This blog is longgg overdue! I've been so busy this week, between schoolwork and catching up on sleep after a long but amazing travel week! We left two Saturdays ago- October 1st- for Paris, which I LOVED! Our flight was early Saturday morning out of Venice (our program had a bus take us from campus). Once we got there, things were a little hectic- four of us decided to check a bag since the cheap airline here is super strict about carry-on size. But there was a longg line to check the bag so we had to wait there and then RUN to our gate but we made it okay. One of my friends, Gill, had a bag that was too big and she had to pay a fee which she was upset about but now we know, use backpacks, not rolling bags because they rarely measure the backpacks but always check the rolling bags. We flew into a small airport outside of Paris which was a little annoying because we didn't realize how far it was- it was an hour bus ride into the city. Once we got there we took the Metro to our hostel, which was right next to a Metro stop so that was great! We lucked out and got a room all to ourselves (most other times we have to share with strangers)! We dropped our stuff there and went into the busier part of Paris- we took the Metro to the Palais Royal which is also right next to the Louvre. There's a massive garden/ park area in front of that so we walked through there, stopped at a cafe and walked towards the Arc di Triomphe. We went down Champs-Elysees which is the big road known for all the shopping! It was perfect weather out and everything is so pretty there- I love Parisian architecture! Why don't we have pretty buildings like that in the US!? After that we walked to the Eiffel Tower which is so weird to see in person! Haha! It's HUGE and so beautiful! We sat on the gradd under the Eiffel Tower as the sun set and the lights came on, while drinking champagne! It was perfect! Then we got dinner and went home to bed! The funniest part of Paris was the Metro- the way it works is you buy a ticket and insert it, then there's either a sliding door or a turnstile to let you through. Well we made it a game to see how many people we could get through the doors before they shut- I think our best was 4. We would all hold onto each other tightly and run as fast as possible. We have so many funny memories from this- one time Lauren fell through the turnstile because her and Katie tried to fit in one turn and her purse got caught and she fell forward. Then one time the doors closed on my friend Lexie and she spilled her coffee all over her. We also found out the hard way that when you hear a beeping noise, that means the doors are closing. On our first Metro ride, Katie and Mandy almost lost their arms trying to get in (there was clearly no sensor- if you're in the way, it still closes!). So, so funny!
The next morning, Gill, Mandy and I went to mass in Notre Dame which was amazing- so pretty on the outside and inside! It was an international mass, but spoken in French- but they gave us English pamphlets so that was good. Then the other girls met us there and we took a train to Versailles which was one of the highlights of the week for me. (You know how I love anything royal). The palace was the prettiest thing I have ever seen- we took a tour which came with an audio guide and we learned so much cool info! It pointed out different things in each room- like the secret door Marie Antoinette escaped through when the palace was being raided, how long all the decorating took (paintings on the ceilings of every room and gold EVERYWHERE!), etc. It was amazing. And we got to look out over the gardens in the back which were beautiful and so big! After that we went back to the Eiffel Tower and met the other girls there, went to get dinner then back to the hostel. We went to a bar for a little, but were tired so we got Nutella crepes (my new favorite dessert!) and went home.
Monday morning we got up early and went to the Louvre (note: free with student ID or passport!) which was awesome. It's SO big so we didn't go everywhere but we got to see all the famous things like the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory statue and the Venus statue. Really cool to see them in person! After that we did a little shopping, but spent too much time there of course so actually had to RUN back to the hostel, grab our things, and jump on the Metro to get to our bus stop. I'm sure we looked pretty crazy running through the streets of Paris! We made our flight just fine and headed to Madrid! That'll be the next blog :)