Day by day schedule:
- 22nd: Got to Paris. Found our hostel. Went to bed.
- 23rd: This day we were feeling ambitious. Too ambitious. We hiked all the way to the Louvre (about a two hour walk from our hostel), along the way we checked out a mall, rested our legs in a peaceful chapel called Église de la Madeleine, and then we walked on further to see the Arc de Triomphe. I didn’t realize this when I was there but apparently you can walk up inside of the Arc de Triomphe. Oh well, I suppose that is for my next visit to Paris!
- 24th: We finally got smart – or maybe we were just being lazy – and bought a metro pass. With a metro pass, we covered a lot more ground. We spent six hours in the Louvre marveling at the gorgeous sculptures and fantastic paintings. You’d think staring at art all day wouldn’t be too physically draining, but by the end of the day I was ready for bed! We were drawn to the Eiffel Tower all lit up in the distance though, so we wandered there and hiked all the way up (we took the stairs instead of the elevator). What a beautiful sight! I looked over to my right and caught a very different sight of my roommate spitting over the edge of the Eiffel. Well, to each his own! We also ran into some Italians and for the first time I saw an Italian do the stereotypical fingertips kiss complete with an exclamation of “perfecto!” I also got my cheek pinched with a “Ciao, bella!” I couldn’t help but miss Rome.
One of the many galleries in the Louvre. The lighting and art displays were all very thought out to give the art the right effect.
After dark, every hour on the dot the Eiffel Tower “sparkles” for ten minutes.
- 25th: Ahhh… the Palace of Versailles (in a suburb of Paris). This was by far the best moment of France and arguably the best moment of my study abroad experience to date. Wandering through the gardens at sunset listening to Bon Iver = perfect.
The palace was beautiful but the gardens were better!
- 26th: We were all over Paris on this day. First stop on the metro was Porte de Vanves where we found the antique market. Next, we stopped at Porte de Clignancourt where we found outdoor markets for everything, ranging from gorgeous vintage dresses to Hollister sweatshirts. Lastly, we got off at Saint-Michel and saw the Notre Dame as well as some of Paris’ nightlife. We ended up in a cozy brasserie eating a gourmet meal. Unlike Rome where there were only two lines on the metro, Paris has too many to count! It took us a little while to get the hang of it.
Night certainly brings a whole different feel to cities.
- 27th: After ten amazing days in the two most romantic cities of Europe, we headed home.