1st 10 Day Free Travel- Paris

Trip Start Aug 31, 2008
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18
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Trip End Dec 08, 2008


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Where I stayed

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, October 27, 2008

We left our hostel at 4:15 AM on Friday to catch our flight to Paris. We once again flew in to Beauvais and had to take a bus and a train to get into Paris. We got a map of the city and located our hostel on the map. It was all the way across the city, but we decided we would walk for a while and see if we could get there without buying a tram pass. We walked for about an hour with our big backpacks and on very few hours of sleep. We got a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Then we decided to get on the tram to take us to our hostel. We got there and couldn't check in until 5, so we slept in the lobby for a couple hours.

At about 6, we headed out to find the Louvre because entry is free on Friday nights. While looking for the Louvre, we saw the Eiffel Tower turn on the lights at 7 PM and I was so excited. Every hour, for the first five minutes of the hour, the Eiffel Tower's lights flash. I just stood there watching it; it was so much better than I ever imagined it would be. I couldn't wait to go see it later that night.

We got to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa, the Code of Hammurabi, the Sphinx, and a few of the other famous art works. This place is so overwhelming. If you spent 30 seconds at each of the exhibits, it would take you over 3 months to see everything. The main entrance that looks like a pyramid was added in 1998 to make it easier to get to all the different sections without having to go back outside.

Then we took a walk along the river towards the Eiffel Tower. It was a beautiful, clear night, and it wasn't too cold. We kept getting closer and I just couldn't believe I was actually in Paris. It all seemed surreal. We took a lot of pictures; it looks so much better at night than it does during the day. In July, they changed the lights to blue lights instead of the white lights that usually lit up the Tower at night. This is to celebrate the European Union. They also put yellow stars on one side of the Tower like the European Union flag has.

On Saturday, the girls and I took another free walking tour by the same company as the one we took in Edinburgh. The company name is Sandeman's New Europe Tour. I would highly recommend these to anyone who is going to the cities that offer them. There are about 10 major European cities where they do free tours. We saw the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre of course in addition to Notre dame, the Opera House, the River Seine that divides Paris, the Pont Neug bridge, the Arc de Triomphe and much more. It was really interesting and we got to see a lot of Paris without getting lost. After the tour, we did some souvinir shopping along the river and got crepes.

On Saturday night, we met the guys at the Eiffel Tower at 5 to take the elevator up to the top. It cost 12 euro, but it was definitely worth it. The elevator is a double decker elevator that holds up to 400 people at once. We went up as the sun was setting and by the time we made it to the top after waiting in line at the 1st level for so long, it was dark out and we got a great view of Paris at night. It was so much fun. We all had a really good time, and then we went out for one last dinner together. It was a great ending to our 10 day trip.

We took a train back to Vienna on Sunday..unfortanately we got to the train station at 5:30 AM, when we didn't really have to be there until 6:30, because we didn't know it was daylight savings time. Oh well..it was a great trip and everything went smoothly. I was definitely ready to get back to the castle and rest for a few days.
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