3 Friends, 3 Countries, 1 Incredible Adventure

You make your best friends at college – the ones you call your ‘chuddy buddies’. You think you can’t live without each other but the moment you step out of the comforts of college, you experience the real world & realize how hard it is to keep in touch. I made my best friends at college and now thanks to technology I am only a touch screen away from them. However, real life catch-ups with each of them are hard and the idea of all friends meeting together is next to impossible.

Catterfly helped make the impossible possible by planning the perfect weekend trip for three friends staying continents apart and reunited us in the most beautiful city in the world – Paris.
IMG_20180114_182230

Shubha was attending winter school in Grenoble, Pallavi was flying back to San Francisco from India and Richa was in Switzerland. The idea of a weekend in Paris was brought up, and we thought it was perfect! After leaving the planning to Catterfly, all we had to do was pack our bags and board for Paris. I downloaded the Catterfly app in the airport and my personalized plan ‘Chuddy Buddies in Paris’ was ready and waiting with all the important details of the trip down to train timings, where to eat, where to shop and more.

After landing in Paris, I followed the instructions on the app and reached the metro station closest to our accommodation for the weekend. Richa was waiting for me at the station. Seeing her after 11 years was an emotional moment in itself but seeing her waiting for me with the Tour Eiffel in the backdrop was surreal. We walked to the apartment, which was at a perfect central location. As I walked in I was welcomed by two bottles of red wine – Bordeaux and Napa with savory bread from Switzerland. What a treat!
IMG_4486

You are never done catching up when you meet a friend after 11 years. We could’ve stayed in that apartment all evening but decided to step out, and were rewarded for it by a brightly lit Eiffel Tower. We enjoyed crepes and coffee near the tower and took a leisurely stroll, just soaking in the moment…
IMG_20180112_173644

Shubha arrived at the Boissiere metro shortly after, and her arrival was like the strawberry topping on a nutella crepe! We didn’t take any breaks from talking thereafter, even when we headed to New Jawad for Indian food. After delicious food and wonderful service at the restaurant, we called it a night at 2 AM.
IMG_20180112_211729

IMG_20180112_222026
The next morning, Shubha woke us up with a steaming cup of ginger tea. Desi adrak chai in Paris – we were living the dream! After delicious homemade breakfast, we headed to the Latin Quarter.
IMG_20180113_122745

IMG_20180113_124900

After seeing the Garden of Luxembourg, Pantheon and the Grand Mosque we enjoyed a lovely Moroccan lunch at Salon de The cafe.
IMG_20180113_133856

IMG_4540

We then walked to Notre Dame, singing on our way, cracking jokes, smiling at strangers and reliving our college days. We made our way to the Sacre-Coeur Basillica just in time for sunset. It’s an architectural marvel on top of a hill with the best views of Paris.
IMG_20180113_163933

Our next stop was a bar called ‘Badanaan’ – an Indian fusion bar with a Mumbai local train décor, good music and amazing cocktails. We had a hell of a time there and then we headed to Moulin Rouge.
IMG_20180113_191344

IMG_20180113_192442

IMG_20180113_192543_01

Moulin Rouge was a last minute addition to the itinerary, and it was an experience of a lifetime. We were dazzled by the costumes, music and cabaret. It’s a must-do for all the adventurous folks out there!

IMG_4598

IMG_4607

IMG_4611

Next day was set aside for Versailles. We took a train to Versailles, enjoyed a live musical in the train and laughed the whole way to the Palace of Versailles. The palace, the gardens, the fountains were all breathtaking. There is a beautiful restaurant behind the gardens and we spent a lazy afternoon there talking about life while the waiter refilled our coffee mugs.
IMG_20180114_125941

IMG_20180114_134011

IMG_20180114_135637

The next stop was the Champs-Elysees, because a girl’s trip cannot be complete without shopping. We enjoyed shopping/window shopping near Arc-de-Triomphe and headed for an authentic South Indian dinner to Sarawana Bhawan. Our last night in Paris was the most special one, as we finished one of the bottles of wine and shared conversations and life lessons that I will cherish forever. We packed up the next morning and left to the train station after enjoying the last adrak-waali-chai. Three days had just flown by.
IMG_20180114_200532
IMG_4560

Thanks to the Catterfly family for making this happen! You made it possible for us to let our hair down without worrying about the logistics of planning this cross-continent meet-up. We were able to relive all the memories of our time as roommates in college and created new ones that we will now cherish for a lifetime. But this is just a beginning – more travels will follow soon..!

Pallavi

 

All Travelers

IMG_20180112_174710