Posted by: londontravels | November 17, 2009

Back from Paris (UPDATED!)

Hello friends,

Just got back from Paris…really tired. I have a long day tomorrow, so I am going to post some pictures and then get to more details later on. I hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Love,

Zac

Update: Wednesday November 19, 2009 8:31 PM (GMT)

Ahhh it feels nice to finally be able to sit down and talk about Paris. Our journey first started off as planned. I woke up around 5:15 AM, took a shower, ate some breakfast, grabbed Chris, Nora and Lauren and headed to the Gloucester Road station to catch the tube to St. Pancras Train Station. A misty, obnoxious rain came down and I was soaked before even getting to the station. But, that didn’t hinder our spirits one bit, for we were 3 hours (or so) away from arriving in Paris. The tube was on schedule, as were we and all that was left was to check-in and hop on the Eurostar…but why would it be that easy right? As we walked (swiftly mind you) towards the station and up the stairs to check in, Lauren looked back and exclaimed, “Where’s Nora?” This became the question of the trip, for Nora seemed to be nowhere to be found for most of the trip. No where to be found, Chris called Nora to make sure she didn’t walk the wrong way towards the King Cross station. It turned out that Nora lost her wallet at some point between the tube station at Gloucester Road and the tube station at St. Pancras Statiion. All of our hearts sunk. The train left in 15 minutes, Nora had lost her wallet and I was hungry.

Nora headed back towards Gloucester Road in hopes to find her wallet, Chris, Lauren and I went to the Eurostar desk to make sure that we could change to a later train and my hunger pains had to go on delay due to our unfortunate mishap. Luckily, the Eurostar attendant said that whenever Nora came back to the station, that they would get us on the next available train…the only thing was, was Nora going to even go on this trip now? Luckily, someone turned in Nora’s wallet to the Tube attendant at Gloucester Road and she was on her way back to St. Pancras. Ugh, what a start to our adventure…

Our spirits were still high though and the next available train was around 8:30 AM…not bad. Nora returned, we hopped on the train and by 11 AM we arrived in Paris. At first glance, Paris didn’t seem to be as beautiful as I anticipated. The buildings kind of looked like London’s, but the streets were a little dirtier and it didn’t have that feeling of a world-class city. However, by the end of the night and our journey to the Eiffel Tower, the city looked captivating. The tower, which stood taller than I thought, was lit in a dim yellow light and every hour it would sparkle for ten minutes…truly stunning.

Before the Tower, though was a 4 hour (free) walking tour of pretty much all of the hot spots in Paris. The tour was kind of cool and way too long, but it allowed us to gain our bearings of the city (oh yeah and it was free…as my Dad always says: ‘if it ain’t for free, it ain’t for me, baby’). After the tour we walked to the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the second most popular shopping district in the world (behind 5th Avenue in NYC). There, we checked out the Louis Vuiton store (per Lauren’s request) and then headed down to the Arc de Triomphe.

By this time, we were pooped. But, that didn’t stop us from headed to the Tower. We could see the circling spotlight in the distance, so we followed it in hopes of some how getting here. Well, it worked because 45 minutes later we were standing directly beneath it and in utter amazement (at least I was). What a wonderful first night.

We took it easy after that, because the next day was The Louvre (home to the Mona Lisa, as well as many other famous paintings). The Louvre was a beautiful site. A “U” shaped museum with a large glass pyramid in the middle, the Louvre was mobbed with tourists, who like ourselves wanted to get a glimpse at the infamous Da Vinci painting. Well, we accomplished that feat, in quite simple fashion might I add. The line wasn’t long at all to get in to the museum (it looked like more people just wanted to get their picture in front of the Louvre rather than go in it) and by the time we got in and found out where the painting was, there weren’t that many people looking at it (while here, I have heard horror stories of how hard it is to get up to the painting and actually get a good glimps). Oddly enough, the Mona Lisa is behind a 12 inch thick window and it has a gated off area about 10 feet away, so people couldn’t get right up to it (apparently there have been many instances where people have tried to either damage the painting or throw things at it). What fascinated me more (even though the painting was awesome) was the people taking pictures of it. Firstly, there were so many effing flashes going off when they specifically said no flash photography. Secondly, people brought props to take pictures with the Mona Lisa (one guy brought a golden bird that he put on his hand and reared back with his other hand to snap the photo of him in front of the Mona Lisa with this golden bird in his other hand…weirdo).

We only got to check out the one wing of the Louvre (there are like 5 or 6 wings of the Louvre and it could take up to 4 hours to complete the whole museum). After a long day at the Louvre and the neighboring areas, we were famished and as five Americans exploring Paris, we naturally went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. Don’t hate…it was phenomenal.

By the way, you might have noticed that I said the 5 of us rather than the 4 of us (Nora, Lauren, Chris and I). The first night, we were walking out of our hostel to catch some dinner when we heard an American accent walking out as well. A petit girl with brunette hair and on her own, was walking out of the hostel to get some dinner as well. Well, we introduced ourselves and it turned out that she was from Connecticut (only 45 minutes from where Lauren lives) and she was studying in Barcelona and in Paris for the weekend by herself. Her name was Marcela and she ended up being our best friend through out the entire weekend. Marcela came with us everywhere and it was almost like we knew her from day one of our study abroad experience. She left on Sunday morning (we left on Monday) and while walking around the Louvre it seemed like something was missing. She was awesome.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it. The highlight of my trip was the Eiffel Tower, which was amazing. The most overrated place, in my opinion, was the Moulin Rouge. Located on de Clichy with a bunch of sex stores and strip clubs, the Moulin Rouge looked like a dump with a windmill on top of it (see picture). Maybe it looks cooler at night…who knows.

Well, I posted some more pictures as well as a few clips of the Eiffel Tower. I hope everyone is doing well and I thank you all for the birthday wishes. This will definitely go down as a birthday that I will never forget, that is for sure. Love you all.

Love,

Zac

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Responses

  1. ZAC-
    Je suis à jour dans vos blogs. Très agréable ! Amusez-vous et être sans danger.
    A bientôt
    Tim

    • I am going to try to translate that and get back to you….

    • I am not sure if you just randomly typed in the french words that you knew or what, but this is what I translated it to…”I am in day in your blogs. Very nice! Entertain and be without danger. See you soon”

      My response: Vos pieds sentent comme la pisse de chat. Combien de temps ai-je dit au nain nain de nettoyer les draps ? Pourquoi cette carotte s’assoit-elle dans le détenteur de brosse de dent ?

      Let me know what you think.

      • This is how I’ve translated it:

        Your feet feel like the piss of cat. How long do I have tells the dwarf dwarf to clean cloths? Why this carrot assoit in the holder of brush of tooth?

        Compliments of babelfish.yahoo.com

      • Haha…French…what a ridiculous language. Not half bad though, the website I used translated it to:

        Your feet smell like cat piss. How many times do I have to tell that dwarf midget to clean the sheets? Why is their a carrot in the toothbrush holder.

  2. Eiffel Tower looks much more impressive on your video. Maybe because you took them at night. I have only seen it during the day and it does look a lot smaller like you said. Glad you are abiding by motto “If it’s not for free, it’s not for me”. It is amazing the things you see and get to do when abiding by that motto.


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