It has been a while since my last post because I was completely swamped with classes and travel plans (yes, I am receiving a proper education over here).
What an amazing city that exceeded my expectation in every way. Before this trip I was expecting the people to be rude to us as tourists, and to see a city that was charming and romantic. But Paris was much more than that. We interacted with some of the most kind people I’ve ever met who were willing to go out of their way to help us (more on this later). The first day in Paris we headed to the Louvre which was MUCH bigger than expected. The architecture was beautiful and I especially loved seeing the archived Greek and Roman columns because I took a class my sophomore year where we learned about the various styles of Greek and Roman archetecture, specifically with their columns. It was cool to see those concepts in person!
ALSO, as we were walking into The Louvre, we happened to see none other than Kobe Bryant…. we tried to go up to him but his security guard asked us not to follow them (bummer). The funniest part was that the ladies working the ticket station were really confused when we started freaking out about seeing Kobe so we had to explain who he was to us Americans.
After The Louvre we ate dinner at a quaint restaurant, picked up some Milka chocolate at a store and headed to the Eiffel Tower or Torre Eiffel, as the Parisians call it. This is an important detail to know when you’re asking locals for directions otherwise they don’t know what you are talking about.
The Eiffel Tower was SO MUCH BIGGER than I expected it to be.
The next day, we went to the cutest mom & pop’s creperie which we discovered when the old man cooking the crepes hollered at us in Spanish and told us to come inside.
The best crepes of my life!!!! (Clearly my english skills are declining as my spanish improves).
I really do believe you can find some of the best food unexpectedly and at hole-in-the-wall restaurants like this one. It was also unbelievable to me that our waitress spoke spanish, french and english.
We then headed to Montmartre to see an incredible view of the city (we’re still not sure if we made it to Montmartre but we definitely saw some incredible views and a beautiful church).
Next, we headed to the Catedral de Notre Dame which was absolutely incredible as well. We were able to join an english tour of the cathedral and learned about Joan of Arc, the Roman Catholic saint, and the numerous times the Notre Dame had been reconstructed over time (due to politics, war etc).
Our tour guide showed us a part of the cathedral where you can make out a shadow on the wall that looks like none other than Quasimodo! Another fun fact is that Victor Hugo’s novel written in 1829 actually helped save the cathedral since it brought so much attention to its beautiful, Gothic architecture.
We then headed to the river nearest to the Notre Dame and had a picnic with baguettes, cheese and prosciutto. Yummy 🙂
After hanging by the river (and surviving the pouring rain) we meandered over to the Royal Gardens (on accident).
A very nice local walked us all the way to the Arc de Triumph after taking this picture of us (because at this point we had ran out of cell data to look up directions).
We made it up to the top of the arc right as the sun wad setting. It was one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen and I realized how vast of a city Paris really is!
After taking in the incredible views, we literally ran to make our dinner reservation where I ate the BEST meal I’ve ever had in my life.
It was 5 courses and the chef made the plates right in front of our eyes!
Around 10:30pm we arrived at our Airbnb and our magical weekend took a very unexpected turn…. buckle up everyone because this blog post is about to get much longer.
Essentially, when we got back we quickly realized the door to the Airbnb somehow got locked from the inside (and there was no keyhole for that lock). After hours of trying to figure out how to open the door (and no luck with an unresponsive, drunk airbnb host) a locksmith came to the apartment around 1:30am. We were lucky enough to get help from our VERY kind, bilingual neighbors and a hotel concierge from down the street. The locksmith told us we had to get the owner’s permission to literally break down the door (you read that correctly). Pictured below is a pure moment of histeria, lack of sleep, and stress (waiting for hours in the stairwell of the apartment building was quite an experience).
We ended up booking a hotel at 3:30am with the friendly concierge who also gave us free breakfast (I am still in awe at how kind and giving the locals were to us). After a tight 3.5 hours of sleep, we woke up at 7am to get a move on our long day. Nikki and Siri went back to the apartment and knocked on the neighbors’ door one last time. I was worried we would miss our flight and I would miss my test on Monday since our host was still not responding (probably passed out drunk somewhere). The neighbors were extremely helpful and even called their lawyer friends, contacted the fire department to get the door open, and one lady even took time out of her day to translate for Nikki at the police station to file a report (for legal safety). Around noon we finally got into our room and we were on our way! We ended up making our flight after such a stressful night. We thought we would have to sleep on the streets of Paris for a night (not safe by the way).
All in all, Paris treated us very well and I experienced the most kind and helpful people in all of Europe! I feel ignorant for listening to other tourists who claim that all Parisians are rude and unfriendly. I loved Paris and the people in it!
Thank you for staying with me through this long blog post! There will be more coming soon 🙂