Travel Week 1 – Paris, France
Happy Travel Week 1! This week is reserved for ½ of the core courses to travel on their long study tour (my long study tour is in 2 weeks to Greece which I am so excited about!!). Because I have this week off, I decided to fly to Paris to visit my best friends who are studying abroad here…
Friday, February 25
I walked off the plane in Paris with my backpack filled to the brim with clothes for my 10 day journey (life-hack-ish to save money–foregoing clean clothes may not be too much of a life hack though. To each their own). CDG airport is insanely large. I rushed off the plane and followed the crowd to hop onto the train as fast as possible to make it to my friend’s apartment in Montrouge. Luckily, the train was easy to navigate (kind of expensive for a ticket to Paris, though: around 25 euro). After a 45 minute train to metro commute, I arrived at my friend’s apartment. I settled in and we headed off to a cafe for dessert and French wine. The cafe was very French (everything was very French, actually). In fact, it was so French that they did not speak any English. My friend, Sadie, had to order my dessert and wine in French. I also saw a rat mid-dessert. I have concluded that there is some accuracy in Ratatouille. The chocolate lava cake I ordered was worth the rat sighting, though. After we finished an honestly very eventful dessert trip, we headed back to the apartment for bed.
Saturday, February 26
I awoke Saturday morning with the goal of eating crepes. So, Sadie and I headed to La Creperie near the Pantheon for some brunch. (On the metro, I witnessed a baby spitting in his mother’s face. Quite unfortunate, but hilariously entertaining). The food was beautiful and delicious. (Sadie ordered for me in French, again). The Danes are much more English-friendly. Nevertheless, it was a great (and long) brunch. According to my friends studying abroad here, long meals are the French way. Many places I have eaten lunch only have a few waiters working at a relatively large restaurant. After brunch, Sadie and I walked around the city to see the Pantheon, the Notre Dame, and visit Shakespeare & Co. (the iconic English bookstore in Paris–I bought Little Women). Paris is huge (at least compared to Copenhagen). Sadie and I parted ways as I headed to see Versailles. Of course, I got lost on the metro. It was alright, though–French women even asked me for directions somewhere! (I was unable to help them.) I arrived at Versailles approximately 45 minutes late but they still . It was breathtaking– and an incredible experience after studying it in my Royalty in the Land of Equality class at DIS. I was able to walk around and understand much of the history, especially compared to Denmark’s royal history (this enhanced my experience of the museum so much). Post-Versailles, I headed to dinner with some friends and I tried snails. I’m glad I experienced it; will not try again. I also ate fish soup–still not completely sure what was in it, but it tasted alright (very French). I headed back to the apartment after that and ran into a man possibly pickpocketing. (Pickpocketing is very common here–if you come, make sure to protect your belongings, especially phones). I didn’t get pickpocketed, but I’m now freaked out that it is inevitable. To be later confirmed or denied.
Sunday, February 27
I woke up Sunday morning ready to head to one of Paris’ famous weekend markets. I strolled through the small town of Montrouge with Sadie to pick out some fresh fruit, fromage, and baguettes for our picnic later in Luxembourg Gardens. It was wonderful and delicious. After returning to the apartment, we had a lovely nap and then headed to the gardens. I think I must have picked the most perfect days to visit Paris because it was sunny and clear-skied. The picnic was movie-esque–filled with children steering toy boats, pigeons snatching bread, and many Parisians speaking French and soaking up the winter sun. Post-picnic, Sadie and I headed to a classical Tchaikovsky concert (honestly one of the most magical experiences of my life) in a church near the Pantheon. I cried, I smiled, and I felt totally, and completely French. (I even asked the usher if he spoke English in French all by myself!). Sadie and I walked along the Seine as the sun set and headed to the Arc de Triomphe. It felt a bit surreal to finally live out so many movies I had never pictured myself “living out,” which made the experience all that much more wonderful. We wrapped up the day with dinner near the Eiffel Tower.
I can’t wait to keep you all updated on what I do for the rest of this week (and for my upcoming trip to Barcelona in the second half of this week! Stay tuned… )