Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Europe trip: Paris I

We took the high speed train to Paris. Sort of. We bought our train tickets a little late and were unable to get a direct train from Amsterdam to Paris. Unfortunately this meant that we had to transfer trains three times. It didn't seem like a big deal at first and then I found myself running late three times sprinting down platforms dragging my 50 pound suitcase up and down staircases, barely making several of the trains. It wasn't until then that I realized that three transfers were in fact, a big deal. I can only imagine what I must have looked like as the train doors began to close on me and my rolling suitcase. I leaped into the train cabin, sweating and breathing heavily. Men pried my big bag from the closing doors.  Tickets and paperwork were waded in my hands, headphones hanging from my ears, and my big purse was filled with ritz bits and girl scout cookies. It was a sight I'm sure. The crazy American girl with too much crap and poor time management skills.

Once we finally arrived in Paris we metro-ed to our hotel. Which can I just say: it was a two minute walk to the Eiffel tower. We were right there. In its shadow. Amazing. The hotel we stayed in was so charming and small. It was in an old row house build to house tower workers while they constructed the tower. The history that oozes from every square inch of this town is amazing.

After checking into the hotel and dropping our bags we hit the street and picked up a small Parisian picnic and made our way to the foot of the Eiffel tower.
 At ground level the tower is hidden by surrounding buildings. It's not uncommon to practically be standing on the Eiffel tower before you see it. This was the case for me. We walked down a street and then another and I still hadn't seen it yet. Then all of a sudden we made another slight turn on the street and BOOM. There it was. More majestic and beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

 Of course you see pictures of this great landmark your whole life and you read about it in books and study it in school and you gain this appreciation for what it is and where it is. But for me there was nothing that I could have seen on a computer screen or read in a book that would compare to seeing the Eiffel tower in real life. It was sort of surreal. No it was very surreal. And really the only word that I could use to describe it is magical. Seeing the Eiffel tower for the first time will be a moment in my life that I will never forget.

We wandered around the tower for a while after we ate and just took it all in. Paris. I was in Paris. Finally. This is real life. *pinch* This is happening. *pinch* THAT'S THE EIFFEL TOWER. *pinch* *pinch* *pinch*
 After our stroll we found the sweetest little pink patisserie and ordered a chocolate eclair, a tiny cheesecake and a chocolate tart. We had a dessert picnic by the river seine.

It was the perfect way to spend my first afternoon in Paris.

The next morning we took a trip to Versailles. The building and the grounds made for some great picture taking opportunities. I guess that should explain the long stream of pictures you're about to scroll through.
I couldn't believe how over the top and extravagant the palace was. The gold, the vastness, the windows, the sculptures, the lake, the hedges. It was all just over the top. And stunning.

 In between the picture taking and strolling around in the hedges I was able to find myself a crepe. Nutella. Creme Chantilly. Basically heaven.

Versailles was the perfect back drop for our classic jumping pictures. The grounds were stunning and it was a beautiful afternoon. 

Next up: our trip to the Louvre and a lovely French meal. 

1 comment:

  1. So freaking cool!! I love that swan! And those jumping pictures are nothing short of epic. EPIC.