Paris, Oh la la!
Bonjour, my fellow collegiettes™. Hope your summer is going well as we slowly approach the halfway point. My summer in Europe is actually coming to an end, which breaks my heart. This past weekend one of my childhood dreams came true and I want to tell you all about it! I went to Paris, France for four days. When you picture Paris you would normally think of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc the Triomphe. This makes sense since they are the two symbols of the city because they mean so much to the people of Paris. France is known for their macrons, bread and creme brulee. On top of visiting all of these amazing places, I was able to try some great authentic food.
The first place we went to was, of course, the Eiffel Tower. The line was long, but went by pretty quickly. I guess when you are waiting to climb up one of the Seven Wonders, you are bound to wait a little bit longer than you anticipate.
Showing off my dancing style in front of the famous Eiffel Tower.
View of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Drinking wine while enjoying the Eiffel Tower sparkle is very popular in Paris.
Arc de Triomphe was one incredible arc compared to the ones I was able to see in Rome. This arc represents their victory in the French Revolutionary War.
The Arc de Triomphe before sunset.
The Eternal Flame for the unknown soldier.
These two cites really started the weekend off just right. Learning about the French history is interesting because growing up, we only learned about the history of Europe from the United States’ perspective. To learn about the history of art, we went to the Louvre Museum. This museum is one of the largest and most visited museums in the world. There are over 35,000 objects exhibited. I barely reached 300 of them in the two hours I was there.
Under the Louvre.
The original Venus de Milo.
Took a selfie with Mona!
I checked out the Notre Dame, which was more detailed on the outside than it was inside. There was a mass going on while I was there so I got to listen to a French service. The French have turned Notre Dame into a museum instead of reserving it as a church. You are able to climb up to the top if you pay a couple Euro. I didn’t get to go up by the time I came to the church, but after seeing Paris from the highest point (the Eiffel Tower) you don’t really need to see it Paris from anywhere else.
Outside the Notre Dame.
Another cool thing I got to do was go to the Love Lock Bridge. There are three in Paris, Pont des Arts, Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor and the Pont de l'Archevêché. We went to Pont de Arts and participated in the tradition of taking a lock. You write your name, date and a quote on it with a sharpie and then lock it onto the bridge. After locking it up in a spot you have chosen, you take the key and throw it over the bridge while making a wish.
Got a pink lock and decorated it a bit. Maybe one day when I return I will be able to find it again.
Making a wish while tossing my key into the Siene River.
We took a day trip to Versailles this weekend as well. It is about a half hour away from Paris by train. We made the mistake of taking a taxi to get to Versailles, which was pricey, but it was the better choice at the end of the day. Versailles is known for Château de Versailles. The palace has over 700 rooms and it is covered in gold. It is the palace that Louis XIV originally lived in, followed by the rest of the royal family until they were beheaded. The palace has a large garden and several parks. Marie Antoinette has her own estate on the other side of the gardens. Not too far from her estate is the Grand Trianon, which was Louis XIV’s personal estate where he went to get away from his duties and unwind with his mistress.
In the Hall of Mirrors of Château de Versailles.
The Grand Trianon.
Neptune’s Fountain, one of the fountains in the Garden of Versailles.
France is a beautiful country with a very engaging history. It is very expensive to sleep and eat in Paris, so budgeting your money is not a thing you can actually do. Other than that, I had an incredible time and got a lot done in three and a half days. I would recommend this trip if you are already in Europe to save you some euro. The metro made things quick and convenient to get to, so if you stay on the outskirts, do not worry my friends. Paris was yet another trip to remember and I am glad I did it. As my trip comes to an end, I will take each day as if it was the last day because who knows when I will return!
Until next time, ciao!