Well i can finally say I have seen the Eiffel Tower. Paris is such an iconic city and holds such history and character that I was beyond excited for this past weekend to arrive so I could finally walk those famous streets. Rhea and I jetted out of Lille on Friday evening and by jetted I mean we took the bus because we’re poor students and that’s a way cheaper option than the quicker trains. We arrived around 7 and met 3 of our Canadian friends from Lille at our hostel. If anyone’s ever going to Paris I would recommend Oops hostel- it was a great find, located in the Latin Quarter it was in a fun location and the hostel itself was really nice. We wasted no time once we got there and off we all went walking in search for lil miss Eiffel. We had walked about half an hour when my love of pizza took over and we stopped for a great meal, but after that we were back on the streets feeling the excitement. The closer and closer we got the faster and harder my heart started to beat. When we finally saw the top of it and realized how close we were I let out a little scream and all of the girls laughed at me. Cest la vie. We got to the tower at about ten to eleven which was perfect because we had about ten minutes to take it all in and obviously take multiple pictures (#instasfordays) before the light show that happens on the hour. At exactly 11 the tower began twinkling and we suddenly all fell silent- it truly was magical and I couldn’t help but shed a tear. I’m a sucker for sparkly, shiny things and so that magnified on a tower was perfect for me. From there we decided to continue the theme of magic and all took a ride on the carousel which is directly beside the tower. So I mean that was my pretty casual Friday night.
On Saturday we hit the streets around 10 ready to explore. We made our way to the famous Notre Dame cathedral which was honestly breath taking. I think my mouth was open the whole time I walked through it. It has some of the most exquisite architecture I have ever seen and everything is so detailed and personal that it is breath-taking. It blows my mind that the whole structure was constructed before the days of cranes and power tools. The Notre Dame was my favourite piece of art I think I’ve ever seen. After walking through the church we found one of those Hop on -Hop off bus tours and so we got our tickets and we hopped on. I love these tours because you not only get to see a whole city, but you also get to learn interesting facts and background knowledge on it that you probably wouldn’t get otherwise. On the bus we saw the Champs de Mars, Musee d’Orsay, the opera, Champs Élysées, Grand Palais, and the Trocadero. In the middle of the day we got off at the Opera and our lady senses were telling us it was time to shop. Right across from the opera is Paris’ famous department store Galleries Lafayette. I’m pretty sure this department store was the nicest shopping building I’ve ever been in- my deepest regards to Harrods and Macy’s. This place was ornate and luxurious in every sense of the word. 7 floors in total with all of the best designers and brands. And the building itself could be a palace- imagine Castle Loma (but way nicer) as a department store- it was amazing. I was seriously missing my shopping partners Jo and Sarah in there. After a few hours of shopping we hopped back onto the bus and finished the tour. After the tour a few of us headed to a pub we had passed earlier which had caught our eye- The Great Canadian Pub. We walked in and felt like we were home- hockey jerseys covered the walls, maple leafs were everywhere and they served poutine! It was the best place to unwind. I was a very happy camper with my pulled pork sandwich and a Stella. It was also nice to get inside because Paris decided that it really wanted to make us Canadian girls feel at home and give us a bit of Canadian weather. We were a bunch of shivering chicks all weekend. After a delicious dinner we headed back to the hostel to drop off our stuff. We had dinner but now we needed dessert and in Paris that only means one thing- crepes. Being the dedicated foodies we are we walked 35 minutes in the rain until we found the perfect spot. I loved that walk because despite the rain we were all smiles- we were in Paris and life was more than good. Our creperie of choice was a hole in the wall that smelled amazing. I was pretty proud of myself because I was able to order my whole dessert in French- little things eh? I don’t think any of us were prepared to eat a whole crepe after the dinner we had but not shockingly we all managed to clean our plates. It’s a good thing we walked so much this weekend because we also ate like queens- I also wouldn’t have it any other way- I mean it is Paris.
On Sunday we got up and headed to the louvre. That building is amazing. It took me a minute to take in how big it actually was. Walking into the courtyards and seeing the famous pyramids was a pretty surreal experience. After we all got our obligatory pictures with the pyramids we headed down into the museum. Once we got in however we realized that unlike we thought Sundays were not free for everyone. Only the first Sunday of the month is. We decided it wouldn’t be worth paying for tickets when we would only have maybe two hours to explore. We all knew we would be back in Paris soon and would rather spend a full day in the louvre. So back onto the streets we went. We walked across the love lock bridge and all made jokes about our singleness. We did see a few really obnoxious locks that made us laugh, and some really sweet ones which made us smile. From there we did one of my favourite things and just wandered through the side streets of the city. I saw so much life on those little cobblestone streets. We stopped after a few hours of walking for lunch at a bakery and enjoyed some baguettes followed by some more crepes. We then headed off to the bus station to catch our bus home to Lille.
Paris has definitely gotten my attention. I am so excited to go back and shop, aimlessly wander, go to the louvre, eat, and just discover. Paris also took people watching to a whole other level. The people of Paris have got it going on. I don’t think an hour passed without me pointing at someone and exclaiming how fabulous their look was. I think I’m going to spend a day in Paris (when it’s warmer) sitting in a park somewhere just watching. That sounds like an ideal day.
Some random tidbits ill include about my past week- on Wednesday rhea and I went to a party that her school organized. And this wasn’t just any party- to begin with this party was in Belgium. Casual right? Belgium is a lot looser with rules and so this party is set up basically right past the border in order to take advantage of that. We got there on the bus around 12:30 and walked into the scariest bar I’ve ever been too. Crowded way past capacity, people were literally shoving there way through the bar. You can also smoke inside the bars and so it was also crazy hazy and it reeked. On top of that apparently garbages didn’t exist in this bar and so beers were being tossed everywhere. This all made for one messy night…literally.
Another one of my classes start this week so I will have a bit busier of days. This Saturday were headed to Bruges which I’m super excited for.
Lots of love to everyone.