Passport to Paris

Trip Start Jan 04, 2011
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26
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Trip End May 07, 2011


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

*This title is in honor of the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie that I was obsessed with around age 9.  Even then I knew I would be a world traveler someday.

 Ahhh Paris!  The journey from Luxembourg to Paris is rather simple, we couldn't get reservations on the direct train, but our train with a transfer was only 3.5 hours.  So we left on a gorgeous Friday afternoon and arrived in Paris around 6:00. After taking our bags to the hostel we went straight to the Louvre because if you are under like 25 it is free on Friday nights! We love free things! (especially when the exchange rate is almost a buck and a half right now ewwwwww)  It was really pretty in the courtyard outside the Louvre. I'm sure you have all seen the pictures of the glass pyramids, so of course we did the touristy thing and took some cheesy pictures.  After we got in a rather quick moving line to get inside.  This museum is enormous!! We made our first stop at the Mona Lisa, obviously.  Everyone had told us that it was so small in person, so when I actually saw it, it was bigger than I thought it would be. Funny how that works.  But yes, seeing the Mona Lisa, another thing to check off my bucket list.  Her eyes really do always follow you!  We went through a lot of the other exhibits and even in the basement where they have the remaining structure of the castle that used to be on that spot still standing.

After the Louvre, we were getting pretty hungry but we decided to take a little walk along the canal first.  Then, out of nowhere the Eiffel Tower is in the distance, how could we not walk that way? It was pretty deceiving though, it looked much closer than it actually was.  Much, much, much later after walking alllll the way down the canal, we could see the base of the Eiffel Tower, but decided to stop and grab dinner from an Italian place pretty close by.  When we were finished with dinner we walked over to the Tower and it was amazing! Someone had told me that on the hour, after dark, it sparkles. We were approaching just about that time, then all of a sudden, bam! It sparkled!! I didn't quite understand what everyone meant by "sparkled" but let me just say...it was like something out of a Disney movie.

The next morning our first stop was back to the Eiffel Tower, but this time we took the Metro. Thank goodness.  We had to be there early so we wouldn't get stuck in line.  The line for the elevator tickets to the 2nd floor was already pretty long, so we decided to climb to the second floor. Plus, it was cheaper. See mom and dad, I always try to save you some money!  Anyway, 670 stairs later we had made it to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.  From there you can buy a ticket to take the elevator to the very top.  That is one scary elevator ride, yikes.  And I know, how could I be afraid of an elevator after soaring through the skies of Switzerland with only a parachute? Well, I'm not sure, but I had to shut my eyes because looking out the window made me sick.  At the top it was pretty cloudy and hard to see very far, but still pretty cool.  We went back down to the second floor and took some more pictures as it started to clear up.  The fog probably had something to do with the time change, it was an hour earlier than the clocks said.

Afterwards, we went to get some lunch, (a crepe!) and do a little souvenir shopping before heading to the Notre Dame Cathedral.  It was very pretty, and the inside was a lot larger than it looked from the outside. Mostly though, it made me want to go watch the Hunch Back of Notre Dame.  I forgot how much I loved that movie as a kid.  I think my goal should be to see all the key Disney landmarks of Europe.  After the Notre Dame we walked towards the Arc de Triomphe which was down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which is a famous street in Paris for shopping, theaters and cafes. Definitely a very cool area of Paris!  After that we took a metro to the Luxembourg Garden, which is really cute and would have been nice to sit and relax at if it wasn't for the torrential down pour that started 15 minutes later.  Still glad we made it there for a bit though.

On Sunday we slept in and then had time to go to the Sacré-Coeur Cathedral which is literally on top of a hill that you have to climb.  It was Sunday morning so it was too crowded to really go into.  Afterwards we walked around the area surrounding the Cathedral and sat outside and got lunch at a little Cafe where there were musicians performing on the street and tons of people watching. I got a quiche Lorraine, how could I pass that up? So yummy! And as always, I followed it up with...a crepe!

The ride back was a direct train from Paris to Luxembourg, only a little over 2 hours! So wonderful, Lux is really situated in the perfect place to travel nearly everywhere from!  There is so much to do in Paris you could spend days there, but I loved what I saw in my weekend excursion!
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