where I go, who I meet, and what I think in Europe

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Karas in Paris

Ok I figure I have to get this all out before I forget. Today is very fresh in my mind, and I did sooo many things; I have to write it out now even though it's very late.

I woke up at 9 am and drank coffee with Justin in his cute apartment. I did the usual showering and such, and packed my bag with the necessities: sweaters, maps, camera, money, and snacks. Justin wrote out an itinerary for me last night, so I had step by step directions on where to go and how to get there. I began at the Louvre. I spent about 2.5 hours at the museum; I don't think i could have spent much longer...I stopped taking in details. It was information overload. I really enjoyed the paintings (Italian more than French). The Italian Frescos had more expression to them. Of course, I saw the Mona Lisa. Everyone down-talked the size but it was just about as big as I originally thought, so I was pleased.

After the Louvre, I walked through the Jarden des Tuileries (Gardens) and to the Place de la Concorde. I walked along Champs Elysees amongst all the fancy shops like Louis Vuitton and Cartier. A long walk later, I made it to the ARc de Triomphe. At first, I had no idea how to get it. The Arc is surrounded by a circle of MAD traffic. I was prepared to risk my life to get to the beautiful piece of architecture until I realized there was an underground entrance on my side of the circle. I went up to the top of the Arc where I got my first real view of Paris, France. What a beautiful city! You know how colleges are often labeled as red or white campuses depending on the material used to creat the buildings? Well maybe that's just something my mom says, but Paris is definately a white city. All the buildings are very light, and the white buildings create a gorgeous landscape even on an overcast day.

I spent a decent amount of time on top of the Arc planning out the rest of my day and eating a few snacks. I had to get my money's worth! Then it was time for the Eiffel Tower! I took a metro closer to the famous structure, and when I turned the corner my breath was really taken away. I couldn't erase the smile from my face. It wasn't the size or the design that impressed me (not that those aren't amazing!) but one of my life's goals was instantly completed. I always dreamed of coming to Paris, France and climbing the Eiffel Tower, and there I was today doing just that! It felt really good. Before I went all the way to the tower, I stopped and bought a Nutella Crepe and stared at the tower and took it all in.

I didn't go all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but I took the stair tour which got me most of the way up (it was cheaper). I counted 673 steps. I definately gave my legs a workout, but it was definately worth it. The view was yet again very beautiful from the tower.

By this point, I had been walking around for 7 hours. I decided to make one more stop before I called it a day. I went to the Moulin Rouge! I didn't spend too much time there because I wasn't about to go in. The show costs about 120 euros at the cheapest rate! I did walk around the area and found the cafe that Amelie was filmed in. I also found the Australian bar "Cafe Oz" Tom told me about. While I was walking around, Justin called me and I had to go meet him at Pigalle because I had the keys to the apartment. I may head by to that area again tomorrow since I left a little earlier than planned.

Justin and I returned to the apartment and had a few snacks. He had to turn in grades for the presentations he spent all afternoon watching, so I read the paris travel book to plan for tomorrow. I think I will visit the Catacombs for sure. Justin and I shared a bottle of wine and listened to music and watched youtube videos for the remainder of the evening. It really was a great day. While all the sightseeing was done alone, I didn't mind because I was able to go at my own pace. If I wanted to stop and people watch, I did. If I wanted to count every step I walked up in the Eiffel Tower, I could because no one was there to make me loose count. Don't get me wrong, I love people and company and it's weird to be in such a magnificent city and have no one there to oooo and aaaah with you, but I felt like i was in the final scene of the movie "Paris je t'aime." It is the scene directed by Alexander Payne and you follow a woman around who has finally made it to Paris, France after dreaming about it her whole life. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2EbK0NEl5Av=S2EbK0NEl5A )It's a very sweet scene, and I definately felt like that woman except I am fortunate enough to have made it to Paris, France at the young age of 21.

ok it's late and those are all my thoughts. I apologize for all my grammatical mistakes. I do not go back and proof read these posts. I get my ideas out as fast I can before they disappear. I think you understand.

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