Sunday, February 19, 2012

The City of Lights!

Once again, super late on the post...but here it is, PARIS! We went with our study abroad program, so I think in total there were about 70 people from AIFS with us. We rode the Eurostar from London to Paris, and compared to our 9 hour bus ride to Edinburgh, it was a breeze. Our hotel was right outside of the train station, and we had a metro station about two feet from us, so it was very convenient. 

View from the Hotel

We got there on Friday afternoon and had time to explore the city for the whole day and night. We headed out on the metro to the Latin District and grabbed dinner. Then we headed to a piano bar for some champagne and music! Finally, we stopped at the most amazing crepe shop ever! I could never live in Paris solely for the fact that all I would eat would be crepes. Everyone was pretty tired, and we had to be up early in the morning for a bus tour, so we headed back fairly early. 

Champagne with Gracie, Katie and Lindsey at the Piano Bar

The next morning we had a 9am bus tour around the city, hitting all the highlights like Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tour. It lasted two or three hours and then we were given tickets to the Louvre! We split off from everyone and did our own things in the museum for about three hours. This was by far one of my favorite places. There were soooo many pieces of art, you could easily stay the entire day and not get through all of it. I would have loved to have more time, so if I ever go back to Paris I know I'll be designating a day solely for the Louvre. One thing I'm learning about myself while being abroad is that I love wandering art galleries; nothing better than putting your iPod in and aimlessly roaming for five hours. 

 Delaney, Lindsey, Emily, Katie, Gracie, Shea, myself and Claire with the Eiffel Tower

 Entrance to the Louvre

Mona Lisa!

After the Louvre, Katie, Gracie and I walked around Paris, making a stop to tour Notre Dame. It was extremely cold and windy that day, so we weren't allowed to go up into the actual towers of the cathedral. We headed back to the hotel on the metro and took a nap before heading to dinner down the street (where I had some of the best creme brulee everrrr), then back on the metro to a bar for some drinks. Once again we called it a pretty early night, being a tourist is exhausting!

Walking along the Seine to Notre Dame

 Notre Dame de Paris

Inside view of the Cathedral

Our last day was Sunday, and we had to meet for the train at 3:30pm. Gracie, Katie and our friends Josh and Alec made the decision to take a train out to Versailles for the day. It was about a 45 minute to hour train ride, but we got to see what it was like a little bit outside the city, which I really enjoyed. We had a couple hours to wander around. 

Walking up to the Palace

Hands down, Versailles was my favorite part of the trip. There really aren't words to describe that palace. It is the most astounding "home" I could ever even imagine. I remember learning about the French Revolution in school and hearing others describe how ornate the palace is, but there is no way to comprehend it unless you walk through it. 

Alec, Katie, Gracie, myself and Josh outside the Gates of Versailles

Gracie, Katie and I paid to walk through the inside. By far, the Hall of Mirrors was my favorite room in the entire place. It is a massive hallway, chandelier after chandelier hanging, with floor to ceiling windows on one side, showing off the famous Versailles gardens, and floor to ceiling mirrors on the other. The entire palace is just completely unnecessary, and seeing it certainly helps put the French Revolution into perspective (if I had nothing to my name and knew that was where my king was living, I might be revolting too....), but it doesn't change how completely incredible the architecture and decoration are. 

 Entrance to the Hall of Mirrors 


 Windows looking out into the gardens

Marie Antoinette's bedroom

Garden view from the Palace. They were closed due to the snow and cold weather

We headed back to Paris on the train, and made it just in time to meet up with the group and head back to London on the Eurostar. Overall, we definitely didn't have enough time in the city. It all felt a little rushed trying to fit in as much as possible in just about two days, but it was still beautiful and I am so glad I got to go. I had heard horror stories about the people there, but I never really experienced anyone being blatantly rude, and in all actuality most people were very friendly. Not what I was expecting, but certainly appreciated! And after being there for just over two days, I am IN LOVE with the French language. It is absolutely gorgeous, and even though I had zero idea what anyone was saying, I loved sitting and listening to people around speaking. Kendrick, I get why you studied it for so long, I'm jealous I don't know it. 

1 comment:

  1. Clearly I have taken forever to read this because my life has been insane! (ALMOST DONE WITH MASTERS!) But see isn't French beautiful! So jealous that you've been to Paris!