I totally jacked the title from the Sex and the City episode, but it just fit so nicely :). I am back from a packed weekend in Paris! Ready, set, recap!
I awoke at the butt crack of dawn on Friday morning in order to catch a 7:15AM TGV (the really fast train!) to Paris. Upon arrival a mere two and a half hours later, my group and I headed to our hotel to drop our bags so that we could conquer the sights. My room was a triple.
Cute right? It was small, but I am on a budget, and a tight one at that, so it did the trick. Honestly, I was just glad to not be staying in a hostel. Anyways, We grabbed some food down the block for lunch and then headed for the Arc de Triomphe.
(Green salad with tomatoes, corn, carrots and cucumbers. Served alongside white bread and honey mustard dressing.) It is a pretty impressive how people merge into the traffic circle surrounding the Arc. There are no traffic lanes, so they just kind of shove themselves in whenever they think there is an open space. After going through the underground tunnel (which is how tourists avoid the traffic circle), I took a bunch of pictures of the beautiful engravings and then headed up the Avenue de Champs Elysées to look at stores that were beyond expensive. Like this one, for instance! It is called "Courir" (which translates into "to run" in English!) and everything is way overpriced. But I love the name! I also browsed a familiar brand while the guys in our group grabbed some food. At this point, I broke from the group to tour one of the main items on my master list... Napoleon's tomb at L'hôtel National des Invalides. It is quite impressive. For such a little man, that sure seems like a whole lot of resting space. The room he is enclosed in is composed of marble carvings and adorned ceilings. It is stunning. Les Invalides is also home to Le Musée de l'Armée. I ended up touring the entire thing!
I learned a significant amount of French history over the course of a couple hours. The history gene runs in my family, so it is no surprise that I stayed there instead of visiting the Lourve with the rest of the group.
While walking to meet up with the people I traveled with, I stumbled upon "The National Exhibit of Russia in Paris 2010" at the Grand Palais. They had Russian nesting dolls surrounding the foyer that were at least 20 feet tall! The exhibit was full of the newest Russian technology from automobiles to spacecrafts. It was very interesting as I know absolutely nothing about Russia.
After departing the Palais, I walked to Le Place de la Concorde to see the Obelisk of Luxor.The monument is over 3,000 years old and contained inscribed hieroglyphics portraying the reigns of the Egyptian pharaohs Ramses II and Ramses III.
Upon reuniting with the group, I was sweaty, exhausted, and hungry! Whew, it had already been quite a long day so we decided to sit down to a nice meal. We found a restaurant off of the Avenue de Champs Elysées that was moderately priced. (Wild Atlantic salmon with spinach tortellini.)
I had not eaten since that wimpy salad so it tasted as anything would after not eating for 8 hours...glorious!! Actually, the fish was a little salty, but I ate it nonetheless.
Après, we decided to rest for a while. I bought a baby bottle of Chardonnay to drink under the Tour Eiffel. (My feetsies were achy, so the shoes came off!)
We stayed under the Tour Eiffel long enough to watch the sunset. Around 10PM, we got in line to buy un billet to the top! I have tons of pictures, but I don't believe they are able to accurately capture the beauty of the city all lit up at night.
I actually overheard a woman crying while I was taking in the view. As it turns out, her boyfriend had just proposed. It was a seriously beautiful moment.
With that, we headed across town and back to the hotel. By the time I crawled into bed, it was almost 2AM. It was a long day but I was able to see a lot!
Check back in later for a Day 2 recap!!