Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An American Girl in Paris

This past weekend, our group traveled to Paris. We left early Friday morning, and stayed until Sunday night. We stayed in a nice hotel in the Bastille neighborhood of Paris. Below is a picture taken on the balcony of our hotel. 

After dropping our luggage off at the hotel, we immediately started sightseeing.  We went to Notre Dame, which was very close to our hotel. Then we took a boat tour on the seine.  As the boat approached the Eiffel Tower, we were all filled with nervous excitement.  I have seen so many pictures, but as we got close I realized just how magnificent it was in person.  Later, we went to sit under the Eiffel Tower at night.  Everyone was out sitting beneath the sparkling lights, drinking champagne.  When the tower lit up, we all got quiet.  It was extraordinary. Some people in our group even started crying.

            On Saturday, we went to the Arc De Triumph.  We took the stairs to the top, which provided my exercise for the day. 

After, we walked down the Champs-Elysees to see all of the high-end stores.  It is funny that on this street there is a Louis Vuitton, but also a McDonalds. Later we went to the Beaubourg area in Paris, which was also full of stores.  
This area in Paris reminded me of Soho in New York. 

I found numerous vintage stores, all priced surprisingly low.  I bought as many items as my growing suitcase would allow.  We were also in luck, because for the duration of July all of France has ‘Soldes’ or sales, so prices are marked down. That night, we had dinner at the top of the Pompidou Museum.  It gave us a breathtaking view of the entire city.  I ordered foie gras from a waiter dressed in a tuxedo; it was a special night!

            I can’t speak about my trip to Paris without mentioning more food.  I definitely ate my way through this city. I ordered all my favorites: Croque Madame, Carpaccio, Duck, and Moules Frites.  Please do not ask how I fit in all these meals, but I recommend all!

            Before I came on this to Paris, I was warned that Parisians aren't very friendly.  Yet, I did not find anyone very rude.  However, I recommend knowing a little of the language.  Yes, many people speak English, but you will be emotionally drained from all the attitudes you will get for not trying to speak French.  I am nowhere near a perfect French speaker, but they seemed to appreciate my effort. 

 Overall, I had an amazing time in Paris. 
I would move there at the drop of a hat. Yet, I was still happy to come home to sunny, warm, and welcoming Montpellier.     
 A bientôt! 

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