Published: June 2nd 2008June 2nd 2008
Winding Paris Street
On the way to Sacre Coeur
Well Paris has been one heck of a whirlwind adventure. Now that I'm on a normal computer I can write a decent entry. French keyboards are just ridiculous to type on - nothing is where it's supposed to be and since when was it ever cool to have to use the shift button to write a period?
Anyhoo...So Katie and I arrived in Paris to gray rainy skies around 8 pm. It took us about an hour to get to our hostel at 9 or so only to find out that because we weren't there on the dot of 5 they gave our room away and were completely booked for the night. *inner Jenn = freaking out* Because it was getting dark we were both a bit frantic about finding a place to sleep. As the genius savvy travelers that we are, we'd failed to remember that this was the weekend of the French Open meaning that it would be that much harder to find a room. Double shit.
We went to a few different hostels in the area, lugging our stuff around all the way, getting lost, frustrated, hungry and convinced we'd have to sleep
This is the place where we saw the kids having their First Communion.
in the train station when lo' and behold we FINALLY found a hostel with a free room. It was more like a two star hotel that was way over priced but the staff were nice, the room was a decent size, it had a bathroom and the beds were comfy. Done deal.
After dropping our stuff off we decided to take a tour around the night life of Paris and see if we could find a cheaper hostel for our second night in town. The rain stopped by the time we headed out which was just awesome. We had dinner at a little middle eastern place. The guys working there were super nice and flirty and actually kind of cute hahaha One of them came to chat with us for a bit. Turns out he was from Tunisia so we were all foreigners :)
After dinner we went for a bit of a walk to burn it off and check out the sites but we couldn't see much cause it was dark. The night was beautiful though - not a rain drop in sight! We ended up finding a hostel for the next night called Hotel de Midi
(I think?). The staff were SUPER nice and it was way cheaper than the other place so we booked a room and headed back to our two star overpriced wonder and went to bed early.
Woke up the next morning to the most beautiful day in the history of beautiful days. Birds were singing, the sun was shining, not a cloud was in the sky and we were in Paris. I couldn't have been any more perfect if we'd tried. Picture flinging open your French windows from the top floor of an old Parisian hotel and looking across at the Parisian style apartments across the street. Heaven. I literally did a happy dance. Wanting to really "Paris it up" we headed to a patisserie and both got chocolate croissants and Katie got a cappuccino (I stuck to my red bull hahaha). The croissants were literally melt in your mouth flaky delicious - to die for!
Since we only had one full day in Paris we decided to cram as much in as possible. Eager to walk off those croissants we decided to start the day at Montmartre and Sacre Coeur cathedral (all uphill). It was actually pretty funny
getting out at the metro stop because there were just SO MANY stairs. It was painfully obvious who all the tourists were. We were stopping half way up to catch our breath (well not us, but some of the others), breathing heavy, crying at the never ending stairs, etc. etc. I distinctly remember the French girl in front of me decked out in skin tight jeans and heels looking back at all of us as if to say "what? like this is hard?" hahaha
We survived the infinite climb and took a tour around Montmartre district. It's very old French and just beautiful. A group of kids were having their First Communion at the Montmartre Cathedral so we took a tour around the church. It was actually pretty nice and they let us take pictures so I've got a few from there to post up.
The painter's village was just as amazing as I remembered it but unfortunately the paintings were a little too pricey for my blood (average was about 130 euros eep!) but there were definitely some gorgeous works there. After the painter's village we took a tour of Sacre Coeur. It was very busy because
St. Francis and a Child
I really loved the facial expression on this statue
they had some kind of farmer's market going on. This worked out perfectly for Katie and I since we made a lunch for ourselves out of the free samples (yummm!) and then splurged on two pints of the largest reddest juiciest most delicious strawberries ever for 5 euros and ate it all on the steps of Montmartre while listening to a violin player. I think the highlight of the day was when he began to play the theme song from Amelie. I was in heaven :)
Sacre Coeur itself was beautiful but they wouldn't let us take any pictures inside so there's none to see (sorry!). We met a really adorable old man who owned a little artist shop (he painted cat pictures). He had some really adorable ones of cats that looked like Minnie except with can can dancer leggings and lipstick on hahaha. He was a bit of an odd fellow but good to talk to. Between him and his wife they knew something like seven languages. I wanted to buy one of his little paintings but we had to get going to the Louvre so we said goodbye to our new friends and headed to the
You can stand there and watch artists work away before you buy their stuff. Very cool!
As luck would have it, the Louvre is free the first Sunday of every month so our entire adventure was turning out to be a free/low budget one! On our way there I picked up the nickname "Sexy Boom Boom" from a group of guys loitering around the metro station. Awesome. Katie had a good laugh about it and proceeded to call me "Jenn Sexy Boom Boom" for the rest of the day... I was not impressed hahaha
The Louvre was pretty busy but not as bad as I'd expected it to be. Since Katie and I have different tastes in art we parted ways for a few hours. I'm pretty sure we spent a good 3.5 hours at the Louvre and even that wasn't close to enough time. I spent a lot of time looking at sculptures and Katie took a tour of the paintings. I took about 5 billion pictures - pretty much till my camera ran out of batteries :)
They kicked us out around six and we headed on over to the Jewish Quarter to take a tour of the old streets there. After picking up some mini desserts at a chocolate
shop and a baguette and cheese for dinner, we took a seat around a school to rest our very tired feet. That chocolate croissant we had for breakfast was long gone! I had to laugh at the group of three 15 year old (or so) boys behind us in the school yard. They were sitting in the corner looking all covert while they secretly smoked a joint hahaha Oh to be 15 again. Poor kids looked terrified every time I turned around to look at them.
Once we'd had our fill of the Jewish Quarter we headed back to our hotel for a bit of a siesta, dinner and to get ready. We had a big plan that we would watch the new Sex in the City movie in Paris and it would be awesome. So decked out in our nice duds with heels on, we made our way over to the cinema that was right around the corner from our hostel. Turns out they only had the movie in the dub. Who the heck dubs Sex in the City? No wonder they weren't selling any seats for it!
Disappointed and not willing to travel to the other
He was quite good and had a nice crowd after a bit.
side of Paris to see it in English, we decided to stop off and get drinks at a nearby cafe instead. We had a really great time sitting out at a little outdoor table beneath the canopy and sipping away at cocktails and wine. Since we're poor and planned to get up early to do more sight seeing we only had a couple drinks before heading back to the hotel.
While the room at our new place was a million times better, the sleep (at least for me) was not. I couldn't get to sleep because it was ridiculously hot (this is probably because we were on the top floor - oh and did I mention the place didn't have an elevator? Only stairs...Try carrying 17 kilos of luggage up four flights of stairs sometime ha!) and a mosquito insisted on pestering me all night *sigh* So needless to say I was a bit cranky waking up at 7:30 this morning. Things got even worse when I went to take a shower only to realize they ONLY had a tub with one of those hand held shower heads which went insane and soaked my pjs and towel...awesome...
that fiasco was behind me, we headed out to the cemetery to see Oscar Wilde's grave, picking up some apple turnovers and coffees from a patisserie along the way. The cemetery we went to was HUGE! It took us a good hour and a half just to find Wilde's grave. We ended up seeing Chopin's and Gertrude Stein's along the way as well which was pretty fantastic. My camera was out of batteries so Katie took pics of them for me. There's a couple of me with Wilde's tombstone so hopefully they turned out good :)
We spent a bit more time searching through the cemetery than we'd planned to (mostly because we got lost about half a dozen times) so getting back to the hotel was a bit of a rush. We had to motor it to the bus depot since we had to be there 3 hours before our flight. Talk about crazy! We made it though and now we're heading back to Scotland. I should arrive in Edinburgh sometime tonight.
Looking forward to another fantastic week in Scotland but I'm sad to say goodbye to Paris. Ah well, hopefully next time I'll be there with
Would you look at all those stairs? Seriously that's not even all of them!
a man so I can stand on street corners and make out with him like all the other couples there hahaha. It's a bit disappointing to to come back to normal land where I'm not being checked out by every other guy who walks down the street or drives by. It was annoying at first because I'm not used to men being so blatant about it, but then you realize it's kind of a nice little ego boost so you can't really complain. :)
I'll try to keep you guys updated on my adventures in Edinburgh but for now check out my pics and leave me some msgs or something :)
Lots of love,
There are more photos below