Tag Archives: France

Day 23 – Amsterdam to Paris

What. A. Morning.
So after getting back to the hostel at 5 a.m., I decided I would take an hour nap before going to my train. Luckily, I had packed everything before leaving on the pub crawl the night before. So here’s what happened:
I got up at 6:00, with my iPod playing it’s alarm very well. Alright, time to get up, but maybe I’ll just rest a bit longer. I went back to bed. Then suddenly I woke up again. Oh shit, what time is it. I looked at my watch I got in London and it was 7:00. My train left at 6:56. Oh noooooooooo. I had missed my train. It was the only train to Paris that was available so that I could meet up with Mode at a reasonable time. I had no way of contacting him to tell him I had missed the train. Either way, I decided it was a good idea to run to the station anyway. I was very panicked and not thinking straight, so every person I talked to must have thought I was crazy. Anyway, got to the ticket station and told them the situation, and the lady there was very helpful and luckily managed to find me a train that would get me there. Leaving in 8 minutes. So after buying the ticket quickly and rushing to the platform, I managed to get on and we just started moving about 3 minutes later. Whew.

Slowly but surely I got to Paris. Land of baguettes, wine, and cheese (although most of Western Europe is that). After getting out of the station I instantly was confused about where to go to, and spent a good 30 minutes just getting my sense of direction and my concept of the transportation system settled. Eventually figured it out and finally got to the hostel. And look who was waiting for me! Mode! Alright, awesomeness!

We checked in and put our stuff down. We were in this hotel double, which was such a nice change from the things I had been used to. Really nice showers and everything was well taken care of. The beds were also so nice.

Anyhow, we decided it was time to go out into the world. We left to go to a park and got settled. We walked around fairly unguided. We saw the infamous Royal with Cheese (Pulp Fiction). One thing I really liked about Paris is how Napoleon set up the streets so that you could see monuments lined up down them. That was really kind of cool and picturesque. Also, the buildings are enormous. Everything they had there was built on such a larger scale than the rest of Europe it felt like. We sat down and had some slushies. And when we walked to the Louvre (which I still can’t figure out how to pronounce) some guys conned Mode into buying a bracelet that would make him a “Sex Machine” (which then became one of the many inside jokes of the trip). Went to the big Arch thing. That was a big arch thing.

Eventually we decided to go to the Eiffel Tower. And then headed to the Eiffel Tower. And then we headed to the Eiffel Tower. It took a while to get there, but we got there (by foot). This monument which represents Paris was pretty big, and pretty pretty. Although I had never seen a picture of the Eiffel tower looking from below it, which was strange. The whole structure was very ornate and beautiful. We meandered a bit and had some crappy crepes which were too expensive, and then stood in line for the tower. While standing in line the tower started to sparkle like those guys in Dublin told me it would. That was cool for about 5 minutes but then it just was a bit annoying. We finally got on the ride up and walked the steps, waited in a million lines, and got to the top. Very nice, especially since we got there right at sunset, and all of Paris was lighting up. Took a few pictures, chilled for a bit. And then we headed back down.

It was really late and the trains were about to stop, but we managed to get the last train back to our hotel. Lucky us.

Day 24 – Paris

Got up and got Mode up, as the rest of the trip seems like it will be. Mode sleeps a lot longer than I do. Eventually we got out and looked for food on the way to the metro. Found a fruit/vegetable store where I got an orange and Mode got baby tomatoes. Then found a good baguette shop where we got some really great baguettes for cheap. Headed off on the metro to Notre Dame while eating our baguettes.

Walked to Notre Dame, where there was a long but quick moving line to get in. Lots of nice stained glass and very ornate decorations. It was really an in and out experience which didn’t take too long. Afterwards we went over to the Saint Chappelle which was another line, but a whole lot more worth it because you get out of a small stairwell and into this giant room surrounded by stained glass. It was really cool and beautiful, except for the construction going on the altar at the end of the room. Either way it was quite an experience. Pink and blue floors.

After that experience we walked to the Musee d’Orsay but it was closed (can’t remember the reason because it couldn’t have been that late). Anyhow, we walked around some more and found a supermarket to get some food. But the supermarket was weird and wouldn’t let us both go in at the same time so Mode went in and bought some water, fruit juice things, and a six pack of wine (yes, a six pack of wine, but these were small bottles). We went to a bridge nearby to drink the fruit juices, and then went to a park near the Eiffel Tower to start drinking the wine. After chilling there for a bit we went down closer to the Eiffel Tower and had more wine, and then it started raining. I think that night we managed to find a pretty good kebab place to eat dinner. Then just headed back to the hotel after that.

Day 25 – Paris

We got up early to get to the Paris Free Tour at Saint Michel square, which is apparently a big hang out spot. On the way we passed by the fruit shop and the bread shop again. That would make a good routine if we were staying there for longer. Started the free tour and went around seeing all sorts of sights that we would have missed if we didn’t take the tour, but at the same time this tour wasn’t as good as the one in London or Amsterdam because the guy spent more time cracking jokes and going on tangents than actually talking about the city. Not that I didn’t enjoy that, but I felt like a good tour would have an equal amount of both. So we saw the oldest bridge in Paris with strange heads, saw a bunch of palaces and heard about structures of different sorts. Obelisks are everywhere in Europe it seems. Saw some art installations here and there, most of which didn’t make that much sense. After the tour ended we walked to the Musee d’Orsay.

The Musee d’Orsay was set up really interestingly. Lots of natural light, and very open. You didn’t get anything of a claustrophobic stuffy museum sense in there. I also really enjoyed the plethora of statues all over the place. It was very well done and organized, but the only problem was there wasn’t a clear path of viewing. You would go in one room but then have to trek across a couple you’d already seen to get to another exhibit. Most museums are like this (with the exception of the Vatican so far) and that bothers me a bit, but whatever. I got a really cool picture of two people looking at a Van Gogh painting and they were wearing the same colors as the painting.

After the museum we went to go find another supermarket and get some bread, wine and cheese. Then we brought it to the Pont Neuf (something like that) which is a really really awesome bridge where people hang out and eat bread and cheese and wine. We stayed there for a long long time, but it was all so cool. We met a guy named Joe (short for Jonathan), and Mode made friends with one of the Indian guys selling beer on the bridge. We must have stayed there for something like 2 or 3 hours. Then we figured it was getting late and we headed back to the hotel for the final night.