During this beautiful month of May I thought it would be a great idea to hop on a plane and explore a new continent. Along with seventeen other travelers, we decided on a abroad trip that involved traveling to Paris, France, Bonn, Germany, Munich, Germany, Prague, Czech Republic, and Helsinki, Finland. Since there is so much to show you and talk about, this set of blogs posts will be separated into a quadrilogy, or also know as a four-part series. I will be talking about the sight seeing and additional, exciting excursions I went.
Part I. Paris, France
Our first step off of the plane was in Paris, France. Since we were only staying in each location for between three to five days we had a lot to do, see, and eat. I went directly to the hotel in the morning to drop off baggage, but had to wait until 3 PM for check in to see the room. What is a man supposed to do for several hours without a room to sleep in? Explore.
Once I got my transportation ticket for the metro and busses, I was off to the city. My first sight to see was a very obvious mission; the lovely lady, Tour Eiffel. I knew she would be absolutely spectacular, but even more so in person for the first time.
Soon after Lady Eiffel, I got my first meal which also involved spending euro cash for the very first time! Euro cash is very similar to the American dollar with the exception of more coinage. I ordered a Parisian baguette from a street concession which included French ham and cheese with lettuce and tomato. With the amount of English speakers on the streets of Paris I was intrigued with how easy it was to communicate. We then headed down some steps to the river to have a boat tour under all the bridges of the city. Soon after we walked to the shopping district and ended by the Arc de Triomphe.
After a long day of running around it was finally time to see The Eiffel Tower shine bright at night! We headed down to the main seating lawn and waited for the moment that many wait a lifetime to see. It was really interesting being around the area walking up to the tower lawn. There were many concessions to buy souvenirs and many people were trying to illegally vendor alcohol to those watching. The pictures attached will not do it justice, but it was a moment to remember forever. There a random dog ran up to our sitting area who brought me present of pine cone. Her owner then came up to us and chatted about his time living in Paris and how embarrassing his dog Diamond was while begging for food.
A day later, I finally got the amazing opportunity to go to the Louvre Museum. For those of you who do not know this museum, it is also known as The Louv or the home of the famous painting The Mona Lisa. Of course there was a sort of hype about going to see The Mona Lisa but there was also so much more to experience in going. Tickets were booked for three o’clock, but we were already downtown Paris; What is a man supposed to do? Food.
We went to an Italian restaurant just outside of the main Louv center. It had a nice out door aesthetic and the menu was in partial English. We went right on in. I am really happy we decided on this restaurant for two reasons: the servers were English speakers and escargot was on the menu. For those who do not know what escargot is, it is snails. Eating snails might be the second most monumental activity you could do in Paris next to visiting the Eiffel Tower. Now, it sounds gross… eating snails, but it is just something I had to do while in Paris, or at least that is what I am told. The restaurant puts a creamy pesto sauce on the meat of the snail. You fork the snail out of the shell, smack it on some bread, and down it goes. I actually did not mind the escargot and would potentially do it again. Once you get over the fact that you are eating a snail, it is actually tasty. I ended my meal off with more pesto pasta; The more pesto the better!
At this point it was about time to go to the Louvre. The museum’s architecture was extremely intricate and there was so much to see. I will say that The Mona Lisa painting is the most overrated piece of art in the entire museum. The security would not let a single person see the painting for more than ten seconds due to the mass crowd of people. My exact thoughts: “this would be a great place to pit pocket someone.” I will attach some other works of art I enjoyed along with Mona behind some janky glass.
To continue our crazy day there was a sort of need to feed into the idea of French luxury shopping. I was so exhausted and could not feel my legs; Perseverance is key. On this day I bought my very first French luxury item from the homeland itself! Thank you to the lovely sales associates of Louis Vuitton Paris for helping me find my third option wallet since they were sold out of so much product. All was fixed when she brought out the champagne. I also took a quick photo opportunity while crossing the road.
On the last day we traveled outside of Paris to tour the Palace of Versailles. There was the most amazing home decorations, art, and outdoor garden. Instead of boring you with words I will show you some pictures instead:
There are some major take aways from my trip to Paris:
1.) Be so careful of pit-pocketers. If you notice I have a fanny pack across my chest in every single picture; There is a reason! I wanted to be able to have everything in front of my face where I could see everything.
2.) It is important to travel with people you want to travel with. This is for any trip you go on. It makes it that much more special when experiencing and seeing new things.
3.) Do not be afraid of the language barriers. English is becoming one of the most universal languages next to Chinese and Spanish. Even if you run into someone who doesn’t speak English try to remember those latin root words from your foreign language in high school!
4.)Be a tourist! That is what you are and that is why you are there… embrace it. Go sight seeing, try new foods you would never try, and ask locals questions.
If you are thinking about traveling to Paris I recommend it 10/10. To end the first entry of the quadrilogy I am going share some final pictures that are of my liking:
recreated from post on 5/29/19, itsprobablyrob.blogspot.com