I know my title is cheesy, but it's true! Paris really is a city you can just fall in love with! It's got some ups and downs, but it's beauty and wonderful crepes, croissants and pain au chocolate make up for the occasional smelly metro station.
My journey started out with a very early morning start. I got a cheap 5:30 am train ticket, which meant an even earlier start. The tube and trains don't start until 5am, so I went on a night bus adventure. Left the Reimer / Nicholson residence at about 3:30 am to catch a bus towards city Centre. Made it to the Savoy, and my second bus never came! 55 minutes later, the next one finally arrived. I got to St Pancras station, found the Eurostar booth and printed my ticket. Still had about 40 minutes before my train, so I went and grabbed a coffee, and wandered over to see where I had to leave from. Turns out you had to check-in at least 40 mins before your train departs. I had thought that printing my ticket was chcing in like in Canadian airports). Turns out that's not the case. It was about 20 mins before departure, and they were just about to close boarding for my train. Almost missed it... Ooops!? Thankfully I made it to Paris!
Checked into the hostel, did some wandering, and found myself some cat accessories in order to partake in some Halloween festivities that evening. I met up with a friend, Ida, from Calgary, and her boyfriend Cody. We knew each other, but not very well. We just happened to be in Paris at the same time, and decided to meet up! Spent Halloween with them (they were Tintin and snowy!), and polished off a few bottles of wine at a Halloween decorated bar. Twas good times!
We had so much fun on Halloween, that they decided to put up with me several more times while in Paris. ;) It's funny how traveling can make friendships so easy. I've gained a friend in Cody, and got to know Ida much better than I knew her before!
Did a hop on/hop off tour that took me around to the sights (totally overpriced if you pay for it... mine was free, but you can get places just as easily using the metro's in the European cities.... I don't recommend spending the money for it!) Stood in line for an hour and forty five minutes to climb the stairs of Notre Dame. Froze my hands and toes off (I forgot my mittens!) But it was totally worth it! Seeing the gargoyles up close, and even getting to stand next to the famous bell in the bell tower. Kinda makes me want to watch the Humpback of Notre Dame again!
Went and saw the Moulin Rouge all lit up at night... would have loved to see a show, but tickets starting at €105 were not quite in my budget! Then we went and saw the Eiffel Tower at night, and it was seriously stunning. It's all lit up, and every hour on the hour the lights go crazy and twinkle.Mom, it could give your Christmas tree a run for it's money ;)
The next day Cody, Ida and I woke up early and met to journey out to Versailles. It was absolutely breathtaking! The palace itself is massive, with room after room of sheer luxury, draped in red and gold. The hall of mirrors was stunning, and the gardens left me speechless. Unfortunately due to the cold weather, the fountains were not turned on, and most of the statues in the garden were covered, but the grounds itself were impressive and vast.
The next day was an adventure to climb the Eiffel tower! After a stop on the first tier for hot wine, and 669 stairs later, we arrived to the second tier, and the furthest you can climb by stairs. The remainder of the way to the top had to be done by elevator. Thankfully it was a clear day, and the views from the top were spectacular!
I should have left that day, but I decided to stay one more night. It was the first Sunday of November, and the museums in Europe are free on the first Sunday of each month. Made plans to go to the Louvre with Cody and Ida, and boy am I glad I did. I got to see the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and so many other cool pi eces of art. Not to mention the audio guides at the Louvre are Nintendo 3DS's. They were pretty cool, and super helpful.
Decided to stay one more night (yep... 3 nights in Paris turned to 5!) And went to e train station to book a ticket to Toulouse. They told me the next train that wasn't sold out was on Friday, so I went to Barcelona instead! Talk about being flexible....
Anyways... now that I've talked your ear off! A bientot mes amies! Au revoir, je t'aime!