September 12th, 2013

Day 23: Weekend in Paris

For those of you that don’t  know me, you should know that I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Paris! Due to this burning need to explore the world and see all of its beautiful sites, I decided to use my study abroad trip as an excuse to see the beautiful city of Paris, France.

I found two girls at JFRC that wanted to go to Paris with me, so we booked our flights and ventured to a country where neither of us knew the language or anything about the region. Which was scary and thrilling at the same time. Even though this might have seemed a bit spontaneous, we definitely did our research before flying off to Paris for a weekend. One thing that everyone should do before going on any quick trip is PLAN PLAN PLAN!! We first wrote down all of the places that we wanted to see and printed out a map of the city. After figuring out that together we wanted to see about 10 different attraction within a 48 hour time period we knew we had to find a way to travel the city easily and with the little money that we had. We found and bought a Paris Museum Pass (everyone should do this!), it was only 39 Euro and included entrance to over 50 museums and gave us the ability to skip the lines! In the 48 hours we were there we were able to see Notre Dame, the lover’s lock bridge,  the Arc de Triumph, the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, the  Champs-Elysees, and still have time to walk the city. It is in your best interest when you are traveling somewhere for such a short time to really plan out your days. You will have to rush through things, but you will see more in the time you have there.

My favorite place that I went to through out my entire study abroad was in Paris, Notre Dame. I have always wanted to see it and it was the most beautiful piece of architecture that I have ever set my eyes on. Pictures will never do it any justice, but I took about 100 of just the interior and spent about an hour inside just staring at everything and being on the verge of tears because it was so beautiful (I’m kind of an emotional person haha).  My group had to pull me away from it because I was wasting our day staring at every detail… Whoops!

After Notre Dame we ran over the entire city in one day. Putting a lock on the lover’s bridge and throwing the key in the river, running around the Louvre to try to find the Mona Lisa before it closed, walking the Champs-Elysees, climbing to the top of the Arc de Triumph, waiting in line for 3 hours to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower and ending the day with dinner at 1am… Needless to say, it was a long and eventful day, but one of my favorite days of the entire month! The next day we traveled to Versailles and ate macaroons at McDonald’s. Yes, McDonald’s in France has Macaroons and they were delicious! (Most people say to never have fast food when in other countries because it is a waste, but I like seeing the different things on the menus. It’s quite comical) Versailles was beautiful and it probably would have taken us days to be able to see everything, but we were on a tight schedule. Another tip and side note for all of you potential study abroaders out there… Make sure to have a very specific meeting place! We lost one of out girls in the palace and spent 12 hours looking for her and calling the US embassy and not being able to communicate to the French-speaking police… SHE WAS FINE, but we wasted our second day over a little misunderstanding which was a tad upsetting. That being sad, don’t be scared to travel! You can have an amazing, safe time, just make plans and be smart :)

After an amazing/stressful 2 days in Paris we flew back to Rome actually excited to hear Italian (which we could kind of understand) and not French (which we couldn’t understand at all) haha. With only 1 more week in Rome to go, I definitely knew I had to make the most of this last week and was extremely excited for my boyfriend to come visit me in Roma. On to the next adventure! (Also, hope you like the pics)

Ahhhh Paris :)

The beautiful Notre Dame.

On top of the Eiffel Tower!

The Hall of Mirrors.

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