Friday, November 13, 2009

Je t'aime Paris <3

November 10-12
Today I arrived back in London, from Paris. It felt so good to be home again. I loved Paris, but I missed London so much during the three days I was away. I realized how accustomed I have gotten to the English ways when I went to Paris and no longer knew which way the cars were coming from. Crazy how just a few months can really change your view.

Oh but let me tell you about Paris... I fell in love the moment I stepped out of the metro and the Eiffel Tower appeared right in front of me. It took my breathe away, it was so beautiful!! It was more than I expected, the three of us stood staring at the tower for a couple minutes before we could get ourselves to move closer towards it. Then we took about ten minutes just taking pictures of it and enjoying it. I felt all giddy around that Eiffel Tower, I just knew I would love that city! We got their early in the morning, at about 8:30 and France is an hour ahead of London so it was more like 7:30 to us. Luckily the cold kept us awake...and the fact we were in Paris!! The only thing I did not enjoy about being around the Eiffel Tower was the mobs scattered around the base selling cheap, fake, Paris souvenirs. They would come up to us trying to get us to buy little cheap Eiffel Towers and other random things with Eiffel Towers on them that we did not need. At first we tried to be kind and just simply say "no merci" , but when they did not work and they were EVERYWHERE I would just give completely ignore them. They were so persistent, it was crazy! However even with those guys, we could not stay away from the beautiful Tower. We walked along the Seine River and stayed near the Tower, taking pictures from other different angles. When we first arrived in Paris, it was cloudy which actually made for beautiful pictures. Hehe.

When we began to get hungry we decided we had to leave the Tower area to find some less expensive food. We wandered into a fruit and vegetable market, which had a man making crepes. When in Paris, you have to have crepes. Mmmmm. They were so delicious! He simply put butter with cinamon sugar. Oh we would have had those all day everyday if we could. After the crepes, we made our way toward our hotel. Getting to our hotel was an adventure, but once we were there it was so nice. We ended up taking a long nap after being up all night traveling, we decided we needed some rest. Also since Paris seems to be more alive at night, we wanted to be able to enjoy that.

After our nap we headed out to the Notre Dame Cathedral. I am so thankful for the London tube because it made traveling on the Paris metro system a lot easier. We took the metro to a station nearby the Notre Dame Cathedral and then just walked the rest of the night. Looking back at what we did, we realized that we walked across half the city in about six hours... no wonder we were so sore the next day! At least we slept good though, hehe. Notre Dame was absolutely picturesque! The huge stone building with beautiful wooden doors and the gargoils glaring from the top. Everything about it was so lovely, it was different from the other cathedrals we had seen before. And we were blessed to be there when they were having a service, we did not sit and listen, but we walked around the inside and got to experience it just the same. It was all in French, but it was still beautiful. They did a lot of singing and they had communion and it was just amazing. I cannot imagine having church in their, it was huge! Also I saw something I had never seen before, there were clear glass rooms with about ten chairs in rows outside of them. Inside the rooms were a priest and another person. They were confession rooms, but it looked more like a bank meeting. It was very interesting. I saw the same sort of thing in another church we went to during this trip, but had never seen it all through our traveling in Eurpope. It must be a French thing. After we left the cathedral, we walked along the Seine River just simply enjoying the view. We saw so much wonderful architecture. I really like the stone, it just looks so... ah I am running out of adjectives to describe everything in this city. And this is only the first day we were there... well all of you who have been there before will know what I am talking about, and all you who have not will hopefully understand a little through the pictures...

We walked toward the Arc de Triomphe... which was probably one of the longest walks of my life... but it was completely worth it! We took many stops and detours during the long street toward the arc. This arc is where the soliders would walk through when they obtained victory and I felt like arriving at that arc was victory for us as well. he arc is in the middle of the street and the only way to get to it is by going underground. Once we got there, we found out we were able to climb up it to the very top... so after over a mile or two walk to the Arc and just under 300 steps, we stood on the top of the Arc de Triomphe and surveyed all of Paris. We saw the Eiffel Tower doing a light show, we saw streets lit up and parks without lights, we saw in the distance places we would go and explore. I was awestuck by the view I was blessed with. WOW! And even Christina who is deathly afraid of heights, enjoyed the view from a distance. I am so proud of her! That adventure was the perfect ending to an amazing day and we headed back to our hotel to get prepared for another filled day ahead.

Versaille was our plan for the second day in Paris. Novemeber 11 was the 90th anniversary of something connected with the Treaty of Versaille. It was fun getting the opportunity to be there on that day. We had to wake up before the sun to get our day started. It was a cold morning as most of the days were in Paris, however it did warm up in the afternoon. Before going to Paris; Christina, Chelsea, and I watched Marie Antoinnette, I had never seen it before. I am so glad we did because going to Versaille held so much more value for me after seeing the history ( Hollywood status) behind it. The palace itself was a bit overwhelming. So much gold and wealth went into each room. There was hardly a place you could look that did not have some sort of pattern covering it. It was a place that would be nice to look at, but not necessarily to live. Which seemed to be the same thought that Marie Antionette had because the Petite Trianon was a place of personal retreat for her. We toured the palace which at one point housed 20,000 people! Which gives you a feel for how large this place was, it was the largest palace in Europe! After leaving the palace we walked into their backyard which was miles and miles of gardens. Our timing of coming to Versaille was perfect because the leaves were all changing and had not completely all fallen off the trees yet. We were able to just wander through the green and fall colored bushes and trees then we decided to rent bikes to give ourselves a chance to see more. It was as if we were in a movie, everything was just so wonderful. After our bike ride, we went to visit the place that all three of us agreed was our favorite part of all of Versaille... the village built for Marie Antionnette. It was the most precious little place ever! There were animals everywhere and all the little houses were just perfect with their thatched roofs and wooden doors. Even with the small village feel, you could still tell this was built for royalty. Some of the houses had wooden spiral staircases and everything was without fault. I loved it! We pet some goat, feed some sheep, and just explored. Oh I loved Versaille!!! Eventually the time came when we had to leave Versaille, it was bittersweet. We enjoyed Versaille very much, but we were heading back to the Tower we loved... ah it was as if things could not get better and then they would! We were exhausted by the time we got to our train to head back into Paris, but we wanted to take advantage of the short amount of time we had. We bought some dinner, I had a baguette, brie, and a carrot of course because I did not want to pay the ridiculous price for a sandwhich, and then got in line to go up to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower or Tour de Eiffel. After waiting for what seemed like eternity, we got into an elevator and rode to the top. We found out that the Eiffel Tower was 120 years old this year... HAPPY BIRTHDAY EIFFEY!!!! It is exaclty 100 years older than the three of us, we were excited. Hehe.

The view from the top was beautiful, I love the lights and everything. I think the fact that I was at the top of the Eiffel Tower was more exciting to me then actually what I saw because I love seeing the Eiffel Tower and when you are in it, you cannot see it. But it was fun. The wind was so strong up there and it was cold, but it was well worht it!

Another exhausting, wonderful day! We decided that our last day in Paris would not start as early because we felt that we needed our rest. We had just a few things we wanted to see and we just wanted to be able to take in Paris because we none of us know if we will ever be so blessed to return. We woke up and left the hotel around 9:20 or so and we headed to the Moulin Rouge. We just wanted to see it. It turned out there was a lovely little crepe place right next door which we just could not pass up. I had nutella with a little bit of crepe. It was delicious! Intense... but delicious! After simply seeing the Moulin Rouge, we headed to the Louvre. It was so amazing! We got into the Louvre for free because we were students in England, it was great! I mean what are the odds of that?! We would have paid to get in, but it is sooooo nice when you do not have to. We spent about 4 hours in the Louvre seeing as much as we could. The art was magnicient! So many famous art pieces and artists in there, it seemed surreal that we were actually in there. It made me love art so much more!! I just wanted to sit and take it all in, but sadly our time did not allow that. Hopefully I will get a chance to come back one day because seeing everything in the Louvre... really seeing it all, would take weeks! After the Louvre, we headed to see Sacre Coeur... It was the perfect ending to our Paris trip. The area that this church resided was called Montmarte and it was probably my favorite part of all of Paris. It was nothing like Paris, it was more French. It had cobblestone streets and brick homes. Everything seemed to be on a hill and no matter which way you went, it felt like you were always walking up. The church was beautiful! We climbed the many stairs to the top of the dome and saw yet another breath-taking view of Paris. The sun was getting ready for its big debut and the Eiffel Tower seemed like just a spec in the distance. The climb up the dome almost made me closterphobic, luckily I am not or else I would not have been able to do it. A narrow staircase of 300 stairs was well worth the view. It was beautiful, Paris. I loved being there, I loved the people and the culture and everything about it. Now I know why so many people love Paris and why it is the city of love. Not only is the language beautiful, but the city itself is stunning! One day I hope to return and see it all again, but if I do not I am just thankful for all the memories Paris gave to me. :)

1 comment:

  1. Your descriptions are so good, I really felt like I was there. I PTL daily that you are getting this opportunity to travel like you are. thanks for writting it all out for those of us who can't actually be there with you. LUV U!!!