Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, but I’ve been on spring break. After Crete, I headed back to Athens for a few days, where we explored some museums and neighborhoods that we don’t normally have time to during the week. After that, it was off to Paris!!
Now Paris hasn’t always been a place that I really wanted to visit. I found it a little too cliche, or snobby or hoity-toity…I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was absolutely wonderful. People love Paris for a reason!
I was there for about 6 days. Here’s a rundown of what I did:
Day 1: arrived on an evening flight and took the bus into the city to meet my friend Emma, who I was staying with. We grabbed a quick dinner and went to her apartment to catch up. She lives up five or six flights of windy stairs, in the maid’s quarters with slanty attic ceilings. Very french.
Day 2: waited on Emma to get out of class. We got warm sandwiches from a nearby bakery and walked around the main street of Paris. We walked by the Eiffel Tower, Arc d’Triomphe and down the Champs Elysees - the major shopping street. On the Champs Elysees Emma showed me Ladurre, a bakery with the most delicious macaroons. I had pistachio, lemon, blackcurrent and raspberry. Paris looks and feels exactly the way it looks on postcards.
Day 3: Versaille! This was on my must do list for Paris. We walked through the hall of mirrors, the kings and queens apartments and countless halls of statues. It is exactly as gold and gaudy and you could imagine. It was pretty awesome to stop and think that we saw the door Marie Antoinette escaped out of and walked the halls that prompted a Revolution.
Day 4: On Saturday we slept late and got up to go to the underground catacombs. You walk down like 130 stairs and through twisty dark tunnels before coming out in rooms filled with stacks and stacks of bones. The bodies from the Cemetery of the Innocents were moved under to these tunnels and crypts- thousands and thousands of skeletons. After that we went to the Pere Lachaise cemetary, where Oscar Wilde is buried. It was beautiful and creepy. A day of the dead!
Day 5: We got up to go to the so-called largest flea market in the world. I was a little disappointed. A lot of it was cheap, trashy souvenirs that you could find anywhere. However, further towards the middle was a large antique market - some of the stuff was really cool, like a huge antique bedframe. Unfortunately, I don’t have the room to bring that home or a place to put it. It would have been more interesting if I was a collector or trying to decorate an apartment. After that we went to the Cathedral of St. Dennis, which is where the french royalty since about the 6th century have been buried. We saw the tombs of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Catherine d’Medici, and many others!
Day 6: My last day :( Emma had an early class, so I got up with her to go to the Louvre while she was in class. It’s hugeeee. I saw all of the egyptian, greek, roman, and near eastern/mesopotamian archaeology exhibits. Probably the highlight was Hammurabi’s Law Code! And of course, I did a drive-by of the Mona Lisa. One really interesting thing was seeing a lot of the statues that we’ve been discussing in my sculpture class. After the Louvre, Emma put me on the train and I headed back to airport.
It was a wonderful visit, highlighted by seeing Emma, the delicious quiche/onion soup/crepes/wine/baguette sanswiches, and the lively atmosphere. It was also nice to get back to a country with the Latin Alphabet!