Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 35-38: Paris: Part 1

Traveling to all these foreign countries is making me think that I really have a bad memory. I've found that unless I do a daily write-up on my Blackberry, or write things down somewhere to remember for a post about the trip, I forget everything. I forget where I was, what day it was, when it happened and usually how much I spent too. Although that last one might be more of a survival tactic to keep myself from freaking out about how much money I'm spending! (read: just kidding Mom, I promise I'm being good :)! )

Friday morning started early as many of my trips have been. My update on Day 35 was a pretty good indicator of how the morning, which was too early. I was actually so excited to be up and going to Paris that I was awake a full  hour early and was the first one ready to head to the train station. One of the girls was being terribly slow, so we would have missed our train had it not been a few minutes late. I was dressed for the cold in the best ways, multiple shirts and leggings under pants, and a new pair of gloves that I think were Boyfriend's. Unfortunately for me, these gloves were warm and we were warm on the train, meaning I forgot how cold my hands were going to be and left them on the first train when we got off. Having a backpack to carry made me forget about little items that have to be carried too. We made our way to St. Pancras to get the Eurostar train and meet up with the rest of our group.

packed lunches, consisting of Tesco prepared meals.
Eurostar terminal
The train was actually not that eventful. We all sat together and I stayed awake specifically to see when we entered the Chunnel. It only took about 20 minutes so I actually ended up missing the beginning. I was unaware that the ear popping that kept happening was actually us going under the Channel. Yeah, I think I must have been sleepin with my eyes open. I love traveling by train anyways, so it was nice to see the French countryside from a different vantage point. Arrived early in Paris at the Gare du Nord and found our hostel quite quickly. Only about a 10 minute walk from the station, something which came in handy on the way home.

view from the UK
view from France
in the station, not me.
streets of Paris!
Our first stop in Paris, once I stopped saying "oh my God I'm in Paris" was the Sacre-Couer church. We planned on heading first to the Moulin Rouge, but saw the church way up on the hill after going in the wrong direction. It was a bit of a walk to reach the time but the view of the city was so worth it. I was kind of surprised to see so many stray cats in Paris, but apparently that's normal. Took many picturse of around the grounds of the church and went inside to see the architecture. Churches in Europe basically all look the same but that doesn't make them any less beautiful!

same view, one pointing towards, below, and out to the city, above

Dying with happiness.

inside the sacre-couer
so pretty.
 Jump on through to see more of Day 1 of Paris!

After Sacre-Couer, we walked back down in search of the Moulin Rouge. Found the most amazing little bakery, Brioche Doree, on the way. I had the best, and I mean the best, flourless chocolate tart ever. I literally drooled eating it. Because of the part of town we were in, Montparnasse, we were treated to a variety of scenery along the street. Many sex shops/shows/museums around that area. Not my thing clearly, but interesting to see nonetheless. The Moulin looked just as iconic as I expected. Wish I could have afforded to go see a show but I'm way too poor for that. We moved on after seeing this to the biggest iconic landmark in the city: le Tour Eiffel.

nom nom nom lunch! I have another of those chocolate things, which I am currently eating.
Moulin Rouge. super expensive!
cheap version: picture outside the building!

the windmill.

I wasn't sure whether to expect greatness or just a really iconic landmark. I mean, it's the Eiffel Tower. There's not much else to say cause it was really just amazing. I was giddy the entire time walking towards it once we got off the Metro, and continued be giddy the entire time. Except for while climbing the stairs, I'll admit that much. Here's the pics that I took, still waiting to steal some from the other girls!
walking under

 obligatory shots with le tour. holding it up, and in front of!

my personal favourite :)

view of the gardens from the first level.
point east, normally would be towards home but not here!
eff you 669 stairs.
overpriced tea was my reward for making it to the top.

yeah, this view was a pretty great reward too.
sign. j'aime paris.
So that wasn't even all of day 1! Well, most of. We stayed in the tower for the sunset then went back to the hostel and got food. Another good idea, but I have no pictures of this food. I took significantly less pictures for the rest of the weekend, so those can wait til tomorrow for Part 2. Come back and check it out! I'm off to enjoy some quality lazy time and watch movies. Exciting, I know. Every weekend can't be as great as the last! 

Til next time!

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