotland, they said, They speak English, they said. 
You’ll understand the locals, they said. 
~ True Words from my wonderful friend Charlotte.

          
Why hello there Scawtland… we meet again! (Click here for last trip to Scotland)

This time, I decided to visit my wonderful Queens friends Charlotte, Ian and Jennie, who are all currently on exchange and attend the University of Glasgow.

Because I only have classes Monday and Tuesday, I decided to book a train ticket to Glasgow for Wednesday, and return back to Leeds on the Monday (for my class, urgh).

This 5-day weekend was AH-MAZING.

The first day I was there, Charlotte showed me around the city center (which looks very similar to Leeds) and I finally got a picture with a tardis! If you don’t know what a tardis is… well… google it. It’s something pretty awesome from a pretty awesome British television show, Doctor Who.

The rest of the night was spent meeting Charlotte’s classmates and catching up on our personal life stories. So much has happened in two months; it’s cray cray.

The following morning, or should say.. afternoon, was spent sleeping in til 2pm (I was sleep deprived mmkay?) and meeting up with Charlotte to go for lunch, and meeting up with her friend Naomi from the previous night. All we did was discuss films, and show our films to each other. We had a very film-ie afternoon and it made me extremely happy. My life is lacking in filmic aspects, and exceeding with traveling.

Charlotte and I then met up with her friend Johan, who is swedish, and his friends who came to visit him from Sweden: Kim, Sofia and Jimmy. They had very swedish names, and so this was their english names. I had no idea that these four people would later become really good friends.

We all went to Ketchup for dinner. Ketchup is this really great burger place, but with awful ketchup; suriously. It doesn’t make sense, but it honestly tastes abnormal. After eating at Ketchup, The two Canadians and Four Swedish Berries (as I called them all weekend) all went out for drinks at a few different pubs and bars. It turned into an amazing night where I got to get to know a lot of people, especially my new swedish friends 🙂

The next day/night, we woke up insanely late, ate dinner and went out to a club in downtown Glasgow. Charlotte and I were clearly extremely productive that day/night (sarcasm). Oh, Charlotte did read a passage from “Fifty Shades of Grey” while at Tesco. HA!

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I spent my saturday with my Queen’s friend Ian in the beautiful hills of Perth, Scotland. This city was my home away from home, as I generally live in Perth, Canada. Check out my adventure and beautiful hike up a summit in the 7th city of Scotland!

I spent Saturday evening at another club where everyone was dressed up for Halloween (even though it was the 27th of October), so Charlotte decided to go as a sexy vampire, and I decided to go as a Hollister model (lolz). That evening turned out to be an amazing night in Glasgow; surely a night to remember. It was also the last night that my new swedish friends would be in Glasgow. I was super sad to them leave, although I’m really happy that I got to meet them and probably visit in the near future!

Hello Sweden! I’ll Be Seeing You Soon I’m Sure!

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Sunday was spent recovering from the night out, and a tea & biscuit (minus the biscuit) date with my other Queen’s friend Jennie! It was lovely seeing her since I haven’t seen her since the summer began. Too many awesome people in Glasgow; I need to visit more often (hint hint).

Charlotte is the biggest stalker I know.
“Oh I know exactly where the tour bus is located for every band that plays here” Love this girl.

Sunday night was spent going to see Owl City in concert. It was amazing! I’ve been waiting for many years to see Adam Young play live ever since I found him on Youtube years ago (before he became famous on the radio for his songs Fireflies & Good Time). We were also major creeps and chilled near his tour van before the concert, but that’s a secret I’ll never tell. Opps.

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Sadly, this was the end of my 5-night stay in Glasgow, Scotland, and although I didn’t get to actually see Glasgow and do all the touristy things, I was happy to just enjoy being in the company of good friends, new friends, and experience some fun-filled nights. I will definitely be seeing you soon Glasgow!


Check out my Youtube Channel For My Vlog of Being in Glasgow! 🙂

Categories: Fall, Glasgow, Liverpool, Night Life, Scotland, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bucket List Achievement: Take a Spontaneous Trip Anywhere


Well… This was a spontaneous trip! My best friend Joey from Canada (who flew me to England in September for school) decided to come visit me on during his holidays off work. We decided that we wanted to go somewhere spontaneous and where we’ve never been before in Europe. We downloaded a map of Europe on my iPhone, closed my eyes and my figure landed on… Well… you guessed it… Paris!

We booked a flight to Paris two nights before departure on the Tuesday and our return to Scotland for Saturday. 1) That means we have 4 days and 4 nights in Paris! 2) Joey also wanted to see Scotland before he left back to Canada, hence the return in Scotland.

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We left Leeds after my French class (I know right?) around noon and got a bus to the Liverpool where we would be catching our plane at the John Lennon Airport. Our flight left at 5:45pm England time and landed in Paris 8:15pm France time! This is taking into account that there was a 1 hour time difference . We flew with Easyjet and it was just as cheap and decent as Ryanair. I was content and didn’t have as many advertisements.

 

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle which was the Paris airport (among many) and we had to take the metro from the airport to the center of Paris where we would be staying. We got to our accommodations around 10:30pm and were welcomed with a friendly smile and kind greetings from a lovely Parisian couple who let us rent their living room for us to stay for a cheap price!

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Those who rather save money and stay with locals, as opposed to expensive hotels or somewhat more expensive hostels, check out Airbnb! Great website for saving money on accommodations and getting tips and advice about the city and attractions from local people.

We talked for an hour or so, and the couple told us of all the interesting (as well as touristy) places to go in Paris and even provided a map of how to get to all the places. They were absolutely lovely.

There wasn’t much of a language barrier, and we learned some more French and I’m sure they learned some more English as well! They even said we were there first English-speaking guests, so We were quite honored to be there guest for the 4 nights!

Joey and I unpacked, showered and decided that the next day we would somewhat wing it (since it was a spontaneous trip) and walk around Paris and (hopefully!) come across as many attractions and touristy sites as possible! Then, we slept in our bed, in an old Parisian flat, which had old large keys like from the movie Hugo, and fell asleep to the natural sounds of Paris.

Check out my youtube channel for my Paris videos! http://www.youtube.com/user/BorderlineForFools
Check out my other Paris blogs here: https://cometraveltheworldwithme.wordpress.com/

Categories: Blog, Easyjet, England, Fall, Flights, France, Leeds, Liverpool, Paris, Scotland, Seasons, Travel Sights, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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