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Published: July 16th 2012
Okay, so Paris IS all it's cracked up to be. WOW. I had such an incredible weekend in the most visited city in the world. The group (about 100 in all) left on Saturday morning from St. Pancras International on the Eurostar train. Of course it was delayed so we lost an hour, but we still managed to do so much! Upon arriving we took a long way to our hotel to see the major sites like the Eiffel Tower, Opera House, and Arc de Triomphe. By this point in the day the group was incredibly famished and the hotel served us sandwiches and tarts. Although it was kind of sad given that all the sandwiches had meat on them and literally had chunks of butter. Not my cup of tea. Instead, I ate the tarts. Those were scrumptious.
The rest of the day was ours! We started walking around and ended up at the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees, a famous street in front of the Arc. It was an absolutely stunning sight with all the French flags, people, and architecture. The stores along the Champs-Elysees are incredibly expensive, so I merely browsed and soaked up the French culture.
From there, we aimlessly walked around looking for a bakery or cafe with French pastries. After walking all the way to the Eiffel Tower we found a cafe with crepes! Mine came with ice cream and whipped cream. Yes, probably enough calories for a whole day, but how many times am I in Paris? After all, my pants still fit...
By this point I was itching to go to the Eiffel Tower, so that's what we did. We sat in front, took a ton of pictures, and admired the beauty. It's very industrial-looking, which surprised me, but I now I understand why it's so famous. I could have stared at it all night. Did I also mention it was Bastille Day (their Independence Day is you don't know their history)? This meant fireworks. To get the full experience we picked a spot along the Seine River. I don't think I have ever had that much fun watching fireworks. The Eiffel Tower was lit up and sparkling during the show and we were all laughing and having a great time. However, after the fireworks I desperately had to use the restroom and seriously struggled. I begged Stav to help me
find one. Thankfully a man in a restaurant let me use theirs when I started doing the potty dance. He laughed at me. Oh well, at least I made it in time.
On Sunday we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of breads, pastries, fruit, and eggs at the hotel before our adventures for the day began. Stefan, our program director, led us on a day long tour. We stopped at this famous macaroon store and picked up some delicious cookies (and also ate some) before taking the Metro to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral. The Metro is very old, but relatively easy to use. Anyway, we took the train to the Sacre Coeur, which is a beautiful white cathedral that overlooks the city. It takes quite a bit of time to walk up all the stairs, but once we were at the top it was well worth it. We could see virtually the whole city. It was like something out of a movie. I can't even describe its beauty.
From there we hit up Notre Dame, but didn't bother going inside as it was a two hour wait. Notre Dame is cool, but I enjoyed the Sacre Coeur more because
I felt more like a Parisian. However, Notre Dame is beautiful and we also saw The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills there. After taking our pictures at Notre Dame we walked around by the stores and crepe stands to soak up some of the culture. I really wanted to eat another crepe, but it just wasn't gonna happen.
The rest of the day consisted of walking down the Champs-Elysees for some more shopping and visiting a patiserrie (a pastry shop) near the hotel. The woman in the shop spoke no English, so I got to have a conversation with her in all French! I was a little rusty, but she laughed when I said "beaucoup des calories, mais j'adore." Translation: a lot of calories, but I love. She laughed! Oh, it was great.
By this point it was time to say au revoir to Paris and head back to London. Naturally I was on the group ticket with the staff and could not get on the train until all of us were present. The staff member with the ticket was the last to get past security and immigration, so we were stuck in a sprinting situation to get there on time...and we did! There always has to be some stress when traveling.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my time in Paris! I liked it more than Germany because I understood more of the language, but I cannot decide if I like it more than London. Both places are incredible and have their own charm. I guess I'll just have to come back to Paris one day and decide then! Thanks for reading!
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