Sorry it has taken me so long to get my Paris stories up here, it has been a busy week. But not to worry, I have lots of pictures and plenty to tell. So much in fact that I will be splitting this piece into four parts! But today let’s just start with Part 1:
Friday night I stayed up till 2am so we could catch the bus to Paris. It was a full bus, and the drive was about 5 1/2 hours, but it wasn’t too bad.
We stopped at a gas station in France for breakfast, and it was so fun being able to talk in French! I just know the very basics, but I was able to order a croissant. I felt like French service was much less intimidating than German, more pleasant, and the language is easier for me to understand.
Anyways, the croissant. Flakey, airy, soft, delicious. A completely different category than what you can get in the U.S., and that was from a gas station.
We got back on the bus and kept driving, eventually pulling into the city alongside Notre Dame. I expected to be filled with a sense of awe and excitement that generally comes with being in a new place. But the second I laid eyes on the city, my soul just said, “welcome home, it took you long enough.”
Paris was everything I’d ever dreamed of. Every building was a work of art. The fashion was all that I’ve ever wished I could have occasion to wear. The streets were filled with artists, readers, musicians, runners, and people just getting where they needed to go.
Driving was a bit insane. It was like there were no rules, you just do what you have to do. Cars stop for nothing, and I know that legally any accidents are split 50/50 regardless of the circumstances.
The air hung thick with sugar, perfume, and cigarette smoke. Hazy clouds overhead hid the top of the Eiffel Tower until the sun broke through at midday. 50 degrees and fall leaves made for a beautiful day.
Back to the story, the bus took us on a short tour of the city, stopping for us to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower. We couldn’t get very close or go to the top, but I hear the view is overrated.
We were dropped off in a square near the Louvre, next to a big white Ferris Wheel. Our guide told us we’d have until 16:30 to explore, and then to meet back up at that spot. Katie, Cole, and I decided we’d hit the Louvre first.
There really are a lot of people in the city trying to make a quick buck off the tourists. It became evident to me why the French are known for their scowls and disinterested expressions. It’s a look necessary to adopt in order to pass through the throngs of people.
But Katie did not adopt it soon enough, and as a result was ambushed by a Jamaican selling wish bracelets. He’d take out some string, loop it around your pinky, and tie it into a fancy pattern, saying things like “Hakuna matata” and “make a wish for love”. Then he’d tie it around your wrist and say that your wish would come true when it fell off. Oh, and of course that they cost 5 euro a piece. We couldn’t just leave Katie alone, so I had to get one too.
From there, we continued through a park and finally came to the museum. But we’ll save that for Part 2. 🙂