Monday, January 26, 2009


Over the weekend I went to Paris with Rachal, Bethany, Beth, Jenny, Amy and Mike, some friends we have met through our USAC program!! Even though it took so much to get there we had such a great time so it was completely worth it!

I will start with our adventure to get to Paris:
Our flight left Friday morning at 7:00 am from Rome, but there isn't a train that would get us to Rome from Viterbo by 7am if we left Friday morning so we had to leave Thursday evening. We left by train Thursday evening at around 8pm it takes about 2 hours to get to Rome by train and ours was 20 min behind schedule! When we arrived in Rome we hoped to catch the last bus to the airport which we were told left at 11:30, however no bus ever showed so we took 2 taxis to the airport. By the time we got to the airport we were starving but everything at the tiny airport we were at had already closed so we ate the almonds I had packed!! We had to sleep in the airport for the night and surprisingly enough we weren't the only ones every seat in the place was taken so we got the floor, and it was freezing! Finally at 4:30am the airport opened and we were able to check in for our flight and get some food... not anything good of course! Then we stood in line to board the plane because when you fly cheap you have to run to your seat if you want to be able to sit together. Once they checked our tickets we all got on a bus, which took us 5 feet to our plane, which we then boarded! When I got on the plane I did not feel good from the lack of sleep and the gross airport food I ate, luckily I fell asleep instantly but was soon woken up due to the fact we were flying through a massive rain storm, it was the bumpiest flight I have ever been on in my life; a few times I thought we were going down for sure! But we made it safe and sound to the Paris airport where we then had to get on another bus for 2 hours to the bus station that is not on the outskirts of Paris. When we arrived it was pouring rain and windy and we had to get two more taxis to take us to our hostel. Once we arrived at our hostel we were so relieved to finally be there :) The first thing we did was get some lunch we went to a cafe down the street and got some real meat, steak, it wasn't as good and the steak we make at home but it was better than the ham in Italy! Then our first sight seeing spot was the Louvre. The building is so amazing; it is the largest thing I have ever seen. It would take months to go through the entire museum, so we decided to check out some main things we saw the Mona Lisa, which is very small by the way, the statue of Venus de Milo, and the apartments of Napoleon III (which were my favorite)! The whole thing was unbelievable, even without all the artwork that is in the Louvre the building could be a monument all on its own the architecture is so beautiful! After the Louvre we went to the Eiffel Tower it was just getting dark so the entire thing was lit up it was gorgeous, if you ever get a chance to see it I recommend seeing it at night! About every 30 min it also starts blinking lights so it looks like it is sparkling! For dinner that night we ate at a restaurant in a boat on the Sienna River right next to the Eiffel Tower so we could see it out the window! Then we checked in at the hostel and crashed early because we were so tired from the long day and we had another long day planned! In the morning we started out early and went back to the Eiffel Tower so we could go up to the top, the ride up the elevator was so scary you can see out all 4 sides and they cram it so full of people that you can barely move! There are 3 levels you can go to and we went to the top one but we also got to stop at the second level and the view from the second level is actually better because there are not wire bars all the way up disrupting the view and from the top you are just to high to get good pictures, so if you ever go don't pay to go to the top just pay for the second level :) After the Eiffel Tower we took the Metro, which we mastered on the first day, to the small island where Notre Dame is. This island was my favorite place in France it was so pretty there were bridges going across the river that flowed in the middle of it and all the buildings were so beautiful and it was not nearly as crowded as the rest of Paris. Notre Dame was absolutely amazing the archi tecture and detail put into the building blew me away! The pictures don't even capture it. Then we went to lunch at a cute cafe where our waiter was hilarious. 5 out of 7 of us all ordered a hamburger which he thought was the greatest thing in the world because we were Americans ordering hamburgers but we all just really wanted some meat while we could get it, and it was GOOD!!! Then we went to the Arc de Triomphe and took lots of good pictures we had a great time!! We walked down the street that is right off the Arc that is known for its high fashion and checked out a few stores but then headed off to Moulin Rouge for some pictures! After we tried to see if the Luxembourg Palace was still open but we missed it so we headed back to the hostel and had some dinner and then went to bed. We had to be up at 5am to get a taxi to the bus station to catch the bus at 5:45 to take us to the airport for our flight that left at 9am! The second flight was much smoother! The travel home went much more smoothly pretty much the only thing that happened was our bus driver who took us from the airport in Rome to the train station got pulled over! Despite all the crazy public transportation we had to get through we had an amazing time and it was well worth all of it!! I didn't get to see everything I wanted so we are planning to go back for a couple days to see The Palace of Versailles, Monets Garden and the Pantheon!

Enjoy the Pictures :)

Sleeping at the airport (night 1)

Waiting for the Metro

The Louvre

Bethany, Rachal, Me, Beth, Mike, Jenny and Amy at the Louvre

The Mona Lisa (you cant get a good picture of it because it is protected by thick glass and you can't get within like 10 feet of it)

Apartments of Napoleon III

Venus de Milo

at the Louvre

Paris at night

The Eiffel Tower all sparkling

Dinner on a boat next to the Eiffel Tower!

View from the top of the Tower

The whole gang!

My Favorite part of Paris the little Island that Notre Dame is on

In front of Notre Dame

Such a beautiful building

The Arc de Triomphe

Moulin Rouge!

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