So Paris is a real city…
Fellow Americans! Or Brits..or Brazilians..I really don’t know who follows this blog, so I would like to include people of all countries..
Hey friends, so I was just wondering if perhaps you were getting a little bored reading about London. I know as a global city and one of the coolest places in the world basically it can get a little boring, you know?
I was thinking, maybe I could write a little bit about…PARIS?
Okay, since I see no complaints, let’s go.
Saturday morning train rides are great first of all. Barely made my train because I missed my bus, my taxi was late, lost my ticket, and security was long, but guys…that’s the life being me, ya feel? My train ride was great though because #1 This was my first train ride overground and #2 They served breakfast. It was a win-win all around.
Getting into Paris outside the train is such a strange experience. Not only do I not know French, I do not know French and everyone speaks French. Walking aroud Paris is interesting though, all the signs for the undergound metro and street signs are in French, so basically you have no idea where you’re going unless you have Google Maps.
My point here? Learn French for France, who knew.
The first site of the day?! Notre Dame Cathedral, goregous, gorgeous, and oh yeah, gorgeous. Paris was a city rebuilt for beauty and they definitely succeeded.
Who’s seen the Hunchback of Notre Dame the Disney film? I definitely have. This cathedral looks JUST LIKE THE MOVIE. It’s utterly fantastic, Disney really had it together when they made this film. But don’t mind me, just look at the beauty of this building and while you’re at it, go to to the top of it and look at France from an aerial view.
Paris from above? Who doesn’t dig that? And is that the Eiffel Towel in the background? Do you think it’s cooler up closer?
Do you see how happy the Eiffel Tower makes me? I just can’t help but laugh.
But in serious faith, this monument is beautiful. It is tall and big and sturdy…but it’s also a total tourist trap. So many people, everywhere. If you’re looking for a moment to have a peaceful contemplation on life, don’t go to the Eiffel Tower. But if you want a tasteful photo like this and want bragging rights on being at the Eiffel Tower, go to the Eiffel Tower.
But what’s cooler than the Eiffel Tower? The Palace of Versailles.
The place in which the Treaty of Versailles was signed, this place also touristy, but not as bad. The inside was gorgeous, and my personal favorite was the Hall of Mirrors, the room where the treaty was signed. Lovely chandeliers and a wall of mirrors, I couldn’t help but..
Take a mirror selfie.
But then I remembered my reputation and took a legitimate photo.
Then I remembered the world didn’t revolve around me and took a legitimate photo of the chandeliers.
Versailles was amazing, and the chandeliers were on point. A royal chateau, this place was built when Versailles was a common village. Now a touristy, wealthy suburb of Paris, I wonder what Versailles the common village would have been like. I guess it would have been cool living in the center of political power of France but..geez the pressure. But nonetheless this building was and is a symbol of not just beautiful architecture but of absolute monarchy of France.
My time in Paris was pretty lovely, and what made it even lovelier was the food. I only had two meals in Paris and both were fantastic. One, a salmon crepe, and the other a breakfast quiche. I knew I was in love with French food the moment it mixed with my mouth. Cheese is so creamy there, and so much in abundance. Bread is everywhere, croissants are extra buttery and flaky, and wine seems to originate from heaven.
Getting around Paris may be hard since..you know..French, but any hard obstacle we faced, I just ignored because I knew at the end of it, I’d get food.
Which is how we should look at life, really, once you think about it.
The train ride back? A nightmare. Who wants to hear a story?
We arrived early to the train station. We waited in line for security and customs to get back to London for a long, long time. Most of my group of 10 people gets through security, and soon it is just 3 other girls and I waiting. We get our passports stamped, we have 5 minutes until the train leaves, we rush through security and book it to the gate.
You made it on the train! You say with unenthused sarcasm. Big whoop.
With 3 minutes for the train to depart, the attendants closed the gate and forced us to wait for another train coming in 30 minutes. They took our tickets to get us new tickets for the new train. We waited, got some croissants and tried not to be too bitter. (I didn’t succeed.)
The new train came, the attendants started handing out new tickets to the passengers who missed the train. 3 of the other girls got theirs. I did not. Everyone got on the train.
“Where’s my ticket?” I said to the French lady. “I gave you my ticket.”
She looked at me confused, which I have no idea why because she saw me give her my ticket, and said, “Why, I’m sorry, I don’t know.”
UM WHAT. NO THAT’S NOT COOL.
I said, “Look, I gave you my ticket, I have to get on this train, I can’t be stuck in France alone.” I had to go to class friends.
This is my theory. As someone was passing out new tickets, a crazy random lady took my ticket and booked it. I remember this woman staring at me briefly before dashing out the door. Then I thought nothing of it. Now, I can’t help but kick myself for not using those detective skills in the moment.
Back to the French. “Look, I can’t stay here.”
“Sorry,” she said. Then she said, “Guess you have to wait for the next open trains.”
That doesn’t work for me. So I used my nonexistent acting skills and starting performing tears that were very much real. Tears on a 20 year old woman work wonders because the French woman opened up the gate, said, “I’m not supposed to do this but go,” and pushed me into the gate.
#1 What do you mean you’re not supposed to do this? I bought a ticket for that train. If anything you’re obligated to do this.
#2 Don’t push me after I just cried in front of you especially down a ramp.
I ran down the platform, got whistled at by French railway staff because running isn’t allowed on the platform (Why?) and I made it on the train.
“Great!” I thought. “I’ll be home in 2 hours.”
To get to France from London, you have to go under the English Channel in a tunnel. Guess what happens when that gets blocked? Long, long train rides. Guess who that happened to?
4 and 1/2 hours later due to a train blocked in the tunnel, an evacuation of that train, and the actual locomotion of the train (without breakfast), I made it home to London.
It’s okay though. I had an English breakfast, tea and a scone to relieve my stress and dreamt of crepes. Food cures all troubles.
Stress is inevitable. What’s that thing the French say? C’est la vie?
I guess that’s life. But really..learn French for France.
Back to London adventures!