Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We'll Always Have Paris!!

I've never actually seen the movie Casablanca where some guyssays that quote about Paris but I definitely understand why he said it. Last weekend me and four other girls in Strasbourg went to Paris, and Paris is one of those places that just sticks with you. I went there 5 years ago and I still absolutely looooove it! To start our trip we hopped on the TGV (high speed train) and we zoomed to Paris in 2.5 hours, which felt like 40 mins and successfully navigated the Metro to Doug's apartment. Doug and his roommates were so nice to take in 5 girls and house us during our Paris adventure. Since we didn't actually arrive until around midnight on Thursday we decided not to go out anywhere but just drink wine back at the apartment. We had a big day of sightseeing ahead of us and hungover sightseeing is not ideal.

Day 1: Woke up to horrendous rain, another situation that is not quite ideal for sightseeing. So we slept in until it stopped, thank god it stopped because genius Haley didn't bring anything with a hood. Anyway it did finally stop and we decided to brave the streets of Paris. First stop, Notre Dame! It was just as gorgeous as I remember it..inside and out. The stained glass windows are something you have to admire and even though I'd seen it already it still took my breath away. I made a little donation and lit a candle for my family. It was pretty special because it it such a special and amazing church. Unfortunately because we were with so many people we didn't get to walk around it and see the buttresses but it wasn't a huge loss.  

Next stop was the Musee d'Orsay, and this was something I had been really looking forward to. Don't get me wrong the Louvre is great but this is the museum that houses all the stuff you really wanna see like Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh. It was unbelievable! I'm no art major or artist but it was easy to appreciate everything in that museum. Being up close to so many different paintings you had just seen in books and learned about was pretty unreal. It was basically every painting I've ever liked or would be able to recognize all under on roof. My personal favorites, the blue ballet dancer paintings by Degas, and the cliche waterlilly paintings by Monet. Picture to prove it:

Below is a Picture of me in front of the Louvre!  We saved the actual museum for day 3 but walked around the outside of the Louvre.Well more like in the middle of it where the pyramids are and stuff, but still veryyy cool!
Day 2: The Whirlwind of Monuments!! We started out early going to Montmartre and seeing the Sacre Coeur (The big church in the picture behind me). It was the most breathtaking church I have ever seen. I love Notre Dame, but this church was only built about 120 years ago so its much lighter and the architecture with the HUGE domes was just astounding. I hate to admit it but I like Sacre Coeur better than Notre Dame. They wouldn't let you take pictures inside so you have to see it to believe me but it's truly magnificent.

Next on our monument tour was to walk down the Champs-Elysee and do the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs Elysee is the biggest street ever, famous for tons of shopping! I seemed to be the only one who wantedto go in to the designer stores and at least pretend I could afford to shop there! 

This is the view down the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. Had to dodge some cars for this kodak moment!

When we finally made the trek down to the Arc de Triomphe we ran into a little problem actually getting to the monument. The Arc de Triomphe is located in the middle of the biggest (like 6 lanes) rotary you've ever seen in your life, and we couldn't figure out how you were supposed to cross over all those lanes of traffic to get to the monument. 6 American girls almost became American road kill because we seriously considered just making a run for it across the traffic. Luckily we asked a cop and learned of the secret underground tunnel that brought us there! We woulda looked like stupid american idiots if we hadn't asked! haha

Here are some shots form the top! Great view of Paris! Look how tiny the Eiffel tower actually is! haha
Speaking of the Eiffel Tower, that was our last stop on the monument tour for the day! We caught it at just the right time because I saw it during the day but the best time to see it is really at night. France pulls out all the stops and lights the whole thing up so beautifully! And to top it all of they make it sparkle and glitter and all the lights blink once an hour. I understand why Paris is the city of Love. I am never coming back without someone to kiss in front of the sparkling Eiffel Tower! 
Sorry about the super long post...but no worries a second post is on its way to tell you all about the Louvre and my misadventure on Monday.

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