Hi friends! This blog will be all about France and what I did during my time there! Feel free to check out (#mairainFR) for pictures taken in France! I’m still uploading, so continue to check every week! Next week’s blog will be Adventures in Ireland so stay tuned!
I’ll start off right where I left off on the Adventures in Germany blog…where I mentioned the bus ride from hell lol.
After having a blast in Cologne, Germany we decided that in order to save time and money we would take an overnight 8 hour bus ride from Cologne to Paris, France. This sounded like a fantastic idea, at the time. It was cheaper than a train and we wouldn’t waste precious time because we would be traveling at night and we also wouldn’t have to spend money on lodging for the night. What we didn’t count on was that taking an overnight bus ride for that long would be uncomfortable as hell lol. Let me break it down for you. First of all, we were exhausted from doing a ton of exploring. Second of all, when we got to the bus station and the bus stopped and the doors opened, EVERYONE RAN INTO THE BUS. It looked like a riot…it was a little scary lol. And third of all, I could barely sleep on the bus 🙁 so when we got to Paris I was really cranky and tired and exhausted but once we got to a super cute little Parisian cafe, all of my anger went away because there’s no way to be angry in the beautiful city of Paris. So there….there is my little rant on the bus ride, which wasn’t THAT bad but I just wanted to complain lol. I would probably do it again because it was cheap and efficient and got the job done.
Ok, now continuing with adventures in France! The first thing we did when we got to Paris was to of ourse have an early Parisian breakfast at a super cute Parisian cafe 🙂 We had a delicious breakfast of croissants, toast, hot chocolate, orange juice and coffee. We also took this moment to charge our phones, rest a little bit, stretch, and get ready for our super long day of exploring Paris!
I took three years of French in high school so I kind of already knew a little bit about Parisian culture and the sights we would be seeing but it was so surreal and SO WEIRD seeing stuff that I had seen in textbooks. I had some serious deja-vu happening, like I felt like I had been in France before. It was so weird lol. The first big sight that we went to go check out was the Arc de Triomphe! I did not expect it to be as huge as it was! It was a little overwhelming haha. In high school, I learned that the Arc is a famous monument in Paris and it is a monument to honor those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. It was a really cool experience to stand there and read the names of the many soldiers. It really makes you take a step back and really understand what it is that you are looking at. It’s more than a touristy attraction, it’s a monument with a lot of meaning and it is definitely a powerful experience to stop here. I’ll be uploading pictures to the Traveling LBL in the coming weeks and you’ll have a chance to see all of the names that are on the Arc.
After the Arc, we kept exploring and taking our time to really see Paris. Our next stop would be the Eiffel Tower. We got our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from REALLY FAR AWAY and I’ll be completely honest. I saw it from super far away and I thought ‘are you serious, this is it’ because it honestly didn’t look that great haha. But as we got closer, I was blown away. It was HUGE and beautiful and impressive and everything that I had hoped it would be! And as an engineer and someone who has taken statics and physics, I was really in awe of this beautiful structure. We took the lift up to the very top of the Tower and it was crazy! First of all, since it was winter they had an ice skating rink on the first level! Like what!? How!? Haha, it looked awesome….we would’ve totally ice skated but we did that in Belgium and we were still sore because we are super old people lol. So we continued to the very top and once we got out of the elevator we looked out onto the beautiful city of Paris. Also, since we were 281 meters up (almost 1000 feet up), it was FREEZING. Like, it literally hurt to take pictures because my hands felt like they were going to fall off lol. But it was so beautiful up there, the wind felt amazing (although cold), and it was just a spectacular feeling to be so high up.
I also witnessed a proposal happen up on the Eiffel Tower!!! It was SO CUTE. I was just walking around, minding my own business and I see a guy get down on one knee and propose!!! I have no idea what language he was speaking but it was beautiful lol. I saw the entire thing happen and it was so intimate because it was just the two of them and nobody else noticed this happening so I was kind of just freaking out alone and just being really excited all alone for them lol. It was so cute haha. It was also really cool to be at one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, because everyone was speaking a different language and yet I still somehow managed to find some fellow Mexicans lol. I heard them speaking Spanish and I asked them where they were from. And it’s crazy because they were from Chihuahua, Mexico which is where my family is from. I was probably related to them lol…as my cousin Gaby puts it ‘hasta allá andamos somos una plaga’ because we are everywhere lol. After the Eiffel Tower, we went to go eat some lunch! I had some delicious wine and some really good salmon (expect these pictures to pop up in the Food LBL soon).
After lunch, we started heading towards Musee Rodin…if you think ‘Rodin’ sounds familiar it is because you’ve probably heard his name before. Rodin is the artist behind the ‘Thinking Man’! We explored a little bit of the museum and took some stereotypical pictures with the Thinking Man haha and then explored the gardens outside. THEY. WERE. BEAUTIFUL.
After this, we kept exploring the city and made our way to our AirBnB! This time, we had our own apartment (or flat). We found the apartment, showered (and I almost broke my jaw because I was getting out of the bathtub and the bathtub was apparently lifted a few feet off the floor and I didn’t realize it and I almost fell lol) it was really scary ahahha, took a really long nap and then headed out for dinner! Dinner wasn’t that great so I won’t talk about it lol.
The next day, we woke up bright and early ready to explore some more of this beautiful city! You know that while we were in France, we HAD to try some crepes, right? So that’s exactly what we did! We googled ‘best crepes in Paris’ and ended up at a little place called La Crepe en L’isle (which translates to The Island Crepe…or something like that haha). The crepes were DELICIOUS!! And the best part was that I was able to order our food in French and even have a tiny conversation with the server. And I mean a TINY conversation haha, super basic. After breakfast, our first spot was to check out the Notre Dame Cathedral! We somehow ended up in the back of the Cathedral and we hung out a bit there because there was a swing and I wanted to swing on it just because I was in Paris and I could lol. After hanging out a bit in the back of the Notre Dame, we headed to the front and finally inside! It was a beautiful Cathedral and it was also HUGE!! I lit a couple of candles for my mom and for my family every time I entered a cathedral in Europe. After checking out the Notre Dame Cathedral, we headed to
Sainte-Chapelle (a smaller church) because our friends had recommended it to us. Apparently, Sainte-Chapelle had just gone through a major renovation and the stained glass inside was a wonder to see. This part of the day was hilarious because if you read my Lessons Learned in Europe blog, you will have learned that in Europe there is a thing called the 18-25 ‘youth’ discount and basically everywhere you go, if your age falls within these limits, you get a discount on entrance fees. I told Tim to just pretend he was 25 and that I doubted they would check his ID and he listened to me lol. We went up to the counter and he pretended to be 25 but then they asked for his ID and the lady saw that he was really 27 and she started yelling at Tim lol. And naturally, because I’m such a good friend I just walked away and let Tim get yelled at ahahhaha. It was hilarious, I’m sorry Tim lol. It was funny too because we walked into Sainte-Chapelle and i thought to myself ‘is this it’ because it looked super tiny and we didnt see the entrance to the other room which is where all the cool stuff was…and we started walking up the stairs to the other room and I tripped and fell. #karma lol. Tim getting yelled at was so worth it though because the stained glass inside was BEAUTIFUL. I can’t even describe it properly so you will all just have to wait for when I post pictures to the Traveling LBL. 🙂 After checking out Sainte-Chapelle, we headed to Pantheon, which is a place where really famous and important people are BURIED and it’s a museum full of awesome history of people who have somehow shaped France’s history. It was really cool to just see all the history in one place. I also got to see where Marie Curie and Victor Hugo (writer of Les Mis) were buried. It was cool but also really creepy, I won’t lie lol. After the Pantheon, we headed to the famous love lock bridge! We got to the bridge and were so confused because we couldn’t find any locks!! We found a bridge but it was completely empty…apparently 6 months before we got there, all of the locks had been removed due to unplanned weight on the bridge that was making it unsafe lol. It’s okay though because we saw the love lock bridge in Cologne as mentioned in the Adventures in Germany blog. We also just kind of hung out on the bridge because we met a super cool young person (like us) who was from North Carolina! She was rerally nice and told us about the bridge and we kind of exchanged stories of what we had done and what we recommended. It was just really nice to speak English to someone else that was not my traveling companion lol. After the bridge, we went to dinner and I had some of the most delicious chicken and noodles that I’ve ever had! It was so good. I also had wine and bread, two of my favorite things. We shared a dessert crepe that was a little burnt lol but still really good!! After dinner, we went to go check out the Louvre (but we didn’t go in because we didn’t have time) but the building itself was super cool looking. After the Louvre, we headed back to the Eiffel Tower because we had heard that you have to go see it during the day and during the night because at night it lights up! We were so happy we came back because they light up the tower every 30 minutes and it’s beautiful! It just looks super sparkly and very impressive! A lot of people had sat around and were drinking wine so I think next time I come, I will definitely do that. After the Eiffel Tower, we went to bed because we were exhausted lol.
The next morning, we headed out to breakfast and had some omelettes, croissants and orange juice! It was delicious! We returned to the Notre Dame because a friend of mine (Suzanna) had told me that I had to go make a wish at the Paris Point Zero marker. Point Zero or Kilometer Zero is that location chosen in a city that all distances are measured from. So I went here and made a wish lol. I forgot what I wished for but I hope it comes true lol. After Notre Dame, we took a train to the city of Versailles to go check out the Palace of Versailles! I had heard about the Palace of Versailles but I didn’t really know waht to expect so we kind of just blindly took at rain there haha. We weren’t even too sure what it was going to look like or if we were even going to be able to recognize but it is SO RECOGNIZABLE. Even if you’ve never seen a picture you will know that you have arrived because it is literally the most extravagant looking building in the world. It’s huge and it’s gilded in gold and it’s just ginormous lol. The inside is even more impressive, like I’ve never in my life felt so poor haha. I’ll be posting pictures soon! We took a tour and got to check out some really awesome parts of the palace. My favorite part, however were the gardens!! The gardens of the Palace of Versailles are the largest open air statue gardens in the world. We didn’t even see the entire thing, I think we only saw about 10% of it. It was that LARGE! It’s so large that they even have livestock …lol we saw sheep and cows hahaha. Behind the Palace of Versailles is Marie Antoinette’s estate and you know we had to come here!! It was also really extravagant but coming from the Palace it was like going from a mansion to a condo lol. It was still super cool to check out some of her history! Now comes some fun stories lol after Marie Antoinette’s estate, it was time to take a train to the airport in Paris to fly out to Ireland. So I thought the bus ride from Germany to Paris was horrible…well you know what’s more horrible than a bus ride? MISSING A FLIGHT. That’s right, you read that right…we missed our flight. We were irresponsible and had horrible luck and we missed our flight. I’ve never in my life missed a flight, and it was really scary missing a flight in another country where you don’t speak the Native language lol. We missed our flight because we took the wrong train, got off at the wrong spot, couldn’t find a taxi, cried a little, took another train, and finally got a taxi back. It’s funny because we got to the airport with 40 minutest before our flight left but apparently we didn’t check in correctly lol 🙁 so we couldn’t board….it sucked…but luckily our ticket was only about $20 because flights are super cheap in Europe!! So I wasn’t super upset, but it still sucked. We talked to the customer service desk and found out that there was only 1 other flight from Paris to Dublin but it was at the other airport in Paris…on the other side of the city. We deicded to take it and barely had enough time, it was scary and I had to go to the bathroom the entire time lol. And that’s the story of how we missed our flight haha. I hope you enjoyed our misfortune 🙂
But France was AMAZING. Definitely one of my favorite places and I will definitely come back!!! Goodbye France, i will be back! Check back next week for the Adventures in Ireland blog!
I will be posting more pictures every week on Instagram and will be updating the Traveling LBL with more pictures every Thursday. Stay tuned! Hope this helps any of you who plan to travel to Europe!
Thanks for reading!
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