Published: July 23rd 2012July 23rd 2012
So I am going to have to type these by day, because otherwise I will be writing forever and the entry will be miles long! I am also going to put in some photos in a different entry so that you can see the things I am talking about…. There are 280 something….. soooo I will only select a few of the most worthy, the rest of you can stalk my facebook : ) Warning: this is not proofread, and my english is sucking these days.
Thursday morning I left for Paris with my roommate, we had to catch a bus to Malaga and then wait there for awhile before the flight. When you are a US citizen, you have to get your passport checked and your ticket stamped before you board the plane, not like getting it checked at security and the gate, there is an additional stamp. This was news to me. And I did not know that until I handed my ticket to the gate attendant. I had 15 minutes to run clear across the other side of the airport, in another terminal, go back through security, run back to the gate, and run across the tarmac to get to my plane. We were the last people on the plane. When we landed, I couldn’t see runway, and had a minor panic attack that we were landing on grass. Between that and the lovely sound of the landing gear beneath me being opened and closed several times while we circled the airport, made the landing extremely enjoyable. Then when you land they play this soundrack that sounds like a horse race trumpet, and it goes “Congratulations, you are part of the 90% of our flights that land…………….. (long pause) on time.” Not funny.
So, we arrive to Beauvais airport….. which is actually in cow town, France. And we are waiting for our shuttle, which my roommate insisted was a much better option than the bus. The shuttle never showed. And so, we wasted 2 hours waiting for this hypothetical shuttle of hers to magically appear. By the time we made it to Paris it was about 1145/ 12 am, and we had to find a metro station, transfer metros once and get to the hostel somehow. We happened to be standing right by the eiffel tower at 12 am, which is when it lights up and sparkles, and so I have a beautiful picture of that, and we had to walk through the arc de triomphe to get to the metro station – in my opinion it’s prettier lit up at night than during the day.
I woke up bright at early Friday morning because I wanted to get all the touristy things done in Paris to save Saturday for Versailles. Upon walking out of the hostel I realized that everywhere in Europe is not as hot as Granada. In fact in this case, it was the exact opposite. I was FREEZING. 21 degrees C, when I have been at 39-43 C all summer……. (100 ish F). When I was packing I had packed jeans, and last minute I had moment where I made the brilliant decision to take them out of my bag. I kicked myself for that decision all weekend. After several metro mistakes, I finally made it to the centre. I went to Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Pantheon, le tour eiffel, obelesque, and walked along the Seine. When I was walking down the Seine, there was this bridge that is covered with "love locks," which I had also seen in Sevilla, but this took it to an extreme, we are talking THOUSANDS of locks, with names and engagement/ wedding dates and all on this one bridge. After being there for a weekend, I can somewhat see why they call it the city of love. It's not like Granada, though, where couples are all over each other on the streets, but everyone is so affectionate and nice. We had lunch at a restaurant named “Cosi” which was this sandwich shop and I had a sandwich, on the most delicious bread ever, with roast beef, roasted tomatoes, grilled onions and enough lettuce to make a salad.
Afterwards I wandered through Luxemborg and Tuileries gardens. For dinner, we ate at a French restaurant…. I had duck! Yes yes, I know, Annemarie steps out of the picky with food box yet again, oh and family: you will never believe it but I had a medium rare steak and actually liked it. Shocking I know.. Back to the duck…. it was actually really delicious and had this insanely creamy peach liquer cream sauce with garlic potatoes on the side. Mmmmm. Although, I couldn’t help but think of Julia Child and the whole “The secret to French cooking is butter, and more butter.” I did some souvenir shopping and bought my family a few French things to try!
I also stumbled upon a really yummy looking Crepé place that had a line a million miles long and so I figured, you know the place is good if the line is long. Well, I was right. My Banana & Chocolate crepé was one of the most delicious things I have ever had in my life.
I saw on the news the thing about CO and went to a McDonalds close to the hostel to get wifi….. they have bouncers, who did not speak Spanish or English, and french sounds like Chinese to me, so I had no idea what they were saying. So I eventually ended up buying a coke for a million euros just so I could sit and read the news. However, it was well worth it to learn about what was going on back home.
On Friday, I unfortunately fell victim to the Paris mugging society. Someone in the hostel stole my toothbrush and toothpaste. Toothpaste is one thing…. But a toothbrush?.. I found it comical.
Versailles….. I took AP Euro in High school and it was one of my favorite classes solely because of the passion that my teacher, Mr. Jensen, had for the subject. He always had the most random fun facts about people and places, and Versailles was one of those places he could talk for hours on end about, so needless to say, I wanted to see it. Getting there was a pain in the ass. I have never been so confused about which train to take in my life. It is usually pretty self explanatory, but basically I had to take a train in the wrong direction to the end of its line, get off it, get back on a train that went in the right direction, but not far enough, and then onto a train that went all the way there. The trip was well worth it. The thing is, it wasn't that I was doing it wrong, because everyone around me had to do all the same things. Not every efficient transportation, if you ask me.
Versaille is gorgeous. I , of course, took a ton of photos, but none of them do the real place justice. There is gold, literally everywhere, covering doors, window sills, gates, ceilings, etc, etc., I wish I would have spent a little more time wandering around the palace simply because there was so much to see in there. I saw the Chapel, coronation room, the Hall of Mirrors, the Grand Apartments, and all of the other “small” rooms inside the Palace. The fireplaces are actually the size of a small bed. I could almost stand in one without touching my head to the top.
After wandering around the Palace, I wandered around the gardens and towards Marie Antoinette’s estate and the Gran and Petit Trianon’s. All of the gardens were so green and had the most beautiful fountains and flowers. Right as I was leaving all of the fountains turned on and there was classical music throughout the gardens, further adding to the beauty.
My favorite part of this day however was lunch. Why? Because I had CEASAR SALAD. For the first time in 2 months, I was able to eat my favorite food. That being said however, it was definitely sub par to American Ceasar salad, the dressing was not as flavorful, the croutons were too soft, etc., but I did not care because it was my favorite food sitting in front of me. MMMMM.
I fell asleep on the train back to Paris (don’t worry mom, all of my money and passport were in my shirt!) and after arriving to the city, quickly toured Musee d’ Orsay and then hopped back onto the metro to go to Montmartre. Here we saw Saccre Coeur, and the Moulin Rouge theatre, as well as the red district. We walked up to the top of the city to look at Paris from above, which is gorgeous. I ate a Macaron and almost bought some to bring home until I realized they would get all squished and crumbly. I tried probably 6 different flavors (only pieces) of maccarrons at another store where I stumbled upon the most perfect souvenir for one of my brothers. After touring the city a little, we went to dinner at a Piano bar and had a 4 course meal (for 14 €!) of Minestrone soup, escargot (GROSS- did not like it), some sort of beef that came with french fries on the side haha, and then ice cream… I have never had such delicious coffee ice cream- so creamy and rich, and with pieces of coffee beans inside of it. I also drank quite an amount of Rose wine...maybe a little too much… but hey, when in France!
After a roughly 12 hours of travel, including a 4 hour bus ride from Seville next to the world's worst smelling man - why to people insist on not showering before taking forms of public transportation?- I made it back to Granada, passport, credit cards and all (minus the toothbrush) to an ever loving Mari who just couldn’t ask enough questions to satisfy her curiosity about the weekend! I think she gave me at least 20 kisses. I ran out to get drinks with my friend Christina to swap weekend stories and that was pretty much it! I will say that my walk to meet her made me realize how hands off and not so blatantly…. Chauvanist the men in france were, in comparison to the ever bold Spaniards!!! I wish I had some way to keep track of the number of times I have been called Rubia peligrosa. I had such a dull weekend, I know, but hopefully this week will be more interesting ;) .
I hope everyone back home is safe after the whole shooting incident.
I miss everyone tons, and I shall see you all in a week!!!
J’adore ( I think that means I love…. )