Friday, October 23, 2015

A Weekend in Paris

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Every little girl dreams of Paris from the time she can recite the opening lines of Madeline by heart - "Twelve little girls in two straight lines, and the smallest one - was Madeline."


I spent last weekend (Thursday through Sunday) in Paris, and it was everything I had hoped for and so much more. I think everyone has a different travel style - some people are into structure and planned activities, and some people like to roam. I like to explore, Usually, and wander until I find hidden gems. Paris is perfect for wandering - every nook and cranny is more perfect than the last.

We stayed in a tiny but functional (for four girls on a budget) AirBnB right on the edge of the Montmartre area within walking distance to cafes serving bowls of coffee and warm croissants for breakfast, and very close to a Metro stop. We took the Metro everywhere, from Versailles on Friday to clubs across town later that tight. It's always a wonderful feeling to feel as though you've mastered a new public transportation system, and though I would not say we became masters, we used the heck out of Paris's train lines without any glitches.  

Friday was devoted to touring Versailles, which took slightly over an hour to reach via public transportation. Students - this is important - you can get in for free with your student card! Otherwise, I think admission was almost 20 Euro. The palace was gorgeous, and it was interesting to compare the design and architecture with other royal homes I've been lucky enough to tour (like the Imperial Hofburg Apartments and Schonbrunn in Vienna). We snagged warm baguettes from Coquelicot, cheese, and wine on our way home to snack on and got ready for a night out in Paris. We had an absolute blast.

Despite some slight headaches and exhaustion (Friday night turned into an early morning), we got up on Saturday and had breakfast before heading to the Eiffel Tower. One thing about traveling with three other girls? Photo ops galore. No complaints there. After the Eiffel Tower and lunch at a brasserie, we headed to the St. Paul area to do some shopping in cute little Parisian boutiques. We finished that day absolutely exhausted and went to sleep early.

Sunday we attempted to see the Louvre but were unfortunately kept from entering because of our baggage. We compromised by walking around the grounds and visiting the museum store before walking to a cafe in a neighborhood nearby for a cafe au lait and superb people watching. We caught a glimpse of the Arc d'Triomphe and a quick trip to Zara before taking the Metro back out to Paris-ORLY airport.

I'm spending the majority of this weekend here in Salzburg - we have Monday off, and most of my classmates have chosen to travel. I'm relaxing, working on a paper, and getting organized before taking a one-night solo trip to Munich on Sunday and jetting off to Amsterdam on Friday.

Our trip felt like a lovely balance between touring and wandering and left me wanting more. Paris, I will be back!

Want to read more about my study abroad experience? Check out these posts:

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