Stick with me, I think this will be a long post - but mostly pictures! I promise!
Side Note, before we begin: What do you know, this is my 100th post! Well, time flies and all that....
So, I guess it's about tie I tell you guys about Paris! Though, what can you really say about that city that hasn't already been said? I loved it. Loved every minute of it (well, minus any time interacting with the hotel staff, what rude and cold people! They were probably the only Parisians who I found to be your stereotypical mean-spirited, American-hating Frenchmen). My français is not as bad as I thought it would be after all these years of not using it. I'm quite the good little French-speaker! And, I literally took over 1,000 pictures of the city, which I couldn't believe at first, but really, doesn't surprise me at all. I'm a little shutter happy, and when you have such beautiful subjects, it's easy to get carried away!
Day 1: Dad and I land in Paris at 7am. Yes, you read that right. 7am. Got to the hotel around 8, exhausted, wiped, tired, every other adjective which means worn out. Find out no room until around 3pm.
Check bags with the concierge, grab some things we might need, find an ATM (also, shouldn't hotels have one in their lobby? Wouldn't that be smart?), and head out for a long, long walk down the Champs-Élyssées (and back). And then back at 2 for a long, long nap. And dinner. Oh dear me that was a long day...
Oh, and a pigeon pooped on me. Seriously. While I was eating my first, real, Parisian Crêpe (yes, the crêpe survived, thank God!). They say it's good luck, or something. But I didn't feel too lucky...
I think this city stole part of my heart.
I really love plaques. So pretty.
My favorite part of the Champs
Just a different view of l'Arc de Triomphe
Day 2: Mission:
Find the Eiffel Tower. Accomplished.
Visit the Thinker at the Rodin Museum. Accomplished.
Visit Napoleon (the first) at his (overcompensating) tomb. Accomplished.
Would have walked down the Champs back to the hotel, but the rain started falling (just a little though), so we had ourselves a nice relaxing evening. I loved this day. It was just nice to wander around Paris at our own pace - and that pace was perfect. See lots of things, but not go crazy. Mission: Accomplished.
Yeah, it's that impressive.
I think he's got a bright idea...
Detail on Rodin's "Gates of Hell." Creepy? Yes, but awesome.
Napoleon's got a Napoleon complex :)
Day 3: This was a BIG day! Notre Dame, Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore, St. Chappelle Cathedral, and the Louvre! Whew, I'm tired thinking about it again! Ha! But, in good news - on this day, Dad and I braved and conquered the Parisian metro. Go us. Less walking, more to see!
Dad, Me, and Notre Dame
I just love Gargoyles. No Lie. Love. Them.
St. Chapelle has the most beautiful stained glass. Ever.
Obligatory Mona Lisa Picture.
Probably one of the most beautiful places in Paris by night.
Day 4: So, before I left everyone said "Court, you have to go to Sacre Coeur, it's the most beautiful place in Paris." I convinced dad we had to make the trek. Oh dear. See, it was May 1 - which in Europe is Labour Day. As in, Sacre Coeur must have been both a HUGE place to party the night before and was the only thing open the day of. It was crowded and completely trashed. I think dad now thinks all my friends are delusional. I can see how it would be beautiful when it isn't, well, so disgusting. Broken beer bottles everywhere, people taking a leek in the corners, body-to-body with no personal space. Sigh, I'll have to give it another try someday. And not on a national holiday! We also moseyed through the art district (where I found 20 Euros! So, dad convinced me to buy some art with it!), and another little church around the corner (St. Pierre de Montmartre).
And in the evening, our last evening in Paris, we decided to go see the Eiffel Tower again, in all it's glory. Did I mention on the hour, every hour, it sparkles! Oh, was i giddy!
It is kinda pretty, isn't it?
I really loved St. Pierre. Some woman was singing
hymns the whole time we were there. Beautiful.
It's just so pretty by night!
Day 5: Another crazy day. Flight to leave for Budapest at 6pm. What to do with the morning? Go to l'Orangerie. Also known as the place with Monet's Water Lillies. 8 HUGE canvases of them. Oh were they beautiful. And, to top it all off - it was the 1st Sunday of the month! (Another thing Dad and I didn't realize..) So it was free! And we got there right when it opened, so there was no one there (when we left, the line in had to be near a mile long!).
And then we decided to go visit the Opera House. You see, Dad and I love The Phantom of the Opera and knew we couldn't leave Paris without seeing the place that inspired it. It was beautiful!
Probably my favorite series of paintings of all time.
And I asked the lady with the same camera as me -
all in French! Go me!
Next time, we're going for a show.
Not gonna lie, I had the PotO score playing
in my head the whole time :)
And that, my dear friends, was Paris :) Next on my list of things to do is to figure out a scheme to get back there and do all the things I missed (and do some of the things I did over again!)