by Ivy Wang
December 31st, 2017
5:00pm: I sat the bus station waiting for my mom to come back from shopping. There were two older french ladies that were sitting next to me. When my mom came back, they asked us if we were going to the Champs-Elysee in Paris to celebrate New Year’s Eve. We weren’t originally deciding to do so because we had an early morning flight but there are not many chances you get to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris.
6:00pm: We rode the bus from the main station to the airport.
8:20 pm: We boarded a plane from Nice, France to Paris, France
10:00 pm: We arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Then we got lost looking for the bus shuttle to the airport. When we finally found the bus station, we had to wait for over half an hour.
11:20 pm: Finally, we arrived at our hotel near the airport. My mom ran up to the room to drop the luggage while I called for an uber. We ubered to central Paris where the Arc de Triomphe was.
11:50 pm: We arrived near Arc de Triomphe.
11:50 pm- 11:59 pm: We ran from the Uber to the Arc de Triomphe because all 12 of the roads going to the Arc were closed off for cars. Adrenaline was pumping through my body as we ran towards the Arc de Triomphe. It was a cold night but I could barely feel it. My camera was out and ready for whatever was about to happen. We weren’t sure if there were going to be fireworks or a light show or even anything at all. But it was New Year’s Eve and we were in Paris, France it was already very exciting. Shouting started in the distance, a countdown! Before I could even join in on the countdown, it was 2018!
January 1st, 2018
12:00 am: FIREWORKS!!
12:05am: After the fireworks ended, my mom and I decided to go to the front of the Arc because there was a projection of “2018”. Although it was crowded, we easily crossed three or four streets. When we got to one street, no one was moving. People started pushing and shoving. I could feel people trying to get into my pockets and pickpocket me. But, I had nothing in my pockets. A circle formed in the middle of the street. Everyone was shouting and looking up. I couldn’t see what was going on. I looked up and there were two (probably drunk) men standing on their balcony looking and pointing at people down in the street. Suddenly, everyone turned around. Everyone started shouting “Aller! Aller! Aller!”, go, go, go in french.
“What’s going on?” my mom anxiously asked the couple in front of us.
“Nothing! Just go!” the lady replied.
Now I was panicking. What’s going on?! Is there a fight? Is there a bomb? I held onto my phone with my life as I felt hands roam over my jacket, trying to find my pockets. When we finally got out of the crowd, I was so relieved.
12:30am: We decided to go back to the hotel because we had to catch a flight in the morning and our phones were running out of battery.
12:40am: We saw a man charging his phone at a bus station and realized that all the bus stations have chargers so we charged our phones at one of the many bus stop along the street.
12:45am: We called for an uber and got into the uber we thought was our. However, it was the wrong uber as ours cancelled.
12:55am: We decided to walked further away from the Arc because there would be less traffic and tried again.
1:00am: Finally, we got an uber and headed out of the city.
1:30am: We got back to the hotel.
2:00am: We went to sleep
6:00am: The next morning, we woke up and headed to the airport to fly back to the US.
My France and Monaco Travel Diary: https://youtu.be/lrKocV81YnU
An Arc de Triomphe Fireworks Youtube video:https://youtu.be/B63j94McyW8