The City of Light
Trip Start Jul 08, 2010
15Trip End Oct 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
Young and Happy Hostel
On arrival we performed our ritual orientation of the public transit system, several wrong turns toward the direction of our hotel and final triumph in finding Hôtel de la Tour Eiffel. Laying down our packs in our cramped but comfortable room, we strolled the street near our hotel, Rue Cler, that bustles with shops of their own specialties i.e
The Eiffel Tower is impressive by day and absolutely glorious by night! Kenny and I spent all evening gazing at the Iron Lady from the park below, climbing its steps towards the top, peering out over the city, munching our quiche and tart while capturing the sunset, and watching the lights slowly speckle the city into full illumination. But our favorite memory of the Eiffel Tower, and possibly the whole trip, came unexpectedly. On the hour my Lady glitters with white lights majestically causing the whole crowd to gasp, clap and cheer with reverent fervor. Mesmerized by Her show we were reluctant to head back, about which time we happened upon a singing street performer. The crowd around him must have totaled over 300 and not so much because he had an amazing voice or was a fabulous guitarist, but because the songs he sang invited everyone to join in. The unity of people from all different places around the world enjoying a few moments together that could only have been created because of one another joined under such an iconic and breathtaking sight was truly surreal. There are very few moments I have experienced with equal power, so I understand if this posting seems a bit overzealous or indicative of immaturity, but encourage you to recount your own moments where you truly felt moved or idealistic and relate similar feelings. This posting is more for you than for Kenny and I, since I’m certain its significance will fondly remain engrained in our memories
Beyond just the Eiffel Tower, we loved Paris! Since it rained much of our stay, we took in several more museums than in any other city. We toured the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, the Army Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb, Sainte-Chapelle, and Notre Dame. Humorously, the day our Belgian guides, Peggy and Thomas, met up with us it absolutely poured! Yet, the two of them were not daunted, showing us highlights such as the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, Sacré-Coeur, and the Moulin Rouge. They also knew several more intimate and less touristy areas such as Cour St-Émilion that gave us a taste of local flavor while being harbored by French speaking friends. Between stops we caught up on the past seven years in little cafes and restaurants over drinks and several santes!
To compensate for all of our museum entrance fees and afternoon crepes we switched to a hostel in another area of town. Although the hostel wasn’t worth mentioning, its location gave us the feeling we could be very, very happy living in Paris. A man donned in evening attire and his accordion fills alley streets made of cobblestone with romance while you eavesdrop on French conversation over soup du jour. Shopping just blocks away is home to our new favorite clothing company and other fantastic fashion. It is truly a dream you don’t want to end! So when a super fun employee at the hostel offered us a room in his parent’s empty apartment, we leaped at the chance to enjoy Paris a little longer. Even still, we did have to wake up, but fortunate for us we’re still in Europe and heading towards Amsterdam!