Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mon voyage à PARIS!!

Woops! Sorry of the lack of updates to my blog! It has been a while!
Ill see how much I can cram into one!

I will start with right after my fab. trip to Berlin! all I did for one week straight was STUDY!! I had one exam, a hand-in assignment and a lab all within like a week, so i was busy busy busy! I think i managed to go to international night and i went over to the italians house for dinner one night! very nice.
Meanwhile, if i wasn't studying, i was frantically planning for FRANCE!! Worst planned trip of LIFE, by the way. Apparently there are not very many hostels in Paris, let alone ones that were free, and especially that were CHEAP. Very very long and complicated process, but was finished in the end! Also train ride planning turned out to be a disaster, and pretty much everything else that included pre-planning. The girl I was going with kind of wanted to play the trip by ear, but.. ah, i am someone who totally needs to plan ahead. not a good combo!

ANYWAYS at 2:11 on Thursday april 12th, I was off on a train to PARISSSSSSSS!!!

A Long, long, long, LONG train ride later, I arrived in the beautiful city of Paris at 9:30 AM the next morning!!! Got a little lost getting to my hostel, but with the help of friendly french people and the attempt of my pathetic french eventually got me there! I seriously think one of the funnest things about the trip as a whole, was practicing my French! I know I am not very good at it, i have a thousand grammar mistakes and no accent whatsoever, but seriously.. it is such a fun language! The girl, Lianna, who I went with, was way more embarassed to speak french than I was, which made me able to use it even more! She didnt take any kind of french immersion like I did, but she could understand all of the french that I said, so I think the only difference between me and her was the fact that the french words would come to my head much faster than they would come to hers!
Sooooooo.. put my bags in the hostel, got a map and some directions, and went off to do one of my favorite NEW EUROPE tours! They are fabulous, highly recommend them when travelling in Europe's big cities! They are these AMAZING like, 3 or 4 hour free tours, with the best tour guides of all time. I had a new zealander named Phil, he was very cool! We got to see the Louvre (Picture with the pyramid up there), Notre Dame, Eiffel tower (from a far far distance), palais royal, heard much french history, especially with all of the King Louis'!, lots of gardens and many many other things! I was there by myself for the first day, because the others wern't going to arrive until late that night, so I figured doing one of these tours would be an extremely efficient way to see the city and get knowledge of the history of it!
Yup, so I met some girls on the tour from the USA and Canada, and since it was free museum night that night, we all decided to hit up the Louvre to see the famous Mona Lisa! It was real fun, even though I am not a fan of museums usually!

The girls in my hostel were pretty cool too- I had a girl from Argentina , and another girl from Ireland. Although the hostel itself was definately sketchy!!

The next morning I woke up and met Lianna, and then proceeded to go on half of the free walking tour again with Lianna, Kailey and two australian girls. That was pretty embarassing, as it ended up being the SAME tour guide.. awkward...

Half way through, Lianna was going to meet up with her friend Olivia who was studying in Paris and go to the Palace of Versailles, so I joined her in that! We spent the afternoon there, waiting in long lineups, but it was really cool! They liked it a lot more than I did, because it was just like a big gallery sort of thing- and since I didnt know the history, it wasn't so exciting for me- and the audioguides they gave us had seriously the most boring voice ever giving us the history - which confirmed why I seriously hate learning about history. But the palace was beautiful, and it had GORGEOUS gardens too!! The only thing I really remember about this place is there was a huge room in it with a bunch of mirrors, and thats where the Treaty of Versailles was signed!

After we were at Versailles, we hopped back on the train to Paris and at 6PM we went on a tour of Montmartre.. awkwardly enough with tour guide Phil AGAIN.. but whatever, he was super
cool. It was an AMAZING tour!! We saw the real
Moulin Rouge, as well as the Sacre Coeur, and the house where Van Gogh lived, and where Picasso lived, and where the movie AMELIE was filmed (very cool), and of course the SPACE INVADERS! Go to that link to find about more about it. It was hilarious.

Very fun, and after that tour was done, me and Lianna headed off to see the Arc de Triomphe, and the crazy shopping street in Paris with like the original louis vuitton- Champs elysees. Also could see Eiffel Tower looking beautiful off in the distance so we though- oh hey, lets just walk over there..

So like an hour later we got there, (slightly more than anticipted) and it was gorgeous! Took lots of pictures!

The next morning was a Sunday, and the first Sunday of every month has free museum entrances, so once again, I went to the Louvre. I felt like a pro. Actually only felt like a pro on the directions to get to the Mona Lisa. For the other 35,000 pieces of art.. not so much. The Louvre is absolutley the hugest thing I have ever seen in my life. And the pyramid entrance is too cool!!
Spent a little more time than I would have liked in there, but whateve, I guess its something that I had to do when I was there, even though I hate museums. We saw some work by the four ninja turtles, dont ask me to name them because I can't, and also the Venus de Milo! As well as a thousand other things which I am unable to name or remember in the slightest.
After the Louvre, the Catacombes were calling our names. The catacombes are like 4 stories probably underground, and it is where 6 MILLION bodies lay! They took a bunch of bodies from nearby cemetaries when there were plagues and growing populations in Paris and put them in the catacombes.. it was somehow an honour if you were placed down there- dont ask me why, I dont think I would want my bones placed decoratively on the walls down there. It used to be a big mine down there back in the day. Me and Lianna had one word to describe the experience- "Deathy". nice.
That night we went and had supper in a cute place in Montmartre.. have to have at least one fancy meal when you go out to a big city! The rest of the time was pure fast food. well, not like Mcdonalds, but like, crepes and other "cheap" food.. cheap for paris' standards anyway.
While we were in Montmartre, we went back to the Sacre Coeur to see the dusk and sunset views from there, and to take pictures of the church at nighttime. Beautiful!
Also took a metro (Metros saved our lives in Paris) to the Eiffel tower after this to try and go up it and see the city at nighttime, but we arrived and there was only 30 minutes until it closed, which apparently turned out to be a good thing, because I guess the city doesnt look that good at night time, as you cant really see anything except lights. We went on a childrens carousel ride to make ourselves feel better for not going up.

So.. this is where the fun part of my Paris experience goes. The next morning I woke up, to go to the Gare de Lyon train station to reserve a train ticket to be like, oh hey, wheres my wallet? NICE. it was gone. like two hours of searching/ retracing steps and last nights steps with nothing to find. Either my stupidity and carelessness or a pick-pocketer. To make myself feel better I am going to go with pick pocketer.
So that was pretty upsetting, had to call Mom in Canada. Probably a 500 dollar phone call haha. very nice. But Lianna was really nice about it- she was like, dont worry about it, lets just do everything as planned and you pay me back once we get back to Denmark. Good thing, as I had 50 euro and my passport to last me another week in France. SO our plans for our final day in Paris consisted of Eiffel tower, Notre dame, and meeting Liannas friend Olivia again.
So we go to the Eiffel tower, wait in a ridiculously long line up, WALK up 700 stairs (its like half price to walk half way and then take the elevator rather than just take a straight elevator up!), meanwhile my stomach is ridiculously upset, I think because of all of my crying from my wallet eventually made my stomach upset. But i was like, whatever, as long as I dont think about it, I will be fine and it will go away. But of course, it didn't. So on the first floor of the Eiffel tower, I told Lianna I was going to lay down on a bench for a few minutes until I felt good enough to walk up to the second floor. So I looked like a homeless man on a bench for 20 minutes. good times. When I got up I was like, OK sweet, I feel better, lets keep on climbing, but then after a few minutes of standing up I REALLY didn't feel good. So, I ran inside this restaurant looking thing, asked the nearest janitor where the bathroom was and he pointed to like a 20 person line up. Ok, I couldnt wait that long. So I ran back outside, and was like- garbage can, garbage can!. No garbage cans. SWEET. i threw up ON the eiffel tower. Can it get any more embarassing than that??! Im not quite sure... definately something that I will remember for a very long time!!! And to look back and laugh at later, but I am still in that embarassed stage now haha
So eventually, like 2 hours later, we made it up the elevator and to the top. it was FABULOUS! I felt much better, and the view was phenomenal. Met some american boys, they were pretty hilarious, took tons of pictures, enjoyed the view, and eventually went back down.

We then metro-ed over to the Notre Dame to get an up-close look and an inside look, and was also gorgeous! Sat around for the first time and enjoyed the HOT HOT HOT weather, and then met up with Olivia. We did a bit of shopping and went to her apartment for a minute, and before we knew it, it was time to board the train for the second half of our trip- MARSEILLE!

So this is where my post ends (at last, I know), and I think the next one will include everything you ever wanted to hear me say (and much more) about the cute little city and outskirts of Marseille! Enjoy the pics!!!

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