Take it from me - 10pm 30th December is THE best time to book a last minute trip to Paris for NYE! Especially when you have to get up at 3am the next day to catch the flight :D
Sometimes you have to live spontaneously, and that’s what Chris and I did last NYE. We flew from Exeter to Paris with FlyBe and from booking our flights at 10pm, to arriving in Paris at 9am local time, it was a blur of panic and excitement! I didn’t even have time to wash my hair before the flight, but did have time to pack a bottle of champagne to take with me ;-D
We decided it would be too much of a rush to book somewhere for NYE celebrations, so researched online the less-busy spots to share the New Year excitement and settled upon walking up to Montmartre. In our minds, we’d have a walking-drinking-eating journey - leaving our hotel to amble up to Monrmartre, stopping for the odd cocktail / glass of fizz / Nutella and banana crepe en route.
Unfortunately, the journey wasn’t as exciting as I’d visualised, and we ended up walking through some rather intimidating Parisian streets, even having to cross the road from one man who kept stopping and turning around and looking at us. So we didn’t get our drinks / cocktails - but we did manage one “not too bad” crepe.
We arrived at the top of Montmartre to find hundreds of people already there, clambering (and falling) down the muddy banks with picnic blankets and bottles of champagne (damn, I’d already polished mine off while dry-shampooing my hair). Chris nipped off to find a loo while I precariously tottered down the sloping bank, Chanel bag in tow (please don’t fall, please don’t fall). I find a spot, where you definitely can’t see the Eiffel Tower, but you can see the Parisian skyline. Chris joins me and we share the whisky we’d brought with us in a hipflask. It’s extremely uncomfortable sitting on the slope, but I’m glad we’re there an hour early considering how many people are still arriving, despite my numb backside.
Soon enough the new year is upon us, signalled by a dozen or so cheers at 11.58 (my iPhone told me they were slightly premature). We eagerly await the fireworks erupting over the Parisian skyline before us. And wait. And wait…..
A firework’s set off from the muddy bank (rather dangerously, I thought), and that’s about as much as we get. We can’t see the Eiffel Tower. And there’s next to no fireworks over the city skyline. Huh?! Why did thousands of people come all the way up here for that?!
People begin to clamber down the hill and disappear back into the winding city streets. Chris and I are still sat there, still confused. We just can’t understand why people congregated in such an uncomfortable place, when there was absolutely nothing to see. Surely a park would have been flatter and more comfortable?
Anyway, it was an experience we won’t forget, and we too, clambered off to find ourselves our next crepe. It was a new year, after all.