Days 13-17: Parisian Adventure

As you may have seen, these posts have taken a bit of time to get through – actually, a little too much time. We have decided to wrap up the final two stops of #EuroTrip2013 in two posts, Paris and Edinburgh, so we can move on and blog about present day. Without further ado: PARIS!

Like Dublin, Paris didn’t really live up to the hype. Not really sure why, maybe it was too touristy? Maybe we just had too much fun with Robby and Stefan in sunny Spain and we weren’t expecting Paris to be so rainy or cold. We both will probably visit again in the future, but it didn’t really do much for us. Without dwelling on that, let’s move on to the things that made the longest leg of our trip worth it.

The sights
Duh. The one thing Paris was not short of was beautiful places.
Eiffel Tower sunset
Eiffel Tower at night
View from Eiffel Tower 1
View from Eiffel Tower 2

The Pantheon, located conveniently just blocks away from our hostel!

The Pantheon, located conveniently just blocks away from our hostel!


Luxembourg Gardens. It's a park so you know we went here a lot

Luxembourg Gardens. It’s a park so you know we went here a lot


Scare Coeur from a distance

Scare Coeur from a distance


The Louvre looked pretty cool from the outside. Don't ask us about inside though ;)

The Louvre looked pretty cool from the outside. Don’t ask us about inside though 😉


Seine at sunset

Seine at sunset

The people
Since we stayed in Paris for 5 days, we were really able to meet and hang out with the people in our hostel for an extended period of time.
Evan, a fashion design student in Ohio, was staying in Paris for 2 weeks and was our wine, bread, and cheese buddy.
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We also made friends with Abi’s hostel roommate Charlotte, a rare German/New Zealand mix who took a hike up the Eiffel Tower with us (birds not included in the price of admission…but that’s probably a good thing).
Tower birds

Other than hostel people, Alexa kept pulling acquaintances & friends out of left field so we were never left without a fresh face to show us around the city. Annika, an au pair living in Paris for 2 years who Alexa met on a short trip to Portugal last summer, was our favorite tour guide. Seriously, everywhere she took us was so cool. And she let us grill her about the intricacies of being an au pair, which we found insanely interesting.

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Yohan, the roommate of the Chilean Javiers while they were studying in Pittsburgh, treated us to drinks and crepes one evening and discussed the differences between French and American work culture (which would you prefer: 12 hour works days with 7 weeks time off, or the typical American work schedule?)
Crepes!

Yohan and a glimpse of crepe man!

Yohan and a glimpse of crepe man!

Crepe man. He made fun of the way Abi kept repeating the French pronounciations of Nutella and banana and called us “the Americans” in a loving way. AND he remembered us the next day as we walked by his crepe shop. Made our day.

Make crepe magic

Making crepe magic

The food
Speaking of crepes, Paris definitely gave Spain a run for it’s money when it comes to delicious food. Paninis were so conveniently delicious. Gelato may have been our dessert of choice…multiple times a day. Macarons, obviously. And you haven’t had hot chocolate until you’ve had Angelina’s.
Gelato
Angelina 1
Angelina 2
Pierre Herme macaroons

Overall, five days was a pretty decent amount of time to spend in Paris. We learned that reaching out to the random people you know living somewhere can really make the difference in whether you enjoy a trip or not, even if you’ve only met some of them once. Chances are they’d love to play tour guide for a few hours 🙂

Last stop: Edinburgh!

-Abi & Alexa

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MVM: Unrelated Things

As it’s Monday, I’m required (and elated) to give you new music in Spanish. On the other hand, I have all of these pictures left of Paris that didn’t really fit into one theme or another. Hence, the plan is: Hit “play” on the video and start scrolling (because sadly, there’s no official video for the song) to add some ambiance to your picture viewing, and… Enjoy!

Stairs made of plants. Sure! I thought it was pretty representative of Paris, which doesn’t feel like a city at all since there’s so much green space.

The Seine and Notre Dame (without interruption from the Bread Party this time)

The Bread Party allowed kids to do some extreme biking. Talk about unrelated things…

More boats on the Seine 🙂

This boat was literally just a floating patio. It’s the simple things, you know?

On the Love Lock Bridge – Love in prison?

This is what the metro stop near Erin’s apartment looks like at 6am! I kind of wish we hadn’t gotten to know that, but when in Paris, I guess.

My artistic attempts in Erin’s courtyard

“I have a courtyard! Did you know that? Frolicking in the courtyard!”

Breakfast on the last day – We went to the local bakery for quiche… and then to Starbucks. I called it the French-American special.

Erin and I missed each other’s birthdays, but I visited in the middle of the two, so here was our way of celebrating. Eclair Tower!

Were you aware that the Eiffel Tower really is gorgeous?

Especially when it’s all lit up!

And that concludes the Paris posts! I just got a taste of the city, and loved it. I’d definitely go back, so if anyone wants to check it out, feel free to throw an invitation my way. 😉

– Alexa

… and I Met Some Frenchies

Paris: Day 2-ish

Erin had made some local Frenchy friends through her CEA classes, so we met up with them during my first full day to chat for a bit (in a Starbucks, of all places). After making fun of each other’s accents, sipping tea and coffee, and learning some new phrases, they asked us, “would you want to go to Versailles tomorrow?” Umm… Is that really a question? YES! So here I leave you with pictures of the grandiose richness that makes up the Palace of Versailles.

“Are you sure this is Versailles? I thought it was supposed to be more… golden.”

“Oooooh THERE it is! I found it!”

“Are you sure we’re in France? I’m kind of getting an Asian vibe.”

We called him Hercules.

The best local tour guides we could’ve asked for: Gaëlle and Arthur!

Why aren’t there ever this many chandeliers in my house?

Someone actually slept in THIS?

“And this one’s about one of the times when France kicked some ass.”

How many races have happened down this hallway you think?

Descartes: named ugliest statue in the palace – Winner!

Tourists get made fun of by locals all over the world. 🙂

Versailles for Dummies. Love the translation.

I said that those should be their Halloween costumes this year. Don’t you agree?

We had some issues getting our main tourist pic figured out.

We waited through the whole tour of the palace for the best part: the gardens!

Oh wait, the Garden Nazis wouldn’t let us enjoy nature without paying their fee and saying the right password. So much for that.

I almost wanted to join the emo Frenchy in moping at the statue at the entrance.

Even though we were denied garden access, the palace was gorgeous, and it was such a fun day in general! I still can’t really believe that I managed to see so much in Paris in such a short amount of time, but I have Erin, Gaëlle, and Arthur to thank for that. It always helps to know some locals!

– Alexa

So This One Time, I Went to Paris…

Oh yeah! Paris! Remember that little trip I mentioned? Heh. 😛 This post has been looming over me, mostly because I have so many pictures to choose from. Once I looked through the ones I have, I realized it just wouldn’t be fair to cut them all down to one annoyingly long post, so I’m going to do this a day at a time. Here it goes. (Click on the first picture to flip through!)

Pretty jam-packed day, right? I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was absolutely fantastic. France won me over from the start. That actually means something coming from the girl who used to say that Europe was “too cliché” to want to go see. I mean, I still talk about South America ALL the time, but the few areas of Europe that I’ve seen so far are pretty freaking cool. It deserves the hype. More Paris to come soon!

– Alexa

P.S. – As you can see, I decided to do pictures a little differently than normal because it was easier. Let me know if you hate this format or not so I don’t make anyone angry. There should be no reason to be angry while talking about amazing trips!

MVM: French Reggaeton?

1. I needed to make sure I got up a music video today since last Monday was full of craziness like going to Spanish class for the first time, attempting to buy groceries, etc.
2. This song is representing both my unashamed love for reggaeton along with my trip to Paris this weekend because it totally got played in a bar that I went to with my roommate. The amount of jumping up and down and squealing that went on when the DJ got into his little Latino set was embarrassing but so well deserved. 😛
3. Yes, this is the first artist repeat we’ve had… but come on, Daddy Yankee is worth it.

I’ll write about the trip to France as soon as I get some time to put up all the pictures! After sleeping about 10 hours all weekend and going straight from the airport to Spanish class this morning, I could definitely use a good night’s rest. Prepare yourself for Frenchy fabulousness in the mean time!

– Alexa