My whirlwind weeks of travel are in full spin right now as I am in the four day break before I leave for Florence on Friday, and Barcelona immediately after on Monday. This is also the last week of my internship, and a week where I am seeing two plays for my class, so there is no shortage of busyness for sure.
As I mentioned last time, over the weekend I went to Paris with my friend Maria from Fordham! We preceded the visit with a re-viewing of a classic Parisian film, well at least to any former 90s tween girl: Passport to Paris, the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. This set us up with a mind full of quotes and mottos to live the weekend by, and we had an absolutely amazing experience. We arrived Friday night, and the first thing we did, after eating of course, was take the Metro to see the Eiffel Tower. It was honestly one of the most magical moments. I often have delayed reactions when I visit cities-- it happened for me in London, and with some of the places I have traveled, that I don’t really realize that I am there until after I have left—but when I turned the corner to see the beautifully glowing tower in front of us, there was no doubt where I was, and I instantly fell in love with the city.
Saturday, we woke up early and took the train out to Versailles. Note to anyone going to Paris:buy the museum pass. Thankfully we had heard about it ahead of time, purchased it saving us a great deal of time and money. The pass is 39 euros for 2 days (other combination of days available) and gets you into dozens of museums and monuments with no additional charge, and you can skip the ticket line. It ended up being our godsend saving us about 20 euros overall and countless hours spent waiting in line. The first place we were able to use it was at Versailles. At Versailles we toured the Chateaux, including the famous Hall of Mirrors, and had a lunch of sandwiches and crepes in the Gardens.
After Versailles we returned to Paris, did some shopping-- buying of course macaroons, cheese, and giant baguettes, and then walked up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, which we climbed. Over 300 steps in a tiny TINY spiral stairwell that seemed to never end. However, even though the climb up was miserable the view from the top was spectacular as storm clouds circled Paris. Later Saturday night we took a river boat tour on the Siene River before heading back to the hostel for some shut eye.
Sunday, we again woke up early, somewhat more begrudgingly, to walk around the Luxemburg Gardens before attending Easter mass at Notre Dame. We did wait in line for almost two hours, but we were able to see most of the mass—it was pretty amazing to see people from all different countries, speaking all a multitude of languages joining together in unison and prayer. After mass, we toured Notre Dame before heading to Sainte Chapelle. Sainte Chapelle was incredibly breathtaking as intricate stained-glass scenes scaled the walls in an array of lively colors. Saint Chapelle is currently undergoing a restoration as they carefully repair and restore each stained-glass piece, it is truly incredible to see the portions that have been restored next to the ones that have not yet—a new life and vibrancy is truly being restored to this incredible structure.
After Sainte Chapelle we made our way to the Louvre. Now we planned to efficiently cover the Louvre and the Orsay before the museums closed at 6pm, but from the minute we walked in the Louvre, and began to take in the sheer size of the museum we soon realized this was going to be an impossible feet. We of course saw the Mona Lisa, among collections of Greek, Roman, and Egyptians sculptures, as well as a collection of French paintings from the 18th and 19th century, and Napoleon’s state apartments. We wandered around the Louvre for just over three hours and still felt like we saw nothing. This also includes the many times we got lost in the museum, since there seems to be miles of museum with no stairs and elevators to be found.
After the Louvre it was time to head home to London, and even though we were sad to say Au Revoir, we were exhausted and ready for some much need rest. Unfortunately as I mentioned I don’t really have much time for rest this week, but I guess it’s acceptable as I am about to embark on another travel adventure. I leave for Florence Friday, which is sure to be an exciting journey as I am traveling by myself for the first time. Hopefully my four semesters of Italian do me some good! Then I am flying to Barcelona to meet my friend Emily for a few days. I am sure it will be an exciting and adventurous week and I can’t wait to share it all with you!
Until Next Time,