Oui oui! I went to Paris!

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, March 27, 2011

I left on the school trip for Paris Wednesday afternoon. We took a train into London, then the Eurostar to Paris. It was so nice to be able to follow the group and to not have to worry about anything for a change. When we first arrived in Paris, as we were getting off the Eurostar I hear a French guy laugh in the most stereotypical French laugh. It was definitely the perfect way to start off the trip. When we arrived in the city we tried to find dinner, which turned out to be quite difficult with the language barrier and to find something decently priced. That night Jordan, Christina and I wanted to go check out the Eiffel Tower. It took us over an hour to get there from our hotel, but we made it just before midnight to see it sparkle on the hour. It was so gorgeous! There are tons of guys everywhere trying to sell little key chains and figurines of the Eiffel Tower; it gets very annoying after a while. We wanted to buy some and thought we were getting a good deal buying 3 key chains for one euro, but it turns out most sell them 5 for a euro… ripped off once again. I also bought a light up one from a different guy and he said that I was nice and gave me 4 for free, so that made up for it.

Thursday morning Christina, Jordan, Caitlin and I went back to the Eiffel Tower to actually walk up to the top. You can’t take the stairs all the way, but you can walk the 668 steps to the second level and take the lift the rest of the way, so that’s what we did. It was quite exhausting doing that many stairs, so I can’t imagine walking the 1,665 stairs all the way to the top! After that we made our way over to the Statue of Liberty, it’s a much smaller replica but still cool to see. It was really nice just to walk around the city, because the weather was so amazing. It was in the 60’s almost the whole time we were there and our principal told us that of the 16 times he’s been there it was the best weather he has seen. We then made our way over to the Arc de Triomphe and there was a group of people dancing in the street. It makes the trip so much more fun to stumble upon cool things like that. We were told there was shopping near there, so we walked about a mile down this road and still didn’t find any. We found out later we didn’t go far enough. It was exhausting walking around all day, so we bought baguettes and Nutella and made our way back to the hotel. At the hotel, I shared a room with Jordan, Marie, and Katie. They only give you one key and when you leave, you are supposed to leave the key at the desk… Katie took it with her. So Jordan and I went to the desk to see if they could let us in and all the guy kept repeating was “you need to be more careful” and told us that he couldn’t let us in, then ignored us while we were still standing there. This is just one of several instances of the French being rude to us and they just seemed to be very rude in general.

Friday I tagged along with a group going to the Palace of Versailles. It was the most gorgeous and elaborate palace I have been to thus far. Every single room had painted ceilings and was filled with gold, statues, chandeliers and paintings. We came back to Paris and walked around the city to see more of the sites including the Pantheon, a park, and the Bastille. Before heading back to the hotel I had my first crepe! Of course I had to get Nutella, because that’s all they seem to eat over there. It was soo delicious! I went back and took a nap before we all decided to go out. Four of us girls walked to the store about two blocks away and already had someone whistling at us and following us. Thankfully the store was close so we made it inside before he caught up to us. By the time we actually made it out it was kind of late and we didn’t know where to go, so we never actually made it anywhere and ended up just hanging out in the streets.

Saturday Jordan, Christina and I went to the Louvre, the art museum where many famous pieces are displayed, including the Mona Lisa. Since we are technically European residents at the moment, we were able to get in for free by showing our passport and immigration letter (same goes for the Palace of Versailles). We then went to the Notre Dame, which was so beautiful and definitely one of the most holy cathedrals I’ve seen while being here. We did a little bit of shopping at the markets after that and got berets, because that’s what you have to wear when you’re in France of course. That night we made it out to see Moulin Rouge and walked down the street there to check out the interesting stores. According to Christina, the street is "like a pervert's dream come true!" haha Christina and I tried to get a picture in front of one of them, but we couldn’t seem to get the lighting right. We kept going back and forth in front of this place and a creepy old guy walked by a couple times wanting to go into the store. He must have felt really awkward with us standing there so he kept walking past and glancing back to see if we were gone. It was actually quite hilarious.

I have a lot of homework and tests this week and next so I’m going to be very busy. Also, I am leaving for Greece on Wednesday afternoon! This is a crazy life, but I sure love it! :]

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