I’m sorry I haven’t been posting daily. Day 2 we got to our hotel at about 1 a.m. so I was way too tired. Day 3, we didn’t have the internet password for our hotel.
From the experience of Paris the first night, I was a little bit unsure if I would like the rest of the city. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised with downtown Paris and I’m even a little sad that I had to leave.
We started off our day taking the subway downtown. I really enjoy riding the subway because where I live, there isn’t one. It’s so convenient and a really fast way to get around the city. Once we got downtown, we passed a bunch of shops and bakeries. I got my croissant (hon hon croissant, hon hon baguette). To be honest, it pretty much tasted the same as one I could get in America but hey, it’s the experience that counts.
Our second mode of transportation were boats, Botabus, that went up and down the Seine River. They would stop at all the major sites in Paris where you could hop on or off throughout the day. The short rides were so relaxing and they it was a tour of the city in itself.
The first destination was the world renown Eiffel Tower. I didn’t realize that it was so tall until I stood right next to it. It’s about 301 meters (988 feet) tall. To save some money and have the experience we walked up the stairs to the second level. The second level is about 116 meters (380 feet) up and about 650 staircase steps. It was a not so pleasant reminder of how out of shape I am. After that, we took an elevator all the way to the top. The view was breathtaking, you could see the whole city from there. Of course, after going up the stairs you have to go back down, right? It should be easy, right? At first it was a piece of cake, but then I started to realize how high up I was. Well, when I was in first grade, I fell down a flight of stairs. From what I remember, it was probably around 20 steps. I mean, it was kind of startling but I didn’t know that it would affect me later in life. It must have been a little bit traumatic because every time I go down stairs I am extra cautious, slow, and have to watch my feet so I don’t fall down. I’ve diagnosed myself as climacaphobic (fear of climbing stairs; I didn’t make this word up). Sorry, tangent, other than that the experience was super cool and a great first attraction.
We got lunch at a French restaurant where we ate salmon covered in olive oil with mango pieces sprinkled on top, a side of mashed potatoes, steak, French onion soup, and a baguette sandwich that had egg, tomato, lettuce, onion, and some other things in it (I should have written down the names of the foods in French). For dessert, we tried crème brûlée for the first time. My mother is inspired to get a torch to cook with now. We also had a strawberry-raspberry cheesecake. Yum.
We continued to the Louvre. In my heart, I fangirl-ed so hard. It rekindled my love of architecture from when I was in middle school when it was my dream career. Then I realized that I wasn’t good at drawing and I didn’t like math that much, haha. The whole museum itself was BEAUTIFUL. The high ceilings, intricate designs, staircases, etc. We saw some incredible paintings and ceiling murals. We got to see the small Monna Lisa in the crowd of all the people surrounding it. It’s true, wherever you’re standing she’s looking at you. Pretty cool and kinda creepy. I don’t really appreciate paintings that much, but I do really like 3-D art or statues. The Greek and Egyptian exhibits were some of my favorites. I could have stayed at the Louvre forever if my feet didn’t hurt after walking so much.
We finished off our day in Paris by going to Notre Dame. Again, I was squealing with joy inside as I gazed at the amazing architecture. Such well thought out, beautiful designs made up this cathedral. If I lived in Paris, this would be my number one hang out spot. It’s so relaxing, close to the Seine, and a big area with little bakeries and restaurants all around. To top it off, near the cathedral there was a group of guys who decided to do a impromptu show. It was mostly breakdancing, which gathered a crowd because they were really good. They brought joy to the people around them and brightened the mood. I wish I saw that more in America because it really livens up the city.
That night, we drove two hours to our hotel in Avallon, France on our way to Switzerland.