I just got back from an absolutely wonderful weekend in arguably the most beautiful city in the entire world- Paris. The trip was especially special because I would be staying with fellow Dukie/Alpha Phi Meredith at her host mother's apartment (so not only would I be in Paris, but also an actual Parisian apartment, I thought this was really cool).
Friday: I left Friday mid afternoon, and luckily my flight was on time without any glitches. I arrived in Paris around 6pm. The landing was wonderful, because you fly within a great few of the Eiffel Tower...I was officially in Paris! To make things even better, Meredith was waiting for me the moment I got off the plane. We then hoped on a bus and made our way to central Paris. The first thing we did was go to her apartment to drop of my bags. She has the most adorable apartment, and has quite a spacious room to herself. Not a bad deal. We then decided to get dinner at an Italian restaurant called "Little Italy." It was great to catch up over some French wine and delicious spaghetti bolognese. I loved being in an amazing little restaurant, as people spoke French around me (I think it is the most beautiful language). After gaining ten pounds, we decided to walk back to her neighborhood. Along the way I soaked up the beauty of Paris, before arriving at an AMAZING crepe place called Crepes du Marche (french must have food number one). It simply sells crepes with just about every topping you can imagine. Plus, Paris is the crepe capital of the world, and therefore = DELICIOUS. I can't even begin to tell you how tasty it was (I got an orange crepe, which according to a reliable source is the original flavor). We then decided to go back to the apartment to relax, because the next couple of days were to be very packed.
Saturday: We woke up around 9:30 so we could get in a full day. However, the first thing I did was meet Meredith's extremely nice and kind host mother. I was quickly greeted with cheek kisses and a hug. As a treat I had brought Greek Christmas pastries, although sadly they got a bit smashed on the plane. Luckily, her host mother seemed to like them nonetheless (at least from what I could tell, she obviously spoke in French). For breakfast we went to a local bakery and got chocolate croissants, amazing! Our first stop of the day was the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery, arguably the most famous cemetery in the entire world. It was a perfect day to visit a cemetary because the sky was a bit grey and there was a fairly strong wind, also the leaves were changing colors and gracefully falling on the ground. We visited the graves of Victor Hugo, Chopin, Jim Morrison, Gertrude Stein, and Oscar Wilde. It is tradition to kiss the grave of Oscar Wilde for good luck and is therefore entirely covered in kisses. After a beautifully spooky experience, we hoped on the metro and headed towards the Concord area. Our second stop was the elegant tea house Angeline. Being in a tea house filled with women with fur coats, fancy deserts, and waiters in black ties speaking french definitely makes you feel like you are in Paris. I got the most amazing salad of avocado and foie gras (french most have food number two), house tea, and their signature desert. It was just wonderful. Our next stop was the famous Musee d'Orsay, where we met up with Meredith's friend Leslie who goes to Emory. It holds the most incredible collection of impressionist works of art, including some of my favorite Van Goghs and Monets. It is one of those museums where you walk into a room and you are surrounded by famous works of art. It also has the "Whistler's Mother," one of the few American works in the museum. It also had a special exhibit on art nouveau which was really great. As the sun began to set, we walked to St. Chapelle and Notre Dame. Sadly, St. Chapelle was under construction, so it is on the top of my list for my next visit to Paris. After standing beneath some of the most famous buildings in the world, we decided to metro up to the beautiful city of Montemartre (it is the bohemian town where Moulin Rouge takes place, and is on the highest hill in Paris). It is just beautiful. The town is filled with beautiful stores, houses, and cafes. At the very top is the stunning basilica Sacre Coeur. When we walked in, a choir was singing a beautifully haunting song, and the basilica itself is just stunning. It was one of those surreal experiences you will always remember. After soaking up the intricate beauty of the basilica, we walked outside and was greeted by a rowdy crowd listening to a guitarist on the steps. Everyone was drinking and singing along to the music. Since we had a few minutes before dinner, we decided to join in (my favorite were the Bob Marley songs). After a bit of singing, we walked down the hill to dinner. Meredith had decided to take me to a fondue place called Refugee du Fondue, and let me tell you, it was quite the experience. The restaurant only consists of two long tables, so you have to get there to moment it opens or you will have to wait for a very long time. In order to get to the other side of the table you have to hop over because all the tables are touching and you can't get around. Also, it is a set menu in which you get an apertif, fondue, desert, and wine....served in a BABY BOTTLE. Yes, this is true. Also, I was very happy that Molly could meet us for dinner, so that was especially nice. It was probably one of the most entertaining and memorable dining experiences I have had in quite some time. After dinner, we all decided to go bar hoping around the center of Paris. The night resulted in a lot of fun, and was therefore a perfect ending to my first full day in Paris.
Sunday: Was time for me to go to one of my favorite places in the entire world...THE LOUVRE. I woke up around 9:30am, got a chocolate croissant, and was on my way. Meredith had to study for a French test, so I was on my own Louvre adventure. I must say I get so giddy and happy when at the Louvre. I probably took a million pictures of the glass pyramids and the beautiful buildings that make up the Louvre. Honestly, walking through the Louvre at my own pace while listening to my ipod was one of the most enjoyable experiences. I saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Virgin of the Rocks, Nike of Samothrace, tomb of Pillipe Pot, and much much more (will post pictures of the highlights later). I got there around 11:30 and was there until 3, which just about shows you how crazy big it is and how many wonderful works of art is has. My favorite wing by far (there are three), is the Denon wing which holds the Mona Lisa. After dominating the beauty of treasures of the Louvre, I walked through the park towards the Champs d'Elysess to meet Meredith. It was an especially cute walk because the city was getting ready for Christmas by putting up numerous Christmas villages. I smoothly met up with Meredith, and then we were off to the most famous street in Paris. Quite the experience! Filled with top notch shops, famous cafes, and great people watching, and ended with the Arc de Triomphe. For our last stop, we went to the Eiffel Tower, which was perfect because the sun was just starting to set. We sat and enjoyed the beauty of the tower for about an hour. We also looked at the menu for the new fancy fancy restaurant on top of the tower (where an appetizer along is 60 euros). I think the tower is most beautiful at night, because it appears to be glowing in the sky. Simply stunning. We then headed back to Meredith's apartment where we got dinner at a bistro called L'autre Cafe a couple blocks away. I got escargot (third must have French food), and an amazzzzzing cheeseburger, so so good. It was an incredible last dinner in Paris. We then sadly headed back to relax since I had to leave early the next morning to go back to Athens.
Paris was incredible. It really is the most beautiful city, and there is so much to do! Plus, I had an amazing hostess. **photos of Paris to be posted shortly**
This week is a bit busy with a paper and a Greek test, but more importantly Thursday I'm taking the girl I tutor (along with my roomies) to see New Moon! I am beyond excited. yayyy New Moon with Greek subtitles! And this weekend, I'm hosting three Dukies (Meredith, Austin, and Kathryn), so it should be a lovely weekend.
only one month left in Athens....home December 16th.
I miss you all so much.
-comments welcome :)