terça-feira, 6 de outubro de 2009

Paris Paris...

Well yay vacation!!
So this week we're beginning classes (History of French Art and French History are very promising, great teachers and interesting topics. Also taking 6 required hours of language, another good teacher, and Expression Orale and Expression Ecrit, neither of which I've had yet. But it seems like it'll be a good semester class wise.) but last week we had a nice break, which I'm going to post quickly about.

Three of my friends and I went to Paris for the week. Well not actually the week, because it gets expensive. But we stayed 4.5 days there yay! We stayed in a french hotel called F1 which is a new chain of cheap hotels around the country. Though it was less than fabulous, especially the shared bathrooms in the hallways that seemed to always be flooded and the cigarette smelling stairwells, the rooms were very nice and I can't really complain.
Paris is amazing, of course. Throughout the week we did tons of stuff, but here were the highlights:

--The Eiffel tower at night. We got some wine and sat on a park bench and oohed and aahed and had a photo session courtesy of our next-bench British neighbors who kindly warned us about the giant rats that run from bush to bush. Yes, we saw one. Yes, it was giant. And gross. But the tower is gorgeous, and when it sparkles for 10 minutes every hour it's just beautiful.
--The Eiffel tower in the daytime. We didn't wait in the massive line to go up, but sat in the park in front along with all the real French people, and basked in the sun for a while. And got dirty looks from tourists who thought we were French.
--L'Arc de Triomphe. Coming out of the subway station and having it tower right on top of you is incredible. I had seen it by car before but actually standing under it is amazing. Absolutely stunning.
--Champs Elysees. We walked all the way from L'Arc to the Louvre one day. The shops are ridiculous; for instance we went into a Louis Vuitton store where keychains were 250 Euro a piece. We also saw the Toyota and Renault (a French car company) stores, where they had some pretty amazing cars on display. (Little brothers, I included a picture in the collage for you.) We passed a huge display of Vouge magazine covers throughout the decades too, which was pretty cool. We ended up at the Egyptian Obelisk they have there, which is in a huge square with cars zipping all around and huge fountains and L'Arc de Triomphe staring down at you from one end and huge gardens from the other. Breathtaking.
--The Louvre. There isn't much to say. Amazing, as always. My camera was running out of battery the whole week though, so I didn't take any pictures inside.
--The Statue of Liberty. I'm not sure what scale it's on, but it's rather small and is actually dwarfed by a bridge right behind it, but it was very cool to see. It's exactly like the NYC one, of course, and seeing the Eiffel tower behind it was quite the juxtaposition. Couldn't get that angle in the photo though, sorry. =[
--Swiss hot chocolate. I got it at a coffee shop and it was milk with a huge chocolate lollipop stuck in. I was both surprised and a tad bit skeptical at first, but it was pretty much the best hot chocolate I've ever had. Yay!
--Street/subway musicians. We saw everything from guitars to full-size harps to congo drums to karaoke (yea. on the subway. hopping from car to car at each stop. wowie. at least she sang well!) to traditional Peruvian singers/musicians to accordions. We had fun trying to come up with something original we could do to get money, because it seems pretty much everything has been done, and being original is how you get the big bucks. I think we finally decided on a STOMP on the metro sort of deal. Hehee. I put a picture in the collage of something we saw close to the Louvre--a bunch of string musicians playing classical music on the sidewalk. They were amazing, and it was so different to see so many people. I loved it.
--Wandering the streets. Most of our week consisted of this. We'd pick somewhere or something that looked interesting on the map, hop onto the metro with our metro passes and get off at a stop and wander. Sometimes we'd get to our destination and sometimes not, but it always proved adventurous and very fun. We were all short on cash, so we tried to do as many free things as possible, and if you notice, none of the highlights I mentioned actually cost money! Yay! Well, except for the hot chocolate, but hey, these things happen. =]
We did lots more of course, but those were my favorites. Enjoy the photos!

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5 comentários:

  1. There are so many great places to see in France like Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower. Just to walk around is already an experience. Sipping a cup of coffee while cruising the Seine is one of the few things you can do to savor your trip. Of course no one should ever miss to visit the art galleries of world renowned painters.
    The Truth About Paris

  2. I love the pics!! Thanks for posting! Who are your friends? Where are they from?

  3. Ashley is the blonde one from Kansas, Dave is from Jersey and Rachel is from Buffalo.

  4. I like all of their smiles! Are they ND?

  5. Glad you survived the F1 experience! It's probably the cheapest option out there, so bearing with small unpleasantness is worth it ;)