Just got back from my weekend in Paris, and it was crazy! On Thursday we (Michelle, Matthew, Will and I) took the night bus to arrive in Paris on Friday morning. It was a long ride and when we got to Paris at 6am it was cold and raining and I had a serious headache. Matthew and Michelle’s bus had been delayed, so I took a nap in the bus station until they arrived. When I woke up it had stopped raining, the sun was starting to come out, and I felt a ton better. We dropped our stuff off at the Hotel Eiffel Segur and headed straight for the Eiffel Tower. We got some crepes and took lots of pictures, and decided to climb to the top. There were over 1,600 stairs and the view was amazing! It was such a great introduction to Paris because we were able to see so many landmarks from the top.
After the Eiffel Tower, we went to the Musee d’Orsay. It was amazing! It was huge and had SO much art from my art history classes. There was an entire room of Van Gogh paintings and a ton of impressionist art! We were all completely exhausted after the museum, so we went back to the hotel to re-group before dinner.
We went to dinner at this fun restaurant near the Arc de Triumph. None of us speak any French, but most people could understand us, and a lot of people spoke English.
On Saturday, we woke up and Michelle and I got breakfast at this cute cafe. We had coffee and crepes, and it felt very Paris. Then we all went to the Louvre. It was kind of rainy and gross outside, so it was good to be inside the museum. It was HUGE. There was so much to look at! We all split up and I spent a lot of time in the “Italian Paintings” wing. I saw the Mona Lisa (of course) but it was super chaotic in that room. People were going crazy trying to take pictures! My favorite part of the museum was the “Large French Paintings.” It was less crowded and the paintings were HUGE. The figures were life-sized and they had to be over 12 feet tall. The Raft of the Medusa was probably my favorite to see in person.
When we left the Louvre the sun was shinning and it had turned into a fantastic afternoon. We ate croissants in the garden outside the museum, and then went to Notre Dame. Everything around Notre Dame was super touristy, which was kind of fun. We got to go inside during a service which was pretty cool. All of the stained glass windows were so massive and so pretty.
After Notre Dame, Michelle and I ate at the Quasimodo restaurant. We sat outside at this tiny cute table and had baguettes, cheese, and wine and felt very French. We had a great time going out in Paris on Saturday night, and were even able to meet up with some friends from the program who were also in Paris for the weekend.
The journey home today was LONG. We left a little before 9, and got back a little before 8. On they way there, we crossed the English channel at night and stayed in the bus while it was on the ferry, but today we got to get out of the bus and walk around. The ferry was HUGE. It had like 8 floors, with a food court and a bar and lots of shops and a huge deck. It was such a surprise, and it felt good to get out of the bus for a bit.
The four of us were laughing how much London is starting to feel like home. In Paris the metro, the language, and the people were all so different (and more challenging). It felt good to walk back down familiar streets. This weekend was incredible. I still can’t really believe that I was in Paris. I got to see so much in such a short amount of time!! I am really glad we went.