Paris, France

Trip Start Jan 13, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

My trip to Paris took place on my first available weekend after the start of my Austria program. Everybody else in the group opted out of going because they were required to stay behind. There was a mandatory visit to an art museum for all students in Vienna 1900, which is an art apreciation class. I find that I actually really enjoy art, but on my own terms and with out being required to stare at any single work for to long. I chose Paris because I have always wanted to see the DeGaule Archway, The Eiffel Tower (named after the guy who built the statue of liberty), and the Louvre Museum. I left Vienna at nine o'clock at night on Thursday and took the overnight train to Paris. I arrived around ten then the next morning and spent the next few hours in the train station trying to find a hostel and get train tickets for the subway. I found it incredibly difficult to travel around Paris because of my lack of french language skills. However I did remember "Bonjour" and "Merci", which helped to ease the conversations a little bit with the French. I checked into my hostel and then set out to tour the city. I climbed half way up the Eiffel Tower, and then took an elevator the rest of the way to the top. It was an amazing view and I was in really high spirits because I was staring out over Paris from atop one of the most recognizable structures on Earth. After the Eiffel Tower I ventured to the War Memorial and hung out there and just took in the culture and the environment. I found a nice french cafe and spent part of the evening sipping coffee and watching the people go by. I retired to my hostel early so that I could get some sleep and start fresh the following day.

I got up Saturday morning and checked out of the hostel and made my way the Louvre Museum. I was so excited to see the museum because I really enjoyed the DaVinci code and was anxious to see things for myself that he described in the book. The actual museum is an old Castle that Henry the III among others lived in. Napoleon also had an apartment there in the 1800s even though it was already a museum at that point in history. He is responsible for most of the Egyptian artifacts currently in the museum. It was about 8.50 Euro to get inside, but once in you have free reign of the place. I spent almost six hours there and saw an incredibly diverse array of ancient artifacts and beautiful paintings and statues. It was astounding to see the Mona Lisa because it is such a famous work of art. Even after being there Im not sure why this painting above others is so famous, but it was cool to see it none the less. I was also able to see the French Crown Jewels, but your not suppose to take pictures so I didn't. I could go on and on about the statues and paintings that I saw but I think that it would just be easier to show the pictures when I get back. It is truly an incredible museum and I would highly reccomend it if anybody finds themselves in France someday.

After I left the Louvre, I wondered around town for awhile and slowly made my way to the train station. I got there about six in the evening and had to wait around until about 9 for my train to leave. I was exhausted and slept the whole way back. Paris was great, but now Im looking forward to Munich and Oktoberfest. I will have another update this time next week,... Which is Tuesday.
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