Saturday, 17 May 2008

J'adore Paris

Paris était meilleur que j'ai désiré.

The first thing I did when I got to Paris (well, besides getting a metro pass) was to buy a mini-baguette (which was not called a baguette) and walk around and eat it.
The hostel that I stayed in, St. Christopher's was the nicest hostel I have ever seen.
It was a new, clean, and funky hotel for young travelers and backpackers.
There was a bar on the ground floor and there were free tours of the city through the hostel!
I met a girl named Peggy from Singapore and a girl named Alana from Sydney, Australia who I ended up spending a lot of time with.

When I walked down the Champs-Elysées and saw the Arc de Triomphe at the end standing proudly with a French flag hanging from the middle, I felt oddly like I was home.
I was able to climb the Eiffel Tower at sunset and then see it light up and sparkle while eating a banana and chocolate crepe at the bottom. The Eiffel Tower was more massive and beautiful than I had expected it to be.

I saw the Pont Neuf bridge, l'Opéra, the building where the French revolution started and many of the places that the Impressionists painted. I went to the Louvre, of course, but I was more excited and impressed with Le Musée D'Orsay, whichholds the largest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world. The Mona Lisa was at the Louvre, and it wasn't that great. If you want to have a conversation with me about that, you can let me know. I did really love the sculpture of Cupid and Psyche and Venus de Mélo was exciting as well.

I did not see the Moulin Rouge, and it really does not bother me. I did see Jim Morrison's grave at Le Cimetiere Pere-Lachaise, but that was a bit of a disappointment, because after a long search for it, it was a small, hidden, and ordinary grave. The cemetery itself was impressive, though, with some of the most unique and creepy graves I have ever seen. The Notre Dame was lovely, but I found it disturbing that after the walk-through, there was an actual merchandise stand in the church. I just don't think that a church and a market should be combined--it seems somewhat sacrilegious and irreverent.

I honestly ate the most unhealthily than I have probably ever in my life. I don't think I had even one actual meal. I ate bread, cheese, pastries, lattes...and one plate of nachos.

The reason I haven't gone into that much detail on this post is because my experience in Paris was beyond words. Cliché, right? I don't care; clichés are often true. It has been one of the most enriching experiences in my life to meet people from all over the world, who are traveling for different and similar reasons, and who have dropped everything to find something new and adventurous. I'm coming to the end of my adventures with only one week left, and I know I will understand things much more clearly in retrospect. But I am sure I've said that several times throughout this blog. I'm sure I'll write a farewell blog, so stay tuned for that.