so this weekend i went to paris!! and had an AMAZING time =]
We started off our journey taking a cab at 7am to Fumincino Airport. Everything with our travels worked out smoothly. I was very happy with it considering this was our first travel by ourselves without the luxury of having AIFS do everything for us and meet us at the airport. Once we got to the airport we got our tickets and we found our gate easily. It was a short flight about a little over an hour and we landed in Frankfurt. Then we got on our connecting flight from Frankurt and finally got to paris!!! we landed and getting out of the airport was a breeze without any checked luggage! it is very close to being the best part of the trip! haha From the airport we took a train to our hostel. it was really easy and fast. we got to our hostel by 4:00 and once checking in, we realized we made an awesome decision in our hostel choice. The rooms were really clean, they were incredibly helpful and directed us step by step on how to get whereever we wanted to go see and told us about a free tour that would be given the next day for 4 hours !
Once we dropped off our bags we headed over to the Louvre! I loved it! it was great seeing the outside too where the Da Vinci Code was filmed. i found out that they have a tour called the da vinci code tour that takes you every where that had to do with the book and movie. i wish i knew about it earlier, i will have to check it out and use it as an excuse to go back to paris one day! At the Louvre we were rushed for time because dinner at the hostel was being served at 7 and it was only 6 euros! so we wanted to take advantage of cheap food. The louvre is huge, fact: if you were to look at every single piece in the museum you would be there for 3 months! So clearly we did not get to see everything but we did get to see a lot of paintings, including the all too popular mona lisa! So i did have high expectations for seeing the mona lisa, however, it was not all it was cracked up to be. For such a famous painting it was very very small and you can not get very close to it, besides the tons of asian and german tourists blocking the way. It was set back at least 6 feet from us. We also got to see some egyptian things and the venus di milo. I think that the building itself was incredible and i loved the glass pyramids!
After taking a million pictures in front of the louvre, we headed back and had dinner at the hostel with other backpackers. It was good. We met a guy from brazil that came to paris to explore on his own. He was really nice and helped us plan what to see for the next day. Dinner was ok, it was spaghetti carabonara, and clearly since we werent in italy it did not live up to the italian version at all! anyway after dinner we refreshed our selves and quickly headed over to the effiel tower! It was amazing!! i absolutely loved the tower we took pictures at the Troccadoro, the best view of the tower. it was huge, i did not expect it to be like that, i am not sure what i expected but this did make the trip all the worth while. We took TONS of pictures in front of it since it was at night and all lit up and pretty =] we walked down and got closer and checked out the surroundings. The tower started flashing lights and it was so pretty. Apparently the lights go off on the tower every hour on the hour and it was beautiful! AFter we called it a night from being so tired after our travels to get to paris.
The next morning was an early one. We woke up (i slept great, it was very comfortable) and the hostel provided us with breakfast: french baguettes... AMAZINGGG!! i had some of the bread with nutella and fell in love with it. AFter breakfast we headed out for the tour. Like i said it was free, they worked off of tips so in the end i spent less than 2 euros for the awesome 4 hour tour. They took us to Notre dame, the river where we saw some different types of bridges. We also saw the police headquarters building where this was the first place that Germany occupied when invading France and Paris. There were a few war scars on the building but that was it. We also saw San michele fountain which is a creation that portayed san michele coming down from heaven, an arch angel in god's army to fight lucifer and send him to hell. it was really cool to see. The Arc De Triomphe was awesome too! it was huge, and was built in celebration for defeating foreign armies invading france and the great help of Napoleon. To get over to the arc we had to walk downstairs and go through an underground tunnel to get to the other side of the street. it is dangerous and impossible to cross the street the regular way, it is a traffic circle and there are 12 streets flowing into this circle with no lanes! In fact, it is the most dangerous road in Paris, insurance companies refuse to insure cars that get into accidents there because there is an accident (although not all major ones) every half an hour!
So anyway, after we also saw the Louvre again and walked down Champs Elysees. This is the most famous and expensive strop of shopping in all of Europe! We went past the Eiffel tower again and napoleons tomb and a lot of gardens near the louvre. We also went in the square where marie antoinette and king louis the XVI were beheaded after being pulled out of the palace of versailles! The tour stopped for a lunch break and me and rich bought our first ever crepes!! it was soo good! we both got it with nutella and banannas, which definitely gave me a sweet sickness. I am pretty sure i was on the biggest sugar rush known in history after devouring it!
once the tour was over we headed over the the eiffel tower to climb to the top! unfortunately the top floor was closed so we wanted to wait till tomorrow or later when it would reopen after the elevator was finished undergoing repairs. So since we couldnt do that, what else would we do but take more pictures in front of it! haha when we were done being silly with that we spent some money and headed back to the hostel for dinner. This time i had a veggie sandwhich and it was really good =] We met with our brazilian friend again and had dinner with him. We also made plans to go to the palace of versailles the next day.
After dinner we relaxed for a little bit and headed back over to the tower ( it was a good thing we bought the metro day pass for under 4 euro instead of a euro 50 every way) we definatley got our money's worth on the day passes. So we waited on line to climb up the tower. the elevator to the top was fixed and 3 people in head of us, we hear that the very top is closed because it was too crowded and they would be then closing after. It was a nightmare. Once our hopes of seeing the tower that day were shattered we went back to the hostel and packed our bags and went to bed
We woke up the next morning again bright and early. Had a repeat awesome breakfast, met our brazilian friend and headed to the eiffel tower the 5th time now! to go climb up it. After we got there about 20 minutes early we were the second elevator to get to the top! it was amazing! We of course took tons of pictures, but it was very very cold and windy. i did not think we would be that high up! it was crazy!! after we came down we headed straight to the metro station and took a train to the palace of versailles. It was incredible. It was in the top 3 of things on this trip. I was excited that since only last semester i read a book on versailles, king louis and marie antoinette, and i actually got to see everything i read in the book including the hall of mirrors where later the treaty of versailles was made to end world war I! i was in love with the palace, this place of "leisure" for the king and queen. We got our tickets for 10 euros (they thought iwas 18! sweet!) and got a audio guide tour included. it was really cool to listen to it and walk through all the rooms. once we were done with the inside we went outside and went to the gardens. it was awesome and unfortunately we had to head to the airport since we were in the totally opposite direction of it from versailles. We made it to the airport in record time and once again smooth travels which i was very proud of myself and the rest of us for! We passed through security after printing our quick check-in tickets and waited for the plane. Once we were on the plane it was another 1 hour or a little more until we landed to catch our connecting flight in munich back to rome.
We had a longgg day of travelling back but made it back by midnight
now i am going to class the next few days until friday when we are off again to barcelona, spain!
ciao! <3 alaina