36 hours in Paris

Paris…. I love you. That is all.

Just kidding! But really, I fell in love with Paris during my short time there this past weekend. I went with my friends Elyse and Jordan from class and it was wonderful. Our flight got delayed on Friday so we didn’t end up landing until midnight. Our plan (when we thought we would land at a more reasonable time) was to take the train into the city to get to our hostel but in the middle of the night when you’re tired and sketched by the fact that CDG lets anyone into a large ares of their airport… you spring for the Uber!

We woke up on Saturday after a few hours of sleep and started a full day in Paris! Copenhagen was my first European city that I have been to so it was exciting to add another to the list! I had seen the Eiffel Tower at night when we drove in but I hadn’t quite felt like I was in Paris yet until we started our day with a crepe and a coffee from a small cafe and a walk there! It was so early that no one was out so i’m not kidding when I say that we had the Eiffel Tower to ourselves. We ate our breakfast and just took in the fact that we were in Paris. Oh, and took just a few photos 😉

Then we hopped on the train to Versailles. Long story short we were supposed to get in free as residents of the EU but the French were not having our Americanness that morning I guess so we paid and spent two hours there. Versailles is huge. Huge. We kept saying, “wait, there’s more?” My favorite part was the hall of mirrors (classic, I know) and the “gardens”. Let me tell you people, when they say gardens they mean nature reserve. When you enter Versailles from the front it seems like it’s just part of a suburban outskirt of Paris but when you go out of the back you can really see how much land still belongs to the castle. It was beautiful!

We then got back on the train, found a hidden french cafe to have lunch in and spent the rest of the afternoon seeing Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe. We saw 5 of Paris’ biggest attractions in one day and man did we feel it by the end. We walked 13 miles and took a crazy amount of steps. My favorite part of the day was during our walk from Notre Dame to the Louvre. I finally truly felt like I was in Paris as we walked along the river and experienced the hustle and bustle of the city. Elyse, Jordan, and I just keep looking at each other and smiling, so excited to be there. I could walk around Paris for days and I know i’ll be back someday to do just that.

After an escape from the riots around the Arc de Triomphe which involved smoking military tanks (Paris is experiencing a little political unrest at the moment) we rested at our hostel and then found a place for dinner. I tried escargot for the first time, loved it! We ended the day by getting a bottle of champagne and watching the Eiffel Tower light show.

Since we packed a lot in to one day on Saturday, we decided to have a slower Sunday. We checked out of our hostel with our bags and took the metro to Notre Dame to find a cafe. Note: half of Paris shuts down on Sundays so you have to search more for places to eat. Once we got off of the metro we decided to wander into a residential-looking area and man did we make the right choice. We stumbled upon a classic Parisian cafe that didn’t even have a name or any signs outside. It had the classic glass-encased terrace outside with plants and space heaters. We walked in to the tiny cafe and the man working there offered to take our bags (we loved him). We sat in that cafe for 2 hours enjoying an amazing breakfast. We decided to put our phones down for the entire time we were eating and just enjoy ourselves. Gosh I will never forget how happy and content I was sitting in that cafe. Jordan, Elyse, and I traveled so well together and can’t wait for our next trip together soon!

On another note, today marks a month of me being here in Copenhagen and I am so beyond grateful for my time here so far. I have met some amazing people, have the best host family I could have ever asked for, and am loving my classes. The sun was shining today and spring is fighting hard to come out! I can’t wait to see what Copenhagen is like once it warms up a little.

Sara

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