Monday, April 1, 2013

Paris is always a good idea

Hi strangers, I know it's been a while!

I've been so busy with having my Dad and Darci visiting me here in Barcelona and then immediately heading off for spring break. So lets start with the first leg of Spring break, Paris!

After a nice visit with my Dad and Darci we set off on Friday for the weekend in Paris. It was so nice to pick them up at the airport and to see people that I've known for longer than 3 months! I was so ready to show off my new home and to put on my tour guide hat for the first time here.

And now onto Paris...

When we arrived to Paris, the first thing we did, of course, was go see The Eiffel Tower! I'll never forget turning that corner and seeing it for the first time. It was amazing; my jaw dropped!

Afterwards, we grabbed some dinner in a nice restaurant  As we were walking out we realized that the tower was lit up now. So we quickly ran back over to see it. It was even more beautiful than before, at one point it started sparking too!
First day in and Dad's already sporting a bourée 

The next morning, we woke up determined to take on Paris. First stop, The Louvre. While waiting in line to get inside, I kept thinking about The Di Vinci Code movie since they filmed parts of it there. All I can say is wow, The Louvre is ginormous. We spent a good 3 or 4 hours inside and I don't think we covered more than half of it. Once inside, we went straight to see The Mona Lisa because we'd heard that the lines can get very long. It was SO cool to actually see the painting. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was staring at the original Mona Lisa.

Everyone crowded around the little portrait of Mona Lisa

The famous Venus de Milo statue

After the Louvre and lunch, we decided to go check out The Arc d' Triomphe. The only problem was that the exit to The Arc was blocked off. We later found out that it was blocked off because of a gas leak. When we finally made it over there, we found tons of cops everywhere with shields and everything! There were lines of cop cars. Eventually we asked someone what was going on and they said that there was a protest against gay marriage going on. The arc was blocked off from all sides so we couldn't go see it. We decided that it would be best if we left, which was fine with me because I didn't want to be around those kind of people. Later that night, we saw on the news that 300,000 people formed a human chain to protest against the government's approval of gay marriage...
So we headed over to "Lover's Bridge" or what is actually called Pont de Arts. This is where people from all over the world come to put a lock with their name and their lover's name. They then throw the key into the river, symbolizing that they will be together forever. I'd been dying to go to this bridge because I've heard all about it and have seen it all over the internet. The bridge is literally covered in locks. I could have spent the whole day there just reading the locks.

I'm so corny...

Someone must have broken up...
Thats a lot of forevers.
No I don't know them, I just thought it was cute.
After Lover's Bridge, we needed to go check out Notre Damm. Of course though, once we arrived there was a massive crowd surrounding it on all sides with a huge big screen. Apparently, we had come on the 850th anniversary celebration. They had replaced the bells in the towers and today was the bell ceremony where they would ring for the first time. SO COOL, in theory. In reality, we were pinned up against people trying to leave for about an hour and a half and could not move! We did get to hear the bells which was pretty cool considering we get to say that we got to hear them ring for the first time!

The mayor speaking (I think)

Being hunchbacked ;)

Getting in touch with my French side

SO yummy! 
1 of the 5 crepes I had... 
Dad and Darci's new friends

On our last full day we woke up early again and then set out for more adventures. Our first stop was Moulin Rouge! It was really cool to see being a music/ theater kid!

After Moulin Rouge we did some wandering and eventually stumbled upon the art district. It was just literally an entire plaza filled with local artists painting the most beautiful paintings! If they weren't so expensive, I would have bought them all!

After wandering around the streets of Paris for a while, we made our way back over to The Eiffel Tower, only this time we planned to go to the top! It was brutally cold outside so waiting in line to buy tickets wasn't exactly a pleasant experience. In fact waiting in line to buy the tickets, then waiting in line to take the elevator to the first floor and then waiting in line to take the elevator to the summit and then waiting in line to go back down to the first floor and then waiting in line to go back down to the ground were all freezing and not to mention tiring. But, its a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I'm so glad we did it. It was amazing at the top! We even looked down from the way top and saw a bride and groom taking their wedding pictures!

View from the first floor

Elevator ride up to the summit
view from the way top! 

Fun fact: Barcelona was offered The Eiffel Tower before Paris but declined because they thought it was too ugly. 

On our final day, Dad and Darci left early in the morning on a flight back to the states. My flight to meet my friend in Prague for spring break wasn't until 8pm. This means that I had the entire day to myself in Paris -things could be worse. I spent the day exploring, taking pictures and eating all sorts of french sweets.
Playing with my camera settings

Went to check on my lock -still there!

 I had such a great time in Paris, it was definitely the number one place I needed to visit since I was about 10 years old. Although I had always dreamed of being there, I never actually thought I would ever be there. It's so surreal to be visiting all of these places, because in a way it hasn't even hit me.
I loved Paris! It was so beautiful. Despite what people say, I actually thought the Parisians were quite nice. I know that they have a bad reputation of being rude and snobby but for the most part, I witnessed very kind and genuine people. Paris wasn't as romanticized as it may seem in the movies but it was well worth the trip. It was also so nice to be with my Dad and Darci. I've been away from my family for so long now that it was nice to have a little adventure of our own together.

Now onto our next stop of spring break, Prague (stay tuned)!

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