Friday, October 2, 2009

PARIS!

Saturday, Sept 26:
We left campus for London around lunch time and had plenty of free time in London before we had to catch our evening train for Paris. And since the train stop was across from King's Cross Station, naturally, I had to find Platform 9 3/4! The train ride to Paris was uneventful, and only took two and half hours (I slept through the entire Chunnel part of the journey). We got into Paris around 10:30pm and I had to pull out some rusty French so we could figure out how to get on the right Metro to our hostel. Luckily, we found it alright, had a late dinner at a quiant pizza place and went to bed.
Sunday, Sept 27:
Our breakfast each morning at the hostel was a bagette with butter and jam, and then the first three days, we walked about 25 minutes to the Eiffel Tower to catch our ride around the city. I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time and then we caught Les Cars Rouges, our tour bus, to get to the Louvre. Since the Louvre was so huge, we missed a couple of the main attractions, but did manage to find the Mona Lisa. Then it was a ham bagette sandwich for lunch in the Tuilleries gardens before catching the bus to Notre Dame. We did some tourist shopping and I searched for the hunchback inside the church. Then we walked another 20 minutes to the Jardin du Luxemborg where we sat and enjoyed the nice weather. The girl I was traveling with (Min) had a friend in the city, and she met us in the garden and we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant nearby with her. Then it was another 25 minute walk back to the hostel before calling it a night.

Monday, Sept 28 (my 21st birthday!):
We walked to the Eiffel Tower to catch our tour bus again, which we rode to the Opera. I looked for the Phantom of the Opera, but like the hunchback, he too was elusive. We met Min's friend again and walked to a little restuarant recommended to us by our Activities Director at Sussex, Le Relais Gascon. We got huge salads topped with fried garlic potatoes before walking way up the hill to Sacre Coeur for a great view of the city. Then it was back down the hill to see Moulin Rouge and then back to the Opera to catch the tour bus one last time for a ride to the Eiffel Tower. I got some ice cream and then up the tower we went! Unfortunately, my camera died right in the middle section of the tower, but the others took plenty of pictures for me. Next we took the Metro to dinner at a cute French restaurant where we met up with a group of other girls from the University of Sussex. Then we went to a wine bar before taking the metro back to the hostel.


Tuesday, Sept 29
Min and I met with our other friend, Afua, and the friend she had been staying with, and we all walked to the Eiffel Tower together. Then Min, Afua, and I got on a boat tour down the Seine. Min and I explored the Musee d'Orsay and saw Monet, Degas, Van Vogh and more! Then we took the boat to the Jardin des Plants which might be one of my favorite spots in Paris. There were so many pretty flowers and I ate a crepe with nutella for lunch! Then it was back on the boat to the Champs-Elysees where I stopped in the Disney store! Unfortunately, they had pound and euro prices, the euro prices being much more expensive, but since when I transferred my money, the pound and the euro were about on par, it would have been a rip-off for me to buy anything. So I just looked! Then we climbed up the Arc de Triomphe- all 284 steps- for a great view at the top. On our way down, we encountered the daily honoring of the tomb of the unknown solider. Next it was dinner time and we found a nice Chinese restaurant, but like everything in France, it was really expensive. We walked back to the Seine to catch our last boat ride to the Eiffel Tower so that we could see it at night. It was so pretty and every hour it sparkles! Then it was time to walk back to the hostel.


video
Wednesday, Sept 30:
It was just Afua and I on Wednesday since Min was staying with her friend (they rotated who would stay in the hostel with me). We took the Metro to the Louve so Afua could see it, and I stumbled upon the upside down pyramid under the Louvre! Then we took the Metro out to Versailles where we walked around the massive gardens and toured the castle. We then had dinner at a "Tex-Mex" restaurant where their idea of tortilla chips was Mexican flavored doritos. But it was still yummy (and of course expensive). Then we headed back into the city to find "Footsie" a bar whose prices change depending on the stock market! But instead of getting drinks there, we decided to get some cheesecake across the street. Then we took the Metro back to the hostel.


Thursday, Oct 1:
Afua and I woke up early, checked out of the hostel, ate our last bagette, and took the Metro to the train station. Then we took the Eurostar to London and a train from London to Brighton to Falmer where I finally returned to campus to find all the first year students had moved in! Now that I'm all unpacked, it's time to head to London for the weekend for WashU's orientation program.

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