In the previous post, we started exploring Paris. While we were so central to everything, we decided to see some of the main sights. Which meant starting off with a better view of the Eiffel Tower in its entirety. So we crossed headed across the Seine. Then, we decided to hit a few more well-known sites while we were in the central area for it all. Which meant accidentally coming across the Arc de Triomphe. How were we even stumbling across these massive landmarks?? Right before our second stumbling it started to rain. And then, it started to pour. Which made me smile pretty hard because one of my top three fave movies of all time is Midnight in Paris. In the film, Owen Wilson's character talks about how much he loves Paris in the rain. And I gotta say, it was pretty awesome.
As you can see, our excursions didn't last too long. I still really wasn't feeling very well, so staying out late wasn't an option for me. We made it back home and had dinner at this Italian place across the street. Really, we only went because there was nothing else open. But it was still good! And it was a good thing that we finally ate, because the next morning was another struggle for food. Food was definitely the most disappointing thing about France for me. It was all dry, hard, and flavorless. As a foodie, I've gotta say I was not a fan.
Our second day was museum day. Of course, we had to start with the Louvre! Talk about a MASSIVE museum. This was actually where Xin Yun and I learned a really fun fact: Our UCD student IDs gave us free entrance to all of the museums! Score! We spent many hours walking through the Louvre. But in the end, as a group we all opted out of seeing the Mona Lisa because there were so many people trying to get up and take pictures that it just wasn't worth it.
Walking many miles in the Louvre had worked up an appetite. We stopped at a little cafe across the street for some lunch while we enjoyed the very Parisien view. The wine helped make the food slightly more palatable. Emphasis on slightly. That delicious looking desert was a brick!
After our lunch we checked out the Musée d'Orsay. Which I really liked a lot more than the Louvre. It was easier to enjoy the art, and you didn't need a pack of boyscouts, a map, and wilderness skills to get through it.
Of course we couldn't visit Paris without seeing the love locks. It blows my mind how this concept has blown up world-wide. And that it has lasted for so long! But it was still really cool to see the original bridge. And boy is it understandable why they have to replace whole sections of the fencing at a time. There were SO many locks! And I can imagine that with all of the tourists in Paris they fill up pretty fast. Which means the bridge gets weighed down pretty fast!
We kept up our little stroll along the river and looked at all of the booths along the sidewalk. And that's where Alec got me the coolest present: the 8th book in the Walking Dead graphic novel series... in french!
Then we just explored a little more and had some dinner while we waited for the sun to start setting. We wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower at night.
We got in line as the sun was just starting to set. Because let me tell you: the line was HUGE. We got up around 11pm. But the view up top was definitely worth it. Especially since during our wait we got to enjoy a bright, full moon! It was gorgeous to see all of Paris lit up at night. Alec insisted that we take the stairs all the way back down. We were dying by the time we got to the bottom. At least we hadn't tried to take them up!
We crossed the river again and waited for the perfect vantage point for midnight. The lights on the tower "sparkle" on the hour, with midnight being the last time each night. We enjoyed the fountains and a group of couples dancing to some beautiful music until the clock finally struck midnight. It's my favorite memory from our time in Paris.