Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

Paris, J’aime

Since I am behind on my journaling (YET AGAIN) I stole Becky’s updates from Paris. I know it’s a little dull without pictures, but I’ll add in some more when I’ve got time!

Monday, March 9, 2009

We arrived at night after our last ryanair flight (at least for a while)!! Made our way (with a little drama on Becky’s part, long story dealing with friends she was supposed to stay with) to our friend Laura’s apartment. She is from BC and has been in Paris for the year studying at SciencesPo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Colleen and I woke up rather late and went to an area called Chatelet that was supposed to have great shopping. I needed to get a new pair of shoes, and surprise surprise, almost the first stop we see as we got off the metro was H&M. I bought a very cute pair of new shoes, and was no longer mourning the loss of the others. Colleen and I walked around the Latin Quarter a bit and did some light sight seeing. We met back up with Laura at her apartment and got ready to go out. We met up with some kids from BC who have been there the whole year and got some drinks at an Irish bar called Corcoran’s. We then walked down the street and came upon the Moulin Rouge! We were in the arrondisement (neighborhood) called Montmarte that is the city’s red light district. We saw many a sex shop, and witnessed some seedy characters. We met up with a few friends- Sam and Lauren, both from BC and in Paris for the year for drinks since Colleen wouldn’t be able to see Sam again (she went to Belgium for the weekend- rough life). We ate at this little hole in the wall restaurant that served all types of fondue. The best part about it however is that the only two tables in the restaurant were the big long ones with benches (so that everyone was sitting at the same table) and the wine is served in baby bottles. There is this rule in France, that says that wine is only taxed if served in glasses and so this restaurant serves their wine in baby bottles in order to avoid the tax. Really really fun.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today, Laura did not have class so she accompanied us on our adventures. We went to a grocery store and picked up some cold cuts, cheeses and nectarines and a very cheap bottle of wine. Our next stop was a patisserie and we bought two baguettes. We walked along the edge of the Seine and crossed the most famous of bridges, the Pont Neuf. The Notre Dame cathedral is actually on an island in the Seine and on the edge of this island is a beautiful little garden area surrounded by water. We had a beautiful picnic with our legs hanging over the edge and just sat and ate and drank wine. It was fantastic! Later that night we went to a pub called O’Sullivan’s (all of us completely decked out in soccer attire) to watch the Manchester United vs. International Milano match. At the same time, Barcelona was playing Lyon. Now, I really know nothing about soccer AT ALL but watching two major games at the exact same time (the screens were literally right next to each other and the sound was broadcasting all one of the games) was quite stressful. Laura’s favorite is Man United, so she was thrilled when they won! We had an earlier night tonight because Laura had a class the next morning.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It would only make sense that the one day we set aside for crazy sightseeing would be the day that I wake up feeling SOO sick. I have (and still do) an awful cold, and was NOT excited when I woke up. However, I sucked it up and Colleen and I took the metro to the Place de la Concorde on the edge of the Champs Elysees. We were walking around the edge of the square and saw the American embassy. I proceeded to take a picture of the embassy, but was met with angry screams from several security officers. A French policeman approached me and yelled at me asking what I was doing. All I said was, “I am American and wanted to take a picture of the consulate,” after which he screamed at me saying, “ERASE THE PHOTO.” So apparently you are not allowed to take pictures of the American embassy. Oops, so sorry. So, Coll and I walked up the Champs Elysees which is amazingly beautiful towards the Arc de Triumph and stopped to get baguette sandwiches on the way. At one point, Colleen was just like, “Becky, we are eating baguettes and walking on the Champs Elysees.” It really was unreal. So cool. We got to the Arc which is HUGE and walked around a little bit. We then walked to the Eiffel Tower, and walked the 670 steps to the top. It is incredible. Truly. I felt like shit and probably should have taken the elevator, but it was an experience! After taking about 150 pictures, Colleen and I took the metro back to Laura’s. We then went to a Basque restaurant and met up with some more BC friends. After dinner (and two pitchers of sangria), we took the metro to one of the BC girls’ house. The coordinator in France for the Paris-BC exchange program was hosting a crepe party, and so we all were invited to drink more wine and eat crepes. It was really fun, but truncated because we then all headed out to a Sciences Po (the Paris university that Laura goes to) party at this club called Red Light. It was ridiculously crowded and the quintessential European club. I was so overwhelmed because it was so hot and crowded and the music (all techno obviously) was soo loud we could not hear each other screaming. After struggling to not lose my party, we danced and at one point we packed in so tight together I do not think my feet were touching the floor. Now, we must also remember that I have been very sick all day. I probably should not have had anything to drink, really, but when in Paris, right? I had to sit down at one point because I was just feeling so ill, not nauseous or excessively drunk, just generally fatigued. And before I know it, I am being accosted by some French security guard who is screaming at me and gesturing towards the door. He must have thought I was going to get sick or something. Needless to say, we left and gladly spent 5 euros on a cab back to Laura’s at 3:30.

Friday, March 14, 2009

Today, Colleen and I woke up and met Laura outside of a metro stop. We then all went to go see the catacombs (the underground Parisian ossuary that replaced the above ground cemeteries that were exhumed in an effort to destroy disease). Very eerie. So cool, and we estimated that there must have been at least 500,000 people down there. Piles and piles and piles of bones. Accompanying these bones were lines from poems, and ominous sayings about death and the unlived life. It was really cool. We then went back above ground and met up with our friend Lauren. Now, I had informed Laura early on in the trip how much of a dessert freak that I am. I also told her how I only had one real dessert a month, and had being saving said dessert for my trip to Paris. Lauren from BC is the self-proclaimed pastry connoisseur and took us to this place called Gerard Moreau. It is considered one of the best pastry shops in the world, and so I naturally ordered two things because I could not decide which looked more delicious. They were incredible and indescribable. SO good. Untouchable. The French know how to do their chocolate. Colleen and I then went to the Louvre (which is free for students on Friday nights after 6?)! So huge and overwhelming, but absolutely beautiful. Earlier in the week Laura had told us that there was an article published about the size of the Louvre and it said that if someone spent 30 seconds in front of every piece of art in the museum and did not stop to eat or drink or use the bathroom or sleep, it would take approximately 3 weeks! IT IS HUGE. We saw the Italian and Spanish painting exhibits, and the ancient Egyptian and Roman art, as well as the crown jewels. The Mona Lisa was beautiful; very crowded and surprisingly small, but so cool. Just to have been in its presence was a feat. We then went to the gift shops and walked around the grounds a little bit, taking many pictures on the way. Colleen and I stopped at a restaurant called the Pizza Grill that had a huge sign that said “We speak English.” SOLD. We then met up with Laura and walked to the Pont Neuf. We boarded one of the boat tours, and got a tour of Paris by sea at night. Beautiful. Every hour on the hour at night, the Eiffel tour sparkles for ten minutes. It’s lit up yellow right now, but last year it was lit up blue since Sarcozay (the French President) was head of the European Union. So cool, and we brought our own wine on board. We then met up with some friends at their apartment and just drank a little and hung out. Very relaxing and nice. Good day.

Saturday, March 14th

We woke up with plenty of time to catch our 12:25 train to Amsterdam only to find out our train was at 10:25. Now, all of our confirmation info we had been checking said the train was at 12:25, and we figured out after we had had problems with RailEurope while we were still in the States, things got mixed up. So, after about an hour of stressing, we found out how to get tickets for the next train to Amsterdam (at 3:30) and only had to pay 55 Euros for them. Guess that $7 rail protection plan would have come in handy now… But we made it to Amsterdam successfully!

Last- sidenote from Colleen- I honestly expected to dislike Paris and was unhappy with how much time we had planned to spend there. But Paris was hands down the best surprise of the trip as I loved it. True, the French people do fit most of their stereotypes, but being with people who speak fluent French definitely helped and the city is beautiful.

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March 20, 2009 - Posted by | Travel

1 Comment »

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

    Comment by matt | March 21, 2009


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