Tuesday, February 9, 2010

PARIS, FRANCE

Hello Everyone!

So I know this is way late... Since my trip was in January, but I've been so tied up in the new semester that I haven't had much time for writing in this blog. I did manage to create a sweet little video of my trip to Paris, so I hope you all watch it because I think it turned out pretty good.
video
Paris IS everything it's made out to be. Paris has NEVER been on the top of my list to visit. I just thought it was way over sold and romanticized. The only reason I decided to go was because the tickets were so cheap and the hostel was a good deal. I also figured that I could take at least one trip without David, and why not Paris (since it wasn't a place I had to go to). Well... now that I've been there, I can confidently say that I can't wait to take David there. I also know that when I go back it has to be warm. I was expecting it to be cold but the wind was so intense it made the cold nearly unbearable! My friend Katie (who accompanied me) and I were constantly running into places just to get out of the cold.

Paris was defiantly a whole new travel playing field for me. I had no past knowledge of the language... I've never even said Merci, S'il vous plait, or Bonjour seriously before! When I went to Athens, at least I had a little phrase book and was able to learn the basics. And when I went to Germany I already had one semester of German under my belt (not that I remembered much, but still). Katie had some French background though, so luckily she steered me through it all.

There were so many amazing things about Paris that I really don't even know where to begin!

As you can see, on the right is my hostel room. I was really lucky to get a room with only three beds and my own bathroom. That's the one thing I hate about hostels, not having my own bathroom. One night we even hung out downstairs and hung out with so many different people from all around.

When we took the metro to our hostel we got off at the metro stop right under the trian station. Our location was really great because it wasn't too far from everywhere and it was right in the nightlife area.

One thing I didn't realize about Paris is that there is SO much to see. There are amazing museums and buildings that have so much history. The food is also amazing. I really tried to stay on a budget, so I didn't get to eat out very often, but even the foods they sold at the grocery store was super yummy. I think that when I come back I'll have to go to more restaurants and enjoy the great food. It's really too bad it's so expensive.

I even got to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was a pretty long line to get up and just as long to come down. I really don't know if I'll be able to do that again! It wasn't even tourist season and it was bad. The view was pretty nice, we actually got there when it was sunset.It was pretty cold and misty, but the pictures turned out pretty good. I found it pretty interesting that the Eiffel Tower was kinda out of the way. I imagined it to be smack dab in the middle of a city center. Paris is so big that it seemed like there were many different center points that had major sights or buildings.

Below is Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. It sits at the highest point of Paris on the Montmartre knoll. I really loved this cathedral, we were able to go inside and see how beautiful it really was. The street around it were also very village like.
Musee D'Orsay was my favorite museum. It houses the world's most important collection of impressionist and post-impressionist painting. There are three floors of modern works, from Degas' ethereal dancers to Monet's water lilies (it is so amazing in person, one of my favorites!), all the way to Gaugin's leafy jungles. Major works by Van Gogh, Delacroix, Manet... etc.


The Louvre was really amazing. It was the largest art museum I've ever seen, we couldn't even go through it all in one day. It is really the world's largest and most diverse collection of pre-20th century painting, sculpture, and decorative objects. Below is the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. There were also tons of artwork by famous artist like Vermeer, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and countless others.
Below: Nortre Dame Cathedral
The Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees was really awesome too. The 164-foot Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Emperor Napoléon I to evoke sheer military power and triumph. It was built in an age when leaders erected monuments in their own honor. The arch's beautiful sculptures and reliefs commemorate Napoléon's generals and soldiers.The Panthéon in Paris was really amazing, I loved it! The inside was just beautiful.