31 October 2018

ULIP's Win a Trip To Paris competition is uniquely designed to engage students working at AS/A-level or equivalent. It asks students to describe, in no more than 250 words, what they might do with 48 hours in Paris.

The winner can then make their plans a reality with a prize of a paid trip to the City of Light.

The competition has been an annual event for the past seven years. As we prepare for the next competition, we asked this year's winner, Ruksar Hussain (The Grey Coat Hospital school), to give us a written insight into her trip. Read on to find out how she spent her weekend in Paris.

win a trip

I was hoping it wasn't some sort of omen when we managed to single-handedly delay the entire train by 15 minutes on our departure to Paris. Luckily, it only got better from there. We arrived in Paris where the weather was pleasant but not overbearing and fumbled through the metro to the hotel. Our room overlooked a quaint street, with a view of the dome of Napoleon's tomb rising and reflecting in the sun. The army museum was a few minutes' walk away and was by far my favourite museum. Napoleon's tomb was stunning, with gilded ceilings and marble steps. The Louvre had a great selection of art, from Islamic to Greek to medieval Christian, and a wing filled with gold, painted ceilings full of rosy-cheeked cherubs and angels.

Our tram journey to Versailles had an entertaining game of Heads Up as bemused Parisians watched with smiles and slight confusion. The queue at the Palace of Versailles spiralled round, probably numbering hundreds and hundreds of people. Instead we walked through the gardens - a great chance for me to list all of my fun facts on the various kings of France. We approached the Eiffel Tower as the sun set and then climbed up into the night, gazing onto the skyline. Needless to say, the City of Lights is true to its namesake.

The morning after we moseyed through a market, buying trinkets with spare Euros found in our purses and chatting warmly (if with slightly awkward French) with the vendors. The wide roads, the trees lining the pavements, the quiet streets, the baroque buildings, all of these made for pleasant walks in the afternoons. I came home with sore feet but with dreamy memories and glossy photos.