Amour from Parieeeeee
Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
19Trip End May 08, 2008
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Where I stayed
Our Parisan adventure began with the planning of this trip. It took until two days before our departure to finally figure out that we wanted to go to Paris. Paris was on all of our "to-do" lists, but we didn't realize this adventure would happen during our first "real" weekend at school. We booked our train tickets two days before we left, and our hotel later that night. Since we were booking our train so late, we got the privelage of being on the 6:00 am train, and we all know very well that I am not a morning person :) All in all, there were four of us that went, and after purchasing the train tickets, we went back to campus to book our hotel room. This resulted in the four of us each searching for a hotel room...and then from our pool of hotels we chose the best one. I guess this is what happens when your parents don't plan your vacations for you :) After finalizing the plans for that...we breathed easy until the day we left for our fun-filled weekend :)
As stated above...our adventure began at 6 am
The rest of our train ride went very smooth...thankfully :) We arrived in Paris on time...and began our adventure! The weather in Paris on Friday was not so pleasant...it was quite foggy and the temperature was around 30 - 40 degrees. I can't complain though...because the stories I am hearing about the weather in the states makes Europe seem like paradise :) We wandered around the station for a while, grabbed a map from the tourist kiosk, and we were sent on the mission to find our hotel. Sure enough...five minutes out of the station and we were already lost :) I think this is the time in this blog to thank my parents for all they have done for me while on vacation. Not only was booking the train and the hotel a little stressful....but navigating in a large city is extremely difficult especially if you have never been there before. I have hit one of those moments in my life where I appreciate you guys for yet another thing...and just wanted to let you know that you guys rock :) After turning the map around a few times (thinking that this would help!) we finally figured out a direction in which to head...and we followed it. A couple blocks from the train station, we found a hotel that we thought might be ours so we walked in to either (a) check-in or (b) be stupid americans and ask for directions :) The concierge behind the counter started laughing at us when we told him the address for the hotel...which made us very nervous. It turned out we had walked into the sister hotel of the one we were staying in...so after giving this guy a good laugh and pointing us in the right direction we were on our way again!
We were pleasantly suprised when we arrived at our hotel. The lobby was decorated with "mod" funiture, and the breakfast area looked very modest
Our adventure began with a trip to the tourist office to purchase a museum pass. We figured since it was a tourist office...the guide would be polite...but he was not! This office was located in a tiny kiosk in the middle of a cement pad...and had at least 10 people crammed inside of it. There was no where to stand other then in front of the electric door...which kept opening and closing as a result of the mass of amount of people. The guide did not appreciate this and decided to take his anger out on Kelsey
After purchasing our Metro passes (which might have been our best purchase all weekend) we decided we wanted to hit up the Arc de Triomphe first. We went to the nearest Metro map...and had the feeling of being lost overcome us again. Luckily the concerige at the hotel was feeling very friendly, and told us were to go for the most part...but we were still feeling pretty lost! We guessed which line to hop on...and luckily it turned out to be the right on. When we stepped off the metro the first thing we saw was the Arc de Triomphe, and it was amazing! We climbed up the stairs and were amazed with its beauty. It was hard for me to believe that I was actually in Paris, and seeing the Arc made it even harder. I had studied about these places all through school...and I couldn't believe we were actually in front of it! While we were taking pictures of the Arc, we were approached by the first of many "travelers". They really enjoyed Kelsey, because they were asking her for money all weekend
When we exited the Arc we were directly on top of Champs-Elysees, and were starving so we decided to get something to eat on the strip. We found a cute deli, and got sandwiches and sat down to rest our legs and eat. The sandwich was amazing...but I felt a little guitly because it was named the American sandwich and I was eating it in Paris! I also requested a soda for my beverage...and this was the first pop I had since I had been here....and it was amazing! I didn't know Diet Pepsi could taste so good! After eating and resting for awhile...we took the metro to our next adventure spot...which just so happened to be the Louvre
I was soooooo excited to see the Louvre! I am a big fan of the DaVinci Code, and had read the book and watched the movie before coming. This book takes part in and around Paris...especially in the Lourve..so I wanted to see all the spots that they had filmed on the movie! When we arrived, the size of the museum took my breathe away...it was soooo HUGE! We heard a fact that if you spent one minute at each piece of artwork, it would take you 33 days to see everything in the museum! We decided as a group to go and see a few choice things...like the Mona Lisa...and then to leave. We spent around 3 hours at the Louvre...and probably didn't even cover 1/4 of the museum! Trying to explain how amazing it was is a difficult thing to do...so I just suggest to everyone that they need to go and see it...because it is that amazing! The day was starting to get late...and we wanted to make it to Notre Dam before it closed...so we headed in that direction.
My breathe was taken away when we arrived at Notre Dam as well! I have seen the Hunchback of Notre Dam...but let me tell you...that movie doesn't do this church any justice. I was amazed by the beauty on the outside...and was even more impressed by the beauty inside. We were also suprisesd to learn that we had arrived just in time to attend mass....so I can offically say that I have attended a French mass in Notre Dam.....this is definately one to tell the grand kids someday :) After mass had finished....which was sooooooo beautiful by the way...we had decided we were hungry again, so we got supper at the Quasimodo located close to the church. It was here that I had my first experience with French Onion soup...and man was it tasty. I think it was extra good becasue France is its home...and they pretty much pride themselves on this
Our second day began with an amazing breakfast of croissants and danishes. It was at this time that I realized that croissants really do taste better in Europe. They were amazing....I literally ate only bread for breakfast...and it was completely delicious! After filling up on this deliciousness, we decided to begin another day of "touristy" fun at the Sacre Crour. The Sacre Crour is an amazing church on top of a very high hill in Paris. It is actually the highest most point in Paris...and guess what...we got to climb to the top. Yes, I said climb....so this meant even more stairs!!!! The Sacre Crour was very close to our hotel, so we walked over to the area were it was located and started our ascent to the top of the hill. When we arrived at the base of the Sacre Crour we were greeted with not only a beautiful caraosel, but also our second encounter of travelers
After leaving the Sacre Crour...we were all filled with the feeling that our day couldn't get any better. We had an amazing breakfast, had just left one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and still hadn't seen the Eiffel Tower! We hopped back on the metro, and decided our next stop was going to be the Musee de Orsay. This museum is located in the old train station of Paris. It was not only was in a beautiful building, but it was a beautiful museum. It was filled with all sorts of impressionist works, so I left the museum feeling like I knew like I was a master when it came to art :) I have never been a real "huge" museum fan, so after being in the Louvre the first day, and spending some quality time in this museum, I was pretty "museumed out"
The restaurant we ate at was across the river from the Eiffel, and this was supposedly the "primo" spot to get pictures of the Eiffel Tower. There was a huge landing with hundreds of people just like us who were taking pictures. After getting our full of Eiffel Tower pictures, we decided it was time to get up close and personal with the beauty so we started our walk towards the Eiffel. Halfway to the tower, we encountered a crepe stand which we were told had the "best crepe's in all of Paris". We decided we couldn't come to Paris and not try these crepes...so we all orderd one.
After what seemed like forever, we finally got to the ticket counter, purchased our tickets, and climbed in the elevator
We arrived in Maastricht the following day...back to the books....and the lack of the Eiffel Tower :) Maastricht isn't home...but with each passing day it begins to feel more like a temporary home...and it was sooo nice to come back to a place that "felt like home". The trip was amazing...and it was a great way to spend the first weekend here! I hope to go back to Paris in the spring to see everything in bloom...but I know the experience I had with my first trip will be enough to last me a life time :)
If you have made it this far....I would like to congratulate you! I got extremely long winded with this blog...but I feel like the more details I give, the more it will feel like you're here! I miss you all soooooo much!
Stay tuned for more adventures from our side of the world :) Until next time....