Bonjour. Bonjour. Bonjour. Oh my god!

Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
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Trip End May 21, 2013


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, February 9, 2013

PARIS!!!

We got into Paris around noon on a Saturday and then took a bus and then the metro to our hostel. When I first saw Paris, I was not impressed. When you are not in the center of the city, it looks ugly and it is just another city. Our hostel wasn't that far from the center of the city and was in the Jewish part of Paris. It was just alright. However, our hostel was huge. It was much bigger than our last hostel in that there were a lot of rooms and they had a much bigger bar area and they had more events planned for each week. The people who worked there were awesome and very helpful. So we settled into our room and went out to explore Paris.

We took the metro right into town and walked around to see the cool buildings, making our way towards Notre Dame. We mostly just wondered around and went into any shops that looked cool. The Notre Dame was gorgeous! We didn't go inside because it costs money and the line was long but it was cool just to see the outside. From there we walked around even more, saw some cool bridges (like the lock bridge and the bridge with faces on it), and made our way to the Louvre. The building surrounding The Louvre was huge and seems to go on for a long time. The Louvre itself is pretty neat, even though we only saw the top glass part. Once again we didn't go inside because it costs money and the lines were long.

Now we were in search of a cheap cafe where we could get some hot chocolate and croissants. However, everything is pretty expensive in Paris (expect wine) but we ended up buying some hot chocolate anyways and it was really good! We also picked up some baked goods at a bakery.

It was getting dark by this point so we wanted to make our way to the Eiffel Tower because we had heard it was super beautiful all lit up at night. We walked in the general direction but for some reason it was really hard to find. You would think that a tall object like the Eiffel Tower would be super easy to keep your eye on, but we kept on losing it because of all the buildings. Thankfully there was a search light on the top of the tower so we could see that.

There are some moments on trips like these when you realize you are actually somewhere awesome and your life is actually happening. When I saw the full Eiffel Tower in front of me, all lit up in the night sky of Paris, it hit me that I was really here in Paris and this was really happening. That moment made Paris so much better. Standing there and realizing how tall the Eiffel Tower really is and how grand and beautiful it is, it really puts things in perspective. 

We did not go up the Eiffel tower because it was also expensive but I think that would be pretty cool, especially to go all the way to the top! So we made our way to a metro station and went back to our hostel. We bought dinner (bread, tomato, cheese, and wine again) and just had a chill night in our room because we wanted to be well rested for the next day.

The next day we had a great free breakfast at the hostel and then went back into Paris for our free guided tour of the city. Even though we already walked through the city on our own, we wanted to do this tour as well because then we would learn about the history and whatnot.

The tour was pretty neat! We learned a lot about the history of Notre Dame, The Louvre, and other cool buildings and the lock bridge and the bridge with faces on it. The lock bridge is kind of like a big art project. Couples will come with a lock and lock it on the bridge and throw the key into the water. They usually write a message on the lock too and it symbolizes eternal love. I think it is pretty neat! And the bridge with the faces on it (Pont Neuf) has a cool story to it. So King Henry III wanted to contribute something special to Paris so people would remember him. He decided to have a huge party and invited all his friends and all the important people to his party. At the party he had someone paint pictures of all of his guests' faces and then he had stone carvings made from the pictures. He then built one of the first bridges in Paris and had all those faces put into the bridge. And so this bridge became the first facebook: publicly displayed drunken pictures of friends from a party. I love it!

After the tour, we went up to Monmartre which is the highest part of Paris where you can see the whole town and there is a pretty church up on top. Monmartre is really cute and even though the weather was not the greatest and the visibility was crap, it was still pretty cool. This is where I had a chocolate almond croissant and it was the best thing in the world!!!!

We went back to the hostel to freshen up and eat dinner and then went on a pub crawl in the red light district in Paris, which was right next to the Moulin Rouge!! The pub crawl was sponsored by the same free lancers that did our tour, but only us 6 people were on the pub crawl which kind of sucked. Although we still had fun and it was a good way to end our trip.

We went back to the hostel and got up early to get a taxi to catch our bus to the airport to take our plane back to Dublin where we took a bus to get another bus to take us back to Limerick. And then we went to class and it didn't even feel like we went away for the weekend. It even felt weird that no one was speaking french and I shouldn't say 'merci' or something back to them.

Paris was cool and I will definitely have to go back to see Monet's gardens and go to the Monet museum. Also, there was a Packer bar in Paris that I didn't know about so I really have to go back! And I have to eat many more chocolate almond croissants!!

  
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Comments

Dawn Weir on

This is such a great idea. Thanks sweet pea! I miss you:(

Pat Ellison on

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos. Wish I could have been there with you. I know it was a wonderful experience!

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