FLYING VISIT TO PARIS FROM BRIGHTON
It’s so easy to fly from Shoreham to Paris, it’s hard not to.
Just as promised, the Brighton City Airways flight to the French capital is fast and hassle-free – not to mention friendly and affordable.
The airline operating from Brighton Shoreham Airport launched its daily services to Paris last month and judging by the full plane (albeit, only 19 seats of it), it’s proving a huge success – and I can see why.
From the ease of finding a parking space at the airport for just £5 a day, to the quick check-in and intimate departure lounge, you can’t help but feel anything other than immediately relaxed – just how the start of a holiday should feel , or, if travelling for business, just how the start of a working day could feel. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the airport, I was boarding the Let 410 commuter aircraft, buckling my seat belt and just an hour away from Paris.
Admittedly, observing how small the plane was from the departure lounge window did make my nerves kick in, but any anxieties soon disappeared after the introduction to the pilot and a smooth take off. It was only once I had been in the air for a few minutes that it hit me just how different the experience I had just encountered was with the stress of larger airports.
But it’s not only enjoyable for its ease, but the flying experience in itself. It’s simply much more fun this way. Flying at a lower height meant the views were incredible – not to mention the novelty of seeing the pilot from your seat. And this fast and hassle free travelling style was only repeated once I reached Paris. After a 10-minute by car transfer from the airport to Cergy Prefecture RER Station and a short ride on the Metro, I walked onto street level from the underground station and out into the Parisian sunshine with the Arc de Triomphe ahead of me.
Strolling along the buzzing Avenue des Champs-Élysées, it was incredible just to soak up the culture so quickly after landing. Despite the sound of busy traffic and the occasional siren, the people of Paris appeared completely at ease and after such a stress-free journey myself, it was certainly contagious. Heading for the Notre Dame, the sense of relaxation only became magnified once I took the route along the Place de la Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries. Far from just a pretty picture of tree-lined avenues and beautiful architecture, Paris proved to have some surprises too.
Walking along the Sienne river, I stumbled across the Pont de Art – a pedestrian bridge where the railings are full of padlocks placed there by lovers who have written their names on them as an act of commitment. This was just a delightful addition to the excitement of the many stalls selling everything from old books and comics to artwork and jewellery. After catching a glimpse of the Notre Dame, which was no less spectacular on a second viewing, I caught the Metro to Mon Marche.
Leaving the Notre Dame to arrive on the boulevard de Majenta, it felt as if I had walked into a totally different city. This time lined with fast-food takeaways and street sellers, it felt as though I had stepped into the , modern, multi-cultural Paris. There was something organic about it – even though it wasn’t the city I’d had in my head on the plane journey here.
The journey on foot to Mon Marche wasn’t the easiest after a day of walking, but the incredible sight of it made it worthwhile. It was a shame to realise at that point that I only had an hour to get back to the train station, but I was amazed with just how much I had been able to see in a day, especially considering I had only left the UK nine hours beforehand and knowing that in three hours I’d be back again.
For those in the Brighton or the surrounding areas, this mode of transport to Paris really is not worth missing out on. Not only is it the fastest route to Paris, but it’s competitive when it comes to cost too.
For those living outside of Sussex, the experience in itself is also worth having. The City of Lovers really is just across the water when flying from Shoreham – and there’s nothing not to love about this airline either.
Brighton City Airways