Au Revoir, Paris!
Paris was like something out of a magical dream, but even better than that, if its possible. It was by far the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen in my life and I can now see why it has been such an inspiration to artists and romantics alike for hundreds of years.
We got into Paris on Sunday and had to find our way to our hostel which is not usually a challenging task, except that neither Conner nor I know how to understand ANY French. Seriously… I know how to say “hello,” “goodbye,” and “thank you.” I speak very good Spanish, and I could interpret Portuguese through my Spanish skills pretty well in Portugal, but French is pretty different.
Nevertheless, we found our way to the hostel after a bus/two metro train rides and we tried to settle in by going grocery shopping for some stuff to cook dinner… only to discover that we were staying at the only hostel we have ever stayed at (out of 5 or 6 hostels now total between our Spring break trip and Europe so far) that didn’t have a community kitchen! What??!
Also when we were at the grocery store I bought cookie butter instead of peanut butter because it really truly LOOKED like peanut butter on the outside and although it tasted very good I’m in some heavy peanut butter withdrawals. Peanut butter is actually an “imported” food here in France, and not very commonly sold. When you do find it at a grocery store somewhere, its rather expensive. One time the ladies on the bus across from me in France looked at me super weird when I pulled out a jar of Skippy and started to dip my digestives in it. Sorry?
But seriously. According to this Huffington Post article, Americans eat more than a billion pounds of peanut butter (I alone contribute to 0.5 billion of that) every year while Europeans only consume on average less than one tablespoon of U.S. pb per year. NOOOooooOO. And France is the #1 hardest European country to find it in according to this article. But btw, Nutella is practically sold by the kilo (for pretty frick fracken cheap too which I’m not gonna complain about) but peanut butter is rare which is…*foreign*… to me.
Anyway, we began exploring the city of Paris. We took the metro to Champs-Élysées and visited Ladurée because I wanted some of their famous macarons. I got a strawberry, a raspberry, a chocolate, a lavender, a caramel, and some other kind of French berry I didn’t recognize but hey, trying new things is exciting, right?
We then walked along the street Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe, and it was HUGE. Much bigger than I was expecting, and bigger than its replica I used to walk by Barcelona.
After we were done staring at the magnificence of the Arc it was around 6pm, so we walked along the River Seine.
We were absolutely starving but couldn’t find any food places open yet… only places serving alcohol… we walked around for over an hour super hangry along the river until we came stumbled upon a nice looking park, but not just any park: the park that the Eiffel Tower sits in. We found a food vendor in the park that sold waffles and paninis and then everything was okay. 🙂 We bought champagne and drank it while eating the melt in your mouth macaroons from Ladurée, and we watched the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower. I think that it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Crossing the river bridge back to the metro station from the Eiffel Tower, there was street fair underneath. As we walked through the street fair, the Eiffel Tower started to glitter. It turns out that the tower glitters the first five minutes of every hour at night. It was spectacular and sparkly.
The next morning we woke up tried to go up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower using the tour passes we bought online, but we couldn’t find our tour group. While we were looking aimlessly among throngs of tourists for the group, they left without us. To say I was very upset is an understatement.
We found the place we were supposed to meet up with the tour group, and the man there with the tour tickets gave us tickets for the next tour group time which was an absolute miracle. I think he felt bad for us, because we had followed the wrong tour company all the way to the Eiffel Tower originally and the guide of the tour was pretty rude, not telling us that we were with the wrong company until we got to the Eiffel Tower…
The Eiffel Tower was amazing and it was a gorgeous day to see the city.
After the Eiffel Tower we explored the touristy sights of Paris including the Sacre Coeur, the neighborhood of Montmarte and the 100 stairs it took to get off its metro station. It was an incredibly beautiful neighborhood and I actually took a picture of this building because I thought it was pretty and it turns out it’s a famous restaurant so that’s cool…
Next we walked to the Cathedral of Notre Dame and explored its surrounding neighborhood.
We put a lock on a love lock bridge (shout out to that guy selling some locks right off the bridge).
Then we walked through the Louvre.We walked so much (13 miles) that my poor sandal literally broke in half.
Street venders saved us once again in in the park by the Lourve. We were starving, and bought a two foot long baguette with a banana while we were starving. Conner and I sat on a bench and enjoyed our makeshift dinner in The Jardin des Tuileries sharing this massive baguette literally half the size of me, garnished with a banana, and smothered in Nutella packets that I had swiped from our hostel’s free breakfast.
Thriving? Or just surviving? We saw most of the major sights of Paris in one day, but I wish we could’ve stayed longer.
To end our adventure in Paris, we went on a night cruise along the River Seine and capped off the trip with Nutella street crepes underneath the sparkling Eiffel Tower. It was all magical and I hope to return to Paris again someday for longer.
Merci, Paris… and <3 Nutella forever.