Prologue: This blog post is going to be an arduous read. To quote Jack Kerouac when he spoke of his first novel the Town and the City, “I akin the reading experience to traveling the Nile in a row boat.” I can guarantee that I will ramble, stumble along odd tangents, make poor jokes, and genuinely be annoyingly positive (i.e. the Eiffel Tower AMAZING, Hanna AWESOME, Fontainbleau INCREDIBLE.) So keeping that in mind I will not blame you if you decide to in fact pass this one over. If 5 minutes from now (i’m assuming average reading speed) you are hating me and my shatty writing you are out of luck.
Midterms are OVER. Thank whatever God you believe in and get on the bus we are going to Paris! (yes, you read that right we drove from Salzburg to Paris. DEATH) After an unfortunate 6 am wake up call and an inevitable 4 hour nap we rolled up to our first stop; Ulm. Ulm is the birthplace of Albert Einstein and has a giant church (typical European entity) with the tallest spire in the world. While people were oohing and aahing I was hurriedly scanning for a coffee place. After receiving my necessary jolt we once again boarded the bus (death) and took off to our final destination of the day Metz. Metz was adorable. After dinner at the Ibis a couple of friends and I wandered the city’s small streets, impressive churches, and found a little festival. After sleeping all day on the bus I discovered I was in fact still tired and slept amazingly in my little bed.
Another early morning and bus ride (death) leads the gang to Reims where the wind chill made it feel as if the temperature was -1,000,o00 (I have apparently lost my Alaskan edge). The cathedral was stunning and the streets/shops were once again adorable (repetitive). We then went on a tour of the Tattinger wine cellars. Saw some cool old bottles and had the winemaking process explained to us (Note to self: learn more about wine). We then got have a sampling where I strategically acquired 3 glasses instead of just 1 (brilliant).
We are finally in PARIS. Immediately, Laura Nicole and I head to the Eiffel Tower. Are there words for the Eiffel Tower? It’s huge, it’s glittery, it’s breathtaking, its everything you imagine (so few things are so that’s an astounding feat). I ate the first of what will be many (WAY TO MANY) crepes and Laura and I got accosted by a gross man. HELLO PARIS
Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, The Rodin, Napolean’s Tomb, Arc de Triomphe WHOA.
“Supposedly” Sunday is the day of rest but apparently the catholic church does not believe that this is applicable when in Paris. Naturally, we began our Sunday at Notre Dame and attended mass along with 300+ asians. The mass was in French and I spent the entire hour counting the amount of times the priest began making nondescript gregorian chant sounds. unclear.
Regardless, Notre Dame Cathedral is obviously AMAZING. and COOL, and AWESOME.
We took adorable pictures in front of it
Sidenote: how cute/Parisian is Hanna Bauer?
From Notre Dame we strolled to the most amazing church I have ever seen. Saint Chapelle was literally incredible. There are no words.
Then we strolled to Saint Chapelle. Stop here. I cannot emphasize ENOUGH how incredible this church is. I don’t remember the whole history behind it (consult wikipedia if you’d like) because I was to busy trying to stop my jaw from hitting the floor.
the stained glass is insane. this picture doesn’t even do it justice. After gawking for an obscene amount of time, the Shell and I wandered through the latin quarter and found a delightful Parisian restaurant to have lunch at. It was yummy and delightful conversation then we met back up with everyone else and headed over to Musee Rodin, the first of what would be MANY museums on this trip.
We saw the Thinker which was pretty cool. The Rodin museum had a lot of cool art in it however the thing that encapsulated my full attention and while others wandered the museum I stood right here
and fantasized about how this staircase was an essential aspect of my future home. I have the color scheme all picked out already so I am going to need to start cranking out a trashy book, hey if some dumbo can write 50 shades of grey and make TONS of money I can very easily do the exact same thing. I won’t even build the rest of the house who cares about that. I will have a bed and this staircase and i will be the most happy of all the people. oh and of course a dog.
After the Rodin Museum a small group of us and the ,magical, Frau Loos went to Napolean’s Tomb. completely absurd. I mean really…its a giant GIANT room with a HUGE tomb in the middle…
I was confused by it because I never got the low down on whether his body is actually in it? So I just kept imagining Napolean’s *tiny* decomposing corpse in it. gross.
I hastily departed from that museum? tomb? I don’t know and went on a MAGICAL adventure around Paris with 4 of my favorites
we discovered the most beautiful view with the eiffel tower in the back which apparently is not such a secret considering not just 1 but 5 brides were taking wedding photos there. STUNNING
we then wandered through a super great park where street urchins were playing soccer and flying/fighting? with kites immediately making me begin to talk incessantly about the Kite Runner much to the chagrin of my comrades.
We walked down Champs Elysees which is absurd and packed and has lots and lots and lots of stores. I frankly don’t get why people rave about it…unless you want to drop 5,000 euro on a Louis V handbag after waiting in line for an hour. If thats the case then more power to you and you’d love the Champs Elyseess.
Heres a picture of the Arc de Triomphe:
We got back to our hotel after this via metro and we embarked on what Father Mark declared would be the best part of our Paris trip….(foolish). I put on pajamas kicked back and laughed at everyone who tried to take pictures of Paris while we are driving by in the bus. (equally foolish) So ended our first total day in Paris.
blah blah blah insert post about exhaustion regarding early morning wake up and terrible breakfast buffet with horrid coffee.
We go to Fontainebleauuuuuu. Fontainebleau. The lesser known castle/palace/home? of Napoleon. Versailles tends to get all the attention (more to come) but Fontainebleau is quite nice. Its old, its big, the gardens are absurd and you can SEE where Napoleon? Ferdinand? someone’s wife gave birth to some aristocrat of importance. WOW. The furniture is so heinous I wanted to light it on fire but otherwise I found strolling through Fontainebleau quite relaxing and nice. Unlike Schonnbrunn Palace in Vienna I was having no daydreams of my past aristocratic lifestyle here (I am clearly very very very not French esque) and I may or may not have farted in the ballroom. (classy)
After the morning at Fontainbleau we all broke apart and I went to Shakespeare and Co with some comrades. It was beautiful and awesome. and nerdy. all my favorite things. Michelle got so entranced that we lost her oops. Regardless I sat on a bench that Oscar Wilde sat at and bought a copy of Naked lunch (nerd moments abound)
Loved it. We wandered through the latin quarter shopping la la la but I was in nerd book heaven and couldn’t focus on anything.
Laura, Nicole, and I went to meet our friend Michael who was making a special trip to Paris to meet us from Nantes where he is studying abroad for the semester. unfortunately his train got delayed which caused the three of us to wait FOREVER at the world’s stupidest 3 way train/bus junction thing. After waiting a long long time (only for Michael would we wait this long) we went to Sac de la Cour which is not only an AMAZING church but is also where the riff raft of Paris hang out, drink, and look over an INSANE view of Paris
the walk up is long and arduous (much like this blog post) but worth it. the little streets are wonderful and the Paris that you dream about when you think of Paris. I imagine that the Sac de Cour streets are where Audrey Hepburn would hang out cute and very chic.
we get back to our hotel with the intention of going to bed. BUT WAIT. we have a message from Michael he is in Paris and wants to meet us! we get redressed (upon arrival we had immediately taken our bras off) and hit the streets once again to meet Michael once again at the Arc. HAPPINESS
Welcome to Versailles. Where you are hit, pushed, and trampled in a vicious battle of the fittest to get the best view of Maria Antoinettes bed. MARIA ANTOINETTES BED. THE VERY BED SHE SLEPT IN. AHHHH.
Versailles was what I imagine hell to be like. You are in a maze. You are being pushed in all directions. You are too hot and scared. You try to get your map out and find that it has been taken by someone. You are fighting waves of nausea. You claw your way out of what is the most absurd mansion/prison ever where everything (walls, bed spreads, chairs, floor) is the same very intense pattern that gives you a headache. You are sweating profusely. All you want is a crêpe and a minimally decorated room to sit in.
Here is me before I entered this torturous palace. (which is deceiving by the way because its INSANE from the outside and you are so excited until you realize the hell you have entered.)
Once I made it to the garden I felt better I found a bench I found a Megan and I was able to walk off my anxiety.
But really ultimate happiness was leaving Versailles. I also just realized that these pictures are very deceiving considering there is truly no one in the backgrounds of any of these. DO NOT LET THESE FOOL YOU. I don’t know how this happened considering Ferdinand couldn’t have built a palace/home? big enough to make you not feel claustrophobic with tourists in.
whatever. i’m done with that
we then went to the musee de Marmont which was the cutest museum EVER. and inside of what is now my favorite home I have ever been into. the staircase there was also incredible! we weren’t allowed to take pictures and they were very very strict about it. I think they could sense my intense desire to snap a photo of the staircase as I kept shifting my eyes to the guards and back to the staircase ready to whip my camera out should they choose to look away for a second(they didn’t) and they must have misinterpreted my odd behavior as wanting to steal a painting because I got asked to please move to the next room. NO guard I don’t want a stupid monet. I want that staircase.
Hanna, Erin, Chelsea and I then went thrifting. Awesome. walked to Eiffel Tower again. Awesome.
then went BACK to the Sac de La Cour bought some AWFUL 2 euro wine. gross. and drank wine while looking at the Paris skyline.
life is pretty cool.
So begins the grueling day of museum touring. The Louvre for 3 hours and the Musee de Orsay for 3 hours. I am wearing comfy shoes I am ready to pretend to know things about art.
Venus is cooooool. a powerful chick. she is sexy and awesome and helping to abolish the patriarchy. you go girl. Work that hollow bronze cast.
I also “saw” the Mona Lisa.
I liked the Orsay better. We weren’t allowed to take photographs there but they had a painter there that painted exclusively prostitutes. I thought that was cool and counterculture and cool. (eloquent)
I then went thrifting (again) and bought an awesome cardigan and dug through many bins in hopes of being like the lady from the New York Times that discovered a Hermes scarf for a euro there but we all know that doesn’t happen to normal people. BOO.
I then had what was the greatest dinner EVER with Hanna and we ate typical Parisian food YUM and talked for like 4 hours and I educated her about fish. it was awesome and great and FUN FUN FUN.
We leave Paris and I am sad.
Paris was a good time. Its hard not to have a good time in Paris though. Its a cool city. *shrugs* I now need to run for like days in order to work off all my crepe calories.