The sun had just come up in Barcelona when my roomates and I rolled out of bed and made our way to the metro. We took the metro to the regional rail and made it to the airport (BCN) right on time. I slept on the airplane, knowing that I would need all the energy I could possibly get.
We landed in Paris. First thoughts:
1. I don´t know any French.
2. Where the hell is my hostel?
3. What are we going to do?
We managed to find the train to Paris, and got off at the stop that said, Notre Dame. First thing we did was stop in a cafe to get some food and drink. I ordered a coffee and a French Onion soup. It was so good. With our bags on our backs, we walked infront of the towering church at Notre Dame. It was a strange feeling, knowing that a few years back, when I was 14, I stood in the same place, looking at the same church. It felt different this time.
After going in the church, we decided that we should go to our hostel and drop our bags off. We had no idea how to get to our hostel. We took a cab.
Aloha Hostel. It was my first time in a hostel and I really liked it. So many young people from all over the world, with the same desire, to experience life to the fullest, and see all that we can see. After dropping off our bags we went downstairs and asked the girl behind the desk for all the important info we would need to make our experience the best it could be. Metro map, tourist map, walking tour options, ect. After our talk with the girl, we were more prepared for our stay. We now had the tools for success.
We walked to the Eiffel Tower. Took the elevator to the second landing and saw Paris at night. It was a very spiritual moment, and memories of my grandmother Rhoda became prevalent in my mind. I knew that while I stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower and looked at the city of lights and love, my grandmother was smiling down on me, happy that I finally was in Paris doing the things she wanted me to do, ie, not in a hotel taking care of her broken arm.
(For those of you who don´t know, my grandmother took me to Paris and London when I was 14, but on the second night of the trip she fell and broke her arm. It made the trip difficult, to say the least. We were going to come home, but she wouldn´t let that happen. We made the best of the rest of our time, but it really put a damper on the sightseeing)
That night we ate at a really nice resturant next to the Eiffel Tower, and then went to the Red Light District and saw the Mulan Rouge. We walked around, very seedy, very gritty, very interesting. Klee and I met up with our friend from camp Laurie Budman and her roommate for drinks and then went back at midnight knowing that tomorrow was going to be a long day of sightseeing.
Woke up at 9 for free breakfast at the hostel. Cereal, a piece of bread, coffee, and OJ. We met in the Latin Quarter for the walking tour.
What we saw:
1. Latin Quater
2. Nortre Dame
3. The court house
4. Statue of Henry the Fourth
5. Walked down the river
6. The beautiful park that goes from the Luvre to the beginning of the Champes
7. The expo center (big and little) (they are next to eachother)
8. The fanciest hotel in Paris
9. Arc de Triumph
After the walking tour I went to the Luvre to walk around for a bit. After the luvre I went back to the hostel, and that night we went out to the Bastille area for dinner and drinks. I ordered the first thing I saw on the menu..... big mistake. It ended up being raw meat with mayo and onions, with French Fries. What the fuck. We made it back to our hostel early again... knowing that the next day would be another long one.
Sunday.... Sacre Cuer, Latin Quarter.....
Dinner in ChinaTown (kimchi noodles)
Went to the airport at 11 and just tooled around till our flight in the morning. The metro stops at midnight. I didn't want to wait till 5:30am for the metro to start again because I was afraid I would miss my flight if anything went wrong. The airport was boring but it was less stressful than not knowing if I would be able to make my flight. I was proud of myself for being responsible.
Paris is more ascetically beautiful than Barcelona, but I like the atmosphere and lifestyle better here. Everyone knows the French stereotypes, and I saw some of them here and there, but all in all the French are very nice and helpful if approached with manners.
I learned alot from my weekend trip. I will be more prepared next time I go away for the weekend with everything I learned.
I'm going to taco tuesday with my roomates now to talk about spring break.... Greece anyone?