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Published: March 19th 2007
When I first found out that I was going to be going to Paris with my study abroad program, I was unhappy to say the least. I had already been to Paris before and frankly I came away with a deep dislike of the city. At the time I would have been able to tell you exactly why I hated the city, but in the years since then the specific reasons have faded. Anyways, we left Dunaras at about 12:30pm on Friday the 23rd and arrived in Paris fairly late. Everyone was tired from the traveling so the only thing we all did was go to find food. All 27 of us ended up eating at this Kebab place across the street from the metro station. Jenny and I split a pizza. It was amazing. Not to mention, the food was so much cheaper than it is in Ireland. I also caved in and bought myself a nutella and coconut crepe (which I have to say is probably my favorite). The next morning we took a bus tour of the city which ended around noon, and then Jenny, Sudie and I decided to go to Versailles. We had slight issues with
the train at first, but that didn’t last long and we eventually made it. The palace is absolutely huge. We walked around the gardens a bit at first. I think that they would have been something to see more during the summer time when there are leaves on the trees, and the statues are uncovered, but it was still nice to see. We then went inside the palace, which all in all was very cool. After a while though all the rooms begin to look the same. That night, a big group of us went to climb the Arc de Triomphe. It was extremely cold at the top, but the view was totally worth it. Plus, I got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle (there is really no other way to describe it), which was one of the few things I actually liked the first time I was in Paris. Once we were back down, we decided to walk up the Champs Elysees. At one of the corners there was this big crowed and all these paparazzi type people with big cameras. Of course we had no idea what was going on, and no one would tell us either. We
I believe this is the room of mirrors in the Opera House
decided to stick around anyways. Unfortunately it started to rain and after standing there for a good half hour with nothing happening, everyone decided to just go back to the hotel for the night. That is all but Holly and myself. I had waited too freaking long to not see something, so I was determined to wait until something happened. So we waited, in the rain, and finally, a huge bus came and all these people got off and walked down the ‘red carpet’. The French photographers were screaming these people’s names, trying to get their attention so they would pose for them. It was all very exciting seeing these famous French actors and actresses. We had heard a rumor that Jude Law was supposed to be there (I think that was Holly’s major factor in staying) and sure enough, there he was. Holly’s camera had died literally a minute before he got there so here I was trying desperately to get my camera to work, but the stupid thing just wouldn’t work in the dark. It was quite crazy.
The next day, we all went as a group to Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur. This I had previously
done, so it wasn’t quite as big a deal to me. From there, the majority of the kids decided to go to one of the museums which (once again) I had already seen and had no desire to see again. So, I ended up going with the boys to Notre Dame. We went inside and walked around and then we climbed to the top. I have to admit that I actually really enjoyed it. The view was amazing. When we were back on the ground, we went and got crepes (I tried the sugar and lemon juice one) and then I left the boys who were going to go see another church. Instead, I went to the crypts which were not quite what I expected but still cool all the same. I then basically just walked around by myself. I went to the tuileries and sat down in a chair in front of a fountain, I rode the metro to a cemetery to find a cache that was hidden there (this has to do with my nerdy, yet very amusing hobby of geocaching), I walked along the Seine towards the Eiffel tower, and then slowly made my way back towards
Our first crepe in Paris
the hotel to meet everyone by 7:00pm. We all went down, and took a boat ride on the Seine. It was something that I had not one the first time I was there, and I had a good time. The next day I went with a group of the API kids to try and find an open air market. We looked for about an hour to no avail and then took the metro to the Louvre. When we were done with that, Sudie and I went to the Opera house. It was so cool inside. Apparently this opera house is where the Phantom of the Opera was set. The actual inside was closed because of rehearsal which was kind of a bummer, but I was not disappointed with what we were actually able to see. We then headed on over to the Luxemburg gardens, hung out there for a bit, and then made our way back to Notre Dame where we were going to meet Jenny for dinner. I ended up buying a painting (I can never resist), and then we went and had dinner at a fondue restaurant of all places. I am a huge fan of fondue, and
it was good, but I have to say that my Dad’s is still the best. We had to meet the group at the base of the Eiffel Tower at 6:00pm so after dinner we got on the metro to head back to the hotel quick before then. I wasn't sure we had enough time and soon enough the others realized that as well. We ended up changing directions and heading to the Eiffel Tower. By this time we were running late, and we had been told that if we were not on time that we would be left. We ended up getting off at some stop, and running to try and make it on time. We got there, and our director wasn't even there. About a minute after we got there, we saw another group running towards us, and then a few minutes more, and the boys came running. She finally came, gave us our tickets, and we headed up to the top. I had done this the first time I was in Paris, but going to the top of the Eiffel Tower is one of those things that can never get old. When we were done, we made our
API in front of the Eiffel Tower
way back to the hotel to meet with the group again so we could all go see the Moulin Rouge. I went up to my room to put some things away, and when I got back down into the lobby, they had all left me. I would have been able to find my way there by myself, but I managed to catch up with them anyways. I got my last crepe in Paris at a place just down the street from the Moulin Rouge (which was way cheaper than anywhere else, I only wish I would have known about it sooner), and then after a while longer we went back to the hotel. The next morning we headed to Dublin and back to Galway. As a side note, there was one point that I was infinitely much happier about. That is in relation to the trash cans in the metro stations. You see, one of the things that I do remember about the first time I went were the trash cans that for one reason or another became the bane of my existence. They were these boxes, that were quite obviously trash cans, but there was absolutely no way to
put anything in them. There was this black tray that was covering the top of them that just wouldn't move. We tried in vain the entire trip to figure them out, but came to the conclusion that not even the French people knew how to work them since they would just pile their trash on top. Anyways, this time, the black trays were gone, and trash was easily thrown into the bins. I have to say that I came away from this trip with a much greater liking of Paris than I went in with. I had a great time, I did a few things that I hadn't done the first time around, and a few that I had, but I had fun.
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