The City of Light
This past weekend I visited a city that I have always dreamt about visiting — Paris, France. Ever since watching the show and movie Madeline as a child, I always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and the city myself. I went with my roommates, Bahar and Sibo, and two of our friends, Ashley and David.
To get there, we took the Eurostar train on Thursday night which dropped us off just a convenient 3 minute walk from our hostel. We booked a tour through Weekend Student Adventures (highly recommended!!!!) to save ourselves time and money. Our tour guide, Kevi, was the best tour guide I could have asked for. He was so knowledgable about his city, so fun to hang out with and just an all around cool guy. I really enjoyed getting to know him and I am very thankful for everything that he showed us!
Friday, 13 February, was our first day of touring the city. We hopped on a train (the Paris Metro system is not nearly as easy to navigate as the London Tube system…and it’s in a language I don’t understand.) and headed to the Eiffel Tower, which I couldn’t believe I was finally seeing with my own two eyes. Instead of waiting an hour for the lift, we climbed the stairs to the second floor. Talk about a workout! The views were amazing, though, and it was definitely worth it.
Next we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral which has been around since the 1100s! Of course, it was restored in the 1800s, but I also learned that it took almost 200 years to finish the entire building. It was such a pretty building and church.
After walking across an imitation of the “Love Lock Bridge,” we entered the Latin Quarter for a tasty lunch. The Latin Quarter was given its name because it used to be home to a lot of universities who all taught Latin. I had my first ever quiche and I really enjoyed it! For dessert, we enjoyed some traditional French crepes made with butter and sugar. Needless to say, they were delicious.
We continued to walk around the neighborhood and Kevi pointed out all the major sites. Then we went to a shopping district before heading back to the hostel. Ashley and I decided to ask Kevi for a restaurant recommendation for dinner and I am so glad that we did! He recommended a small restaurant near the Eiffel Tower and we enjoyed some escargot (so yummy!) and some “very French” beef stew. After that we admired the Eiffel Tower. It’s much more magical at night when it’s lit up — pictures cannot do it justice. Every hour on the hour it starts sparkling! I don’t think I would ever get tired of seeing that.
Saturday, 14 February, was day 2 in Paris. We skipped the line into Musee du Louvre and had the chance to see some very famous pieces of artwork, including the Mona Lisa. After the Louvre we went to see Arc de Triomph and had a few hours free time to explore. Sibo and I enjoyed a nice lunch before going somewhere that was on my to do list – Ladurée. Macarons are one of my top favorite sweets, so naturally I had to try some in France. They were definitely worth the price. That evening we took a river cruise on the Seiene and shared some wine. Unfortunately, it started raining about halfway through so we went inside and couldn’t see all of the lovely views. After the cruise it was time to say goodbye to Kevi, with kisses on both cheeks of course.
Sunday morning, 15 February, we had some free time since our train didn’t depart until 3 p.m. so we decided to walk over to the Montmatre district to see Sacre Coeur Church and see another great view of Paris. We managed to squeeze in some souvenir shopping before heading back home to London.
Paris is a very beautiful city. There are some parts that are dirty and the metro stations might smell really bad but overall, Paris was exactly how I pictured it would be. Every day as I walked the streets, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, I’m really in Paris.” It was definitely a trip I will never forget and I’m so glad that I had my friends to share it with. The only thing that I didn’t do that I really wanted to do was visit Chateau de Versailles — I guess that means that I will just have to come back someday.
Instead of filling this post with pictures as I normally would, I video documented the trip! Here is that video! Thanks for reading, cheers.
(P.S. I promise to update my Flickr account with all of my photos this weekend! Keep checking back.)
(Make sure to watch it in 720p!)