08.06.2016 - 13.06.2016
Why can I say about Paris that hasn't been said before?? Ugh this place is magical. So far-second favorite city! (Amsterdam still in the lead so far 😻). The wine, the art, the food, the buildings, the food. This place has it all. Love is seriously in the air. The girls are hot and all dress to the nines even to the grocery store. The guys are even more attractive and literally just stepped off a Ralph Lauren photo shoot. These people are classy! They also make out a lot, and everywhere, the land of PDA!
We were non stop in Paris. So much to do and so little time. I drove my poor mother insane and pretty sure one of her ankles had accelerated arthritis by the end due to all the walking. We also battled numerous obstacles including aftermath of flood, a strike of train conductors and garbage men, and also the Eurocup which attracted mobs of drunk loud men. BUT despite all that we had an Incredible time.
Our first day we visited the palace of Versailles, rode bikes around the beautiful gardens and fountains, had a picnic lunch we bought at an outdoor market and toured the palace. It was a perfect day! The grounds are absolutely beautiful with lots of French gardens whose aesthetic is extremely manicured and geometric compared to British gardens which tend to be more natural. The palace sits on over 2000 acres and we biked all over. We saw fountains and farms and even a little peasant village that Marie Antoinette had built for her so she could "dress up and play poor farm girl". We also saw a house that Louis the 18th built just for the lady who organized his mistresses (aka female pimp.) The palace was insane. Unreal. There was gold in every corner and crevice. Half the time I was in awe of how beautiful and the other half I was pretty furious that they were building this when much of the country was living in such poverty and poor economic times. Cue the French Revolution.
The following day we continued our marathon and tackled and Louvre, Notre Dame, and climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. We both really loved the Louvre! Yes we saw the Mona Lisa which was pretty anti climactic but check we did it. Our favorites were the Egyptian antiquities with sculptures, pottery and hieroglyph which date back to 2500 BC! Also the building itself was really beautiful and actually used to be the main royal palace before Versailles was built!
The next day, more walking till our feet hurt, we did a general walking tour of central Paris, learned so much about French history, the bad and the worse, French architecture, and current French culture. We did a second walking tour that night in a part of town called Montmartre which was my favorite part of Paris. It is the birthplace is the French Caberet, including Moulin Rogue, and also where many famous artists built a community including Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. This neighborhood lies on a hill with quaint little narrow streets and beautiful gardens and even a small winery. It also is adjacent to a mini redlight district which I didn't know existed in Paris. We finished our night with a delicious dinner in a cute cafe in Montmartre and headed home. We couldn't say enough about the wine here! In a restaurant a good bottle of red will set you back about $14 and in the grocery store about $5.
Our last day in Paris we started out our day at the Musee D'Orsay, which is a museum converted from an old train station, and today focuses on mainly
Impressionist art. It was a nice experience to see this collection after hearing the stories of the artists the night before. It was nice to have that context of the time and community in which the art was created and why some pieces were controversial for that time. My Mom and I both agreed we preferred this museum over the Louvre. That day was pretty rainy so we relaxed a little and rested our feet and that night took an evening boat tour on the Seine to see the Paris lights at night. The Eiffel Tower at night really is spectacular, call me cliche, but damn it's beautiful. On the hour, they do a light show with sparkling lights and lots of colors and it was just the perfect way to end our time in Paris!