Waunderluster. Art enthusiast. Chef in training. Animal lover.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Arrived in Paris a bit late because of the delayed ferry from Dover. Had enough time to see the little area our hotel was located in. Let's just say it is the kind of place that has a guard in front of it at night. There was a "flea market," that was more like a dodgy area where homeless people sold the stuff they stole from people and where, of you wanted, you could buy one shoe. Just one. I was rooming with Michelle, who was a girl from Mexico I had met on the long coach ride over. We quickly got our things upstairs and went to our first free parisian dinner....at the Turkish place next door. Good thing they had good deals on wine. We hoped back on our coach after dinner for our guided bus tour. Heres the thing about a lot of Europe and the uk...it doesn't even start to get dark until about 10 pm. It is cray. We went to a lovely cafe for real champagne and escargot! Hoped back on the coach Zac told us all about Napoleon and how Hitler tried to put a German flag on the Eiffel Tower, but it kept blowing off, coining the phrase, "you may have taken France, but you'll never get Paris!" it was a pretty good tour and a nice way to see everything, even as late as it was, but I was not too sad to head back to the hotel for some much needed shut eye.
We got to sleep in A little the next morning and had some breakfast, getting ready for our day at Versailles and free day. Versailles was so beautiful but the wait was far over an hour long and we ony had 1 1/2 hours there so after considering doing a walking tour, we took some pics and headed to the metro station to venture out! Before we left, Emma and I decided to take some pics through the gates and (this was her bloody idea!) she decided to step on te bench in front of it for a better view. I followed. We immediately heard a loud,echoing whistle, and a creepy tall guard slowly crept through the long line of people, in the middle of the square toward us. He proclaimed in front of everyone, (in a condescending French accent) " if you can't respect this place, you will be thrown out!". So we decided to leave, quickly. We all wanted to get some shopping done, but also see some sights so we walked to the main street without any real issues, deciding to shop up one side, ending at the Arc de Triomph (planning on climbing it), and then shopping down the other side. I found Laduree macaroons place and luckily, since Lauren had already raved about them so much in London, suggested everyone get one. Good call on my part because everyone was very satisfied. I had been told, for the first time in the morning, that for a lot of the churches, including Notre Dame and the Vatican, that ladies needed to dress in church dress, aka shoulders and knees covered. That the mission of the shopping trip, plus nail clippers, foundation and a few other items I quickly found I needed. I found a dress at a random store and we all headed over to the . It was really beautiful and completely different from the one in the village. We took a lot of pics, including "jumping" pics and headed over. After buying my ticket, we ran into a few other of our contikians and decided it would be good to take a group pic. While I was trying to gather people, I absolutely body checked this female police officer,that I swear was a second from slapping and arresting me! What was worst was that she was the one taking the picture, so needless to say, I was cut out. That's 0-2 for Megan vs French officials. We walked the arc which seemed to never stop with the stairs ad they spiraled up forever. I could barely catch my breath! The view was absolutely worth it. There was a little haze over the city from a little smog and a lot of rain clouds creeping in. We all did our pictures of holding the Eiffel tower by the tip or in our hand, gazed over the city and headed out. I picked up a painting that I got down to 35€ from 60€ in the tunnel that runs under the streets that connects the arc to the sidewalk. we got some shopping done at H&M that was a first but definitely not last one we would see the trip. We settled on a nice little cafe where I got a delicious baguette sandwich heated up. We headed quickly back to the bus, only to find Zac there waiting to tell us he had changed the time to about an hour later. We were thinking we wanted to go back and after walking to the metro, just as we were buying out tickets, Zoe realized she'd lost her wallet. Crisis mode lead us back to Zac how promptly called H&M, who had it. We decided to just take the bus and it would swing by H&M so she could grab it. Only money was taken but the credit cards were all still there. We got back to the hotel, I opted to stay in the room during the included dinner (at the turkish restaurant again), got ready and we headed into Paris again to go to the Eiffel Tower. We saw the light show :) Scratch one more off the old bucket list...
The next morning a group of us woke up early to go into the Louvre. The metro was easily navigated and we arrived in the louvre, going to a store under it to get our tickets, so we didn't have a long line, as Zac suggested (bomb ass suggestion). I knew pretty quickly I would need to go through the louvre alone to loose myself in the pieces, so I let the crew know I would try and meet up with them at noon outside. I saw the Mona Lisa and only conquered one wing before 12. Headed outside to wait for everyone and when it began raining 20 min later, I gave up on and went on a quest to find the Notre dam myself. I found a lovely cafe where i had a lovely croquet mosiuer and wine (thought it was a glass, happened to be a bottle) while reading my Lourve book I had purchased inside. I got a little tipsy and as I was walking had an encounter with a lady trying to hVe me sign something, blocking my passage an then me realizing, it was because her buddy was trying to open y purse! They ran away before it really set in what had happened! But at least I got out alive. I ran into a few shops and got a new purse because the one I borrowed for Lauren, with my big camera in tow, had begun to cut off circulation in my arm. No time gr Norte dam so I had a leisurely stroll back to the coach pick up. I came up to a bridge, and needed to cross te river anyways when I had my first contact with a "lock" bridge. Apparently this is a really famous one, but I didn't know that going in. There was a gypsy lady playing the accordion and a little sunshine on such a gloomy weather day. As I looked over the locks, my sight was captured by one, looking no different than any of the others, brushed brass plain lock. For some reason I stopped. It read, "mom and dad, we miss you always.". Ft some reason even writing it brings tears to my eyes. I wasn't homesick but it just made me feel like a little kid and how that simple cardinal Bond was so strong. It made me appreciate them and how blessed I am. I went pretty emo on that bridge, not a good place to be emo. Walking along the river, there were many old book sellers and artist and one stood out. I bought a few pieces of art from him for Christina and I thr I absolutely adored. A lady came up to me trying I give me a gold ring, claiming she had found it and it was beautiful like me, but I can't be fooled! Do I have, "pick pocket me please," written across my face?? This was like 2 times in 40 mins! Got back to the hotel and began getting ready for our proper French dinner and Cabarea show. The ride was fun going back in Paris, as I started to really bond with the girls (at this point most people had the "contiki cough," or had somehow lost their voices already so when we sang, "tonight we are young," it sounded miserable and I joke how we should go on America's got talent with barres, striped shirts, and baguettes and sing for them). The dinner was really yummy, I had escargot, duck al orange and dessert. We headed over to the Cabarea which was ok. It was cool seeing the can can but the star of the show looked like a drag queen, lip synced and had a camel toe most of the time. Champagne again was good though :) after the show, we had the opportunity to either take the coach home or go out, and I decided it was too early in the trip to let people see me too drunk, so I headed home. Sleep was good! Got on the coach and said good bye to Paris. Off to the Beaujolais wine region...