Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My Paris Lolita Adventure!

On Thursday 2nd July, I set off very early in the morning for Paris. It was my first time going there, and I was incredibly excited! The check in process at St. Pancras to catch the Eurostar was a little stressful, as we were in the midst of a ridiculous heatwave. We finally got on the train, and leaned against one another, already exhausted by our early starts!

Two hours and forty minutes later, we were at Gare du Nord! We were staying close to Richard-Lenoir, so after buying a carnet, and being accosted by a woman trying to pull a money laundering scam, we found ourselves on metro line 5, rushing through the city.

A really nice man came to our rescue where we were stood outside the station, staring at our maps in confusion, and he pointed us in the right direction. This was most unexpected, considering how rude people had been thus far (and were for the rest of our trip! I got given so many angry looks when wearing lolita...) We finally made it to the apartment we were renting for the weekend through Airbnb, and it was on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator. Swell. Still, we somehow made it to our room, and were content to sit around drinking water for a while.
The decor was so lovely! It was cosy and yet chic, and the abundance of house plants was very pleasant. Our hosts also had a cat! To be honest, we didn't get along with it very well, and this is coming from two self proclaimed "crazy cat ladies". It was very antisocial (moreso than most cats!) and kept staring off in random directions with its eyes looking very possessed and scary, haha!

I was incredibly sweaty from the journey to Paris, so after freshening myself up and cooling down as best I could in a room without air conditioning (I am not sure how I survived this trip but I am proud of myself for dealing with the extreme temperatures!) I finally got changed for my pilgrimmage to Baby, The Stars Shine Bright!
The apartment had this lovely, old, ornate furniture and I couldn't help posing on a piece of it! I went for a very casual, summery look with a very loose broderie anglaise blouse as I didn't want to boil in the heat! 

We were a mere 20 minute walk from the shop, so set off on foot. It was incredibly hot by mid afternoon, around 35°C, maybe more. I was so relieved when I came round a corner and finally saw the flash of pink that let me know I was in the right place.

I was a little faint by this point but still excited to be there! I loved the designs on the window!

The interior of the shop is pretty basic, and there wasn't exactly a massive amount of stock. I ended up going back to the shop a couple days later, as I wanted to make sure I had a good overview of everything before making a decision. You see, my next stop was the Angelic pretty pop-up shop! On the way there, I saw the Pyramide du Louvre, the Carrousel, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and in the distance I spotted the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe! It was like we were in the ideal tourist zone! We didn't linger, and didn't really have the energy to go inside museums as the weather was so hot we wanted to wrap up the day early.

I was pretty annoyed to learn that the AP store opening had been on Tuesday, so I missed out on the true bargains like the lucky packs, and probably a lot of the accessories I might have wanted were already gone by the time I rocked up there. The space was even more bare than Baby. There were a lot of blouses, a handful of very pricey OPs, and an array of incredibly basic accessories. The Drained Cherry OP was super cute up close in real life, but again, it was simply too much for my budget. On the other side of the shop was all the Putumayo stuff, which, whilst interesting, was definitely not my style at all. 

I left feeling a little disappointed. I wondered if I might return home totally empty handed! I tried not to get too down about it, got some rest for the day ahead.

On Friday I got up early so I could get a simple coordinate ready for a morning trip to a Japanese patisserie called Aki Boulanger. I was quite excited, as I was going to finally meet my blogspot friend, Miuko! The caf√© was situated a mere several doors down from the AP pop up shop, so it was very easy remembering how to get there.

We finally arrived, and as well as Miuko, I got to meet her friend Miriam. After introductions, we went to order food, the process of which totally confused me. The people working the tills didn't seem to understand me and I certainly didn't understand them, and as a result, I ended up walking away thinking I had paid for everything, but they informed me I hadn't paid for the drinks. Why they didn't add everything up together at the same time was totally beyond me. A little flustered, I settled myself back down again at our tables out on the street.
My partner and I had blueberry cheesecake. It was absolutely delicious! The texture was perfect!

What occurred next was a few hours of funny conversations about a lot of random topics! The weather that morning was nowhere near as hot as it had been the day before, and for the most part there was a nice breeze so we were able to stay outside comfortably in the shade. I had a really great time getting to know them, and was sad when they had to leave for the tea party they were going to later! Before parting, I made sure to get a photo of us!

I hope we will meet again soon! 

We didn't do much for the rest of the day. We made our second trip to Angelic Pretty where I got a pair of OTK socks. I must say, I kinda regret this purchase. 
I made the silly assumption that they would fit because they were the same length as another pair of OTKs I own that fit well. But when I tried them on back at the apartment, they had pretty much no stretch to them, and barely covered my knee. I may have to sell them, sadly. I really don't want to, though, as they're so cute!

We spent the entire evening talking to our hosts, a French gay couple who were such interesting people! I loved that they took the time to get to know us, and it was definitely one of the more memorable parts of the trip.

On Saturday, I had initially planned on going to the Kawaii International event at Princess Crepe, but I just wasn't feeling well when my alarm went off that morning. I tried to psyche myself up to get dressed and go but I just couldn't do it, and instead allowed myself a lie in. Luckily, I was feeling much better after a few hours, though was rather disappointed that I didn't get to hang out with any lolitas that day.

I wanted to take a final trip to Baby so that I could have another scout around for something to buy. I put together a simple, pop kei inspired coordinate, as I figured this would be the most sensible option in case I wanted to try any dresses on (which I totally ended up doing!)
Ironically enough, I sweated more wearing a t-shirt and short skirt than I did when I wore my lolita jumperskirts layered over blouses! 

Before settling on my purchases, I looked around  the shop feverishly, wanting to come away with something cute, and determined not to leave until I had seen absolutely everything. I came to a headdress display and scanned it carefully.
I ended up finding a really adorable rectangle headdress which I was shocked to find suited me. I then tried on the Dot Ribbon jumsperskirt in pink, but it was unshirred, and I couldn't zip it up because of my damn bust. I then tried on a different pink dress on a whim, and it fitted perfectly! It was another shock moment as it wasn't the type of dress I would normally go for, but I loved how it looked on me. 
It is the Crown Embroidered Sailor School jumperskirt, and I will be sure to make a video about it so I can show all the details properly! It looks so different in real life than in photos!

We had a quiet night in, ready for what was sure to be another exhausting day of travelling ahead.

On Sunday morning, we got ourselves ready nice and early so that we could see the Eiffel Tower. It was on the other side of the city from us, but it only took about a half hour on the metro. There was barely anyone about at that time of morning, so we were able to get seats immediately. On our way from the station, we found out there was some sort of cycling event going on (Tour de France? Who knows. I don't keep up with sports at all), and we had to cross the roads strategically so as not to interrupt it.

Before long, we were stood in front of the famous structure. 
It was just as I imagined it would be, and I couldn't help feeling kind of excited to see it in person. 

Navigating the crowds closer to the tower was pretty unpleasant, what with street vendors shoving selfie sticks in our faces every 5 seconds, and more scammers trying to get us to sign their "petition" and donate to charity (read: their pockets). I was pretty glad when we finally broke away from the crowd and made our way back to the station.

We returned to the apartment to remove our suitcases from the room in time for the next people to come and stay there. 

We finished off our Paris experience with one of our hosts kindly filling us with French fruits,  coffee, croissants, bread and various cheeses while we got into another long conversation! We got so carried away we completely lost track of time, and were so close to being late for checking in at Gare du Nord! It was a really lovely end to our trip!

So overall, I had a good time in Paris. I was underwhelmed by some of the touristy things, as I'm not really into museums (so the things I might be interested in seeing are narrowed down dramatically!) I also hated how hot the weather was, but of course, a random heatwave cannot be helped. Would I go back? Yeah, maybe. I never got round to visiting Princess Crepe or any of the tea parties or events. It would be nice to go back with a bigger budget so I don't have to be a cheapskate about everything next time, and really make the most of the activities on offer.

I hope you enjoyed this travel diary! Have you ever been to Paris? What did you think of it? I look forward to reading your comments! See you next time 

7 comments:

  1. Nice post! ^^
    May I ask why you didn't go to any tea party nor Japan Expo?
    And could you please give me the link to this apartment? It really looks so sweet! *_*

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you liked it!

      To put it bluntly, I just didn't have enough money. I was very set on going to Paris and experiencing as many lolita related things as possible, but a lot of unexpected expenses came up before the trip so I thought it better I didn't factor any events in. I really would have loved to have gone to them, though, as I really love meeting new people and being around other lolitas. But oh well, there is always next year. Hopefully I will be in a better position financially by then :)

      Here is the link! https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/3966566#
      It is a very tiny place but we were comfortable there, and the price is unbeatable for such a central Paris location! I think using Airbnb in general is really great if you want to save money, and have a very different experience from staying in a hotel ^_^

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    2. Oh I see.
      Thanks for answer!

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  2. Great post as always. I have always been too nervous to use Airbnb, but it looks like you had a great time so I think I'll reconsider (especially as it would mean I'd be able to afford to go to Paris again). I have been to Paris once a few years ago, and I remember a lot of people pulling scams and trying to catch tourists off guard. I am surprised to learn that Parisians don't like lolita, but people seem unafraid to speak their mind in that city. Your photos look great and I love your coords. I was sad to read that you didn't find anything at first in BTSSB so I was happy that you got something in the end! That pink JSK and headdress are so pretty, the perfect shade of pink. I'm glad you had a good time and I'm inspired to travel now!

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    1. I wasn't too concerned about using Airbnb because the couple whose place we stayed at had a lot of positive reviews, which is the main thing to go by I'd say. The apartment we stayed in was super tiny but our hosts were great, and we had the freedom to use the kitchen and living room as we wished, so in a way it was better than a hotel experience as it was more like staying with friends. I'd definitely recommend giving it a go as you can stay in Paris very cheaply this way!

      Yes, I think the huge level of tourism in Paris really does bring out all the con artists. I'm not sure who it is that keeps falling for them, though, because I found their underlying intentions very obvious! I don't think Parisians dislike lolita specifically-- there's just a different culture there where subtlety/politeness isn't a given towards strangers, and when they see something out of the ordinary, they don't even attempt to hide what they think about it! I did my best to not take it personally and returned a lot of people's angry looks and gawping expressions, which made a few of them straighten their faces as though they didn't realise they were doing it in the first place!

      Thank you so much for the compliment! It was a struggle wearing lolita in that crazy heat but I was determined to have nice pictures so I sucked it up. Priorities!

      I'm glad you like my Baby purchases! I'm very much into old school lolita, so I'm excited to have those items in my collection now. I'm especially pleased the rectangle headdress seems to suit me (in my opinion at least!)

      Reading about other people's travels is part of what inspired me to go to Paris in the first place! There's something about reading travel diaries that seems to have that affect!

      Thanks for your lovely comment <3

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  3. Aaaaah! So amazing that you were abel to do this trip. I would love to visit Paris someday, but maybe I would stay out of the classic touristic zones. Maybe it wasn't all you wanted it to be but it still sounds like a great adventure. Pilgrimage to a Btssb and/or AP physical store looks like a far away purpose of mine, but we´ll see. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience, it was very nice to read and see. :3

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    1. Yep, I really wasn't expecting to be able to go this year, especially with unexpected expenses which came up but I'm so glad I did! So many things didn't go to plan and I initially felt a bit dejected due to Paris itself not being as exciting as I'd hoped. However, I now feel fully prepared to return, particularly to take part in the lolita events I wasn't able to!

      I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my experience <3

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