I finally experienced Paris- the capital of Francophones. I was a little bit nervous to experience Paris for the first time because it is such a held high destination. I told myself don’t expect too much, and nothing too traditional in French sense-but I was totally wrong. Even with souvenir shops around most corners, the people are still traditional. You will still see regulars at cafes, butchers, or bakeries who are ordering their weekly baguettes. It is the city of love, and I savored every eye contact with every handsome gentleman. (:
My journey starting at 6am on a 3 hour train ride onwards to Paris-I got there at 8:30 am-a decent time to have a full day. First stop was my hostel, to check in and drop off my luggage. I stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn-people I met at the Barcelona hostel suggested this one. I was silly and booked the wrong one (yes there are two in Paris).
The one I wanted was right in the center of Paris-and I booked the one further one out. The positive of this is I broke my fear of figuring out the metro system. The negative of this, the Paris metro is expensive- 1.70 for one ride-although if you plan it right you can connect trains at one stop-and this still counts as one swipe because you never leave the metro station. My advice would be plan on spending way more money than you think because of this metro !!! You will want to use it to get around.
After the hostel I went straight back to the metro and started my day of being a tourist- My second day of Paris was dedicated to shopping 😉
First tourist stop-Le Louvre ! You can take one of the metro lines right to the museum. That metro stop has a little mall inside, and you’re right under the glass pyramid-the iconic symbol for the Louvre. The entree fee for the Louvre was 12 euros, if I had my French social security card from my school, I could have gotten in for free (but the French aren’t so good with that paperwork stuff hehe). There are three sections to the Louvre based on the time period/medium. I wanted to see the Mona Lisa right away, because I knew I would be too anxious if I tried to enjoy any thing before that. It’s pretty easy to find, because you can just follow any group of very obvious tourists looking for the same thing lol. In the same room as the Mona Lisa, right across from her, there is a painting covering the entire wall. I found this a little funny that so many people were amazed by the tiny Mona Lisa, when there is this enormous work of art that is breath taking right in front of it.
I did a little project while I was soaking in some art…Dogs in Le Louvre. Because 99.9% of the time there is a dog in the corner of the painting, so I took a picture of all of the ones I liked lol. (pictures to come)
I really enjoyed my time at the Louvre, but it is true what everyone says, there is no way you can get through it all in one day. I was there for three hours, and I did not see all of it. You sort of get lost and start taking stairs up and down until you reach where you started. By doing this, I am pretty positive I skipped a lot of sections. But I am happy to say I can now name a favorite artist, be a dog art whiz, and say I’ve been in Napoleon’s apartment.
Second tourist stop was the Eiffel tower. On my walk over I stumbled upon the Christmas Market !!! Avignon even has a Christmas market right now. This European way of shopping for your loved ones totally beats America’s electronic and clothing sales. There were lots of crepes, hot win, cheese, and dried sausage. Some of the art goods were Matryoshkas, painted ornaments, jewelry, or scarves. I caught on to the fact that only the food goods are legit in being made in France. I didn’t buy anything thing because I plan on stocking up at the Munich markets. I loved seeing all the decorations though !
So I made it to the Eiffel tower. During my walk over to the Eiffel tower (in one of the richer neighborhoods) it was the time kids got out of school. So I saw all of the caretakers. I thought it was interesting that all of the caretakers were non-French.; some American, Asian, or African women, holding the hand to a little kid with a real fur coat and expensive shoes.
Side note: It was a gloomy day in Paris-which in my opinion is the perfect atmosphere.
After the Eiffel tower I headed onward to the touristy distracts by the Louvre. I fell in love with all of the Christmas decorations.
For dinner I was planning on eating at Gentle Gourmet Cafe (a fancy vegan restaurant) but when I got there they were closed ;( I knocked on the door and they told me it was a private party for Thanksgiving for a vegan meet up. They had no more room for reservations ;( I made a reservation for the next day, but because of the time, and dealing with the metro to get there, and leaving Paris at 7 for Bayeux I didn’t make it. Sarah’s a sad girl. I got a picture of it so that sort of counts ??
That night for Thanksgiving I ate at the hostel-cheap and it’s nice to be around people on holidays. They had a really American bar and restaurant, and all the people who worked there spoke perfect English-but I noticed a lot of them were American or some other nationality other than French. I got a falafel wrap and rum and coke for my Thanksgiving meal lol ! They had the football game on, and were going around pouring shots down people’s throats in celebration lol ! Oh hostels are so fun if you find the right one !
I went straight to bed afterwards-so I could wake up early for a fullish day before I left for Bayeux. I checked out, but luckily I could pay for a locker to store my luggage as I toured around before I left. At 8am I headed to Notre Dame for the mass at 9am. Sadly when I got there, there was no such mass at 9am like online said
;( I still got to tour Notre Dame, which might have been my favorite stop in Paris. The neighborhood it was in was just as gorgeous. I also high enjoy gargoyles because they remind me of my dog.
So now all about my Parisian shopping day ! I researched a few stores I HAD to go to. I few pet store-to find my dog a tres chic collar, vintage stores, and other French/independent stores. The dog pet stores weren’t as special as I hoped-the collars were the type I could buy at Pet’s Mart. The home goods store Merci ceased to exist when trying to find it on the map, so didn’t make it to that ;( I DID MAKE IT TO ONE STORE THAT RULED 😉 KILO SHOP ! It’s a thrift store that sells cloths by the weight ! The clothes are tagged with a color, and that color tells you how much per kilogram. I bought a plaid scarf and plaid long skirt for 30 euros per kilogram-it came to 10 euros !!!!! Score.