Sunday, November 27, 2016

Paris, France

>>> Bonjour, Paris <<<

I finally went to Paris. Yes, it's that wonderful.

The Portuguese girls and I took an overnight bus on a Wednesday night, stayed in Paris early Thursday morning to Sunday night, and then took an overnight bus back, which arrived in Strasbourg on a Monday morning. 

When we were getting ready to leave on Wednesday, I was rushing to get to the bus on time (what's new). I had a soccer practice outside of town that ended at 10pm, and the bus was at 11:30pm. I was also rushing because I called my mom to put off packing before I left for my practice... I procrastinate in all areas of life, not just school work. 


We arrived in Paris around 6:30am, and we finally made it to Pedro's residence in Cergy around 7:45am. Exhausted from practice and life in general, I slept completely uninterrupted on the Ouibus (better than Polskibus and comparative to Flixbus). Unfortunately for my friends, they didn't sleep a bit, so when we got to Pedro's we took naps from 8am - 11am before getting up to see the city. I can't say I minded the extra few hours of sleep.

We got into Paris after lunchtime, and enjoyed our first moments in the city although we fought bouts of rain all day, and especially into the evening. 

Special moments in our first day included viewing Paris from the Arc de Triomphe, exploring The Louvre, and wandering down Champs Elysées in the pouring rain. Oh, and it was also extremely exciting to (finally) learn that I am considered a European citizen this year since I'm here on a long-stay VISA, so I can also enjoy free entrance to many tourist attractions just like my European friends!


I was in Paris November 10th - 14th, so I'm struggling to remember the day-by-day the way I would've if it were still fresh in my mind. For this reason I'll follow the trend of my recent travel blog posts to be brief and just share lots of pictures with brief blurbs about the highlights!


We went straight for the Eiffel Tower once we got into the city... And then we went back again at night to go up. I liked that we decided to go up the Eiffel Tower at night since we had already gotten the daytime view of Paris from Arc de Triomphe. Francisca has another friend from Lisbon who studies on exchange in Paris this semester, and on Friday we met up with him at 'Jardin du Luxembourg' or Luxembourg Garden. He said it was one of his favorite places in Paris, and I understand why. It's just beautiful. 
Hanging my CBA hat on an amazing trip to Paris.
I swear I have friends that aren't Portuguese, but they're pretty hard to beat.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Taking A's for effort on this jumping photo attempt.


We went to Palace of Versailles, and oh my goodness. 
Every room was this detailed, and in total the palace was just breathtaking. 
It rained on us, so we didn't enjoy the gardens as much as we would've liked to, however, this really was one of my favorite places I've been since I've started sightseeing throughout Europe. My pictures won't do it justice, but just look up pictures of the palace or take my word for it and visit... Really cool experience.
Kika caught me eating a cookie, but what else do you do while your friends take 10 pictures each?
Joana and I had a solid heal-clicking moment, and then Ana suggested we recreate it here...
I'm super thankful for these friends, and how much fun we always manage to have together. 
My favorites pre-pouring rain. (Thanks to the random international students visiting from Barcelona for taking this for us!)

Post pouring rain.

Saturday night and Sunday are blending together in my memory,

but we did a bunch of fun stuff like exploring Montmartre where we enjoyed a fab cafe called Pain Pain where they took extra care to make sure I was happy with my café au lait. We also enjoyed visiting Sacré-Cœur, and seeing the view of the city from another perspective. Somewhere in this time we also enjoyed crêpes from a random downtown crêperie, tried macaroons from Ladurée, and wandered through insanely priced mall shops. We also saw Paris's Opera House at night, and it was beautiful. The weather continued to be uncooperative with us, but at some point we just embraced the soggy shoes and ruined hair. Overall, we had such an amazing time, and possibly the best part was how inexpensive the trip was. On top of free accomodation, we made number of our dinners at home which was both fun and clutch for budgets. 

That's a wrap. 

I'll be back in Paris in a month and a day with best friends from home, so let me know if it seems like I missed anything special!

Love, Jules
"Wander with wonder and the whole world becomes home."

P.S. I'm still overjoyed to be here in Strasbourg, but this week was definitely the first time I've genuinely missed home. 

Springboro home. 
Bowling Green home. 
Ann Arbor home.  

My American friends and I discussed how between Thanksgiving and football rivalry games this past weekend, it felt weird to be away. 

With that said, a HUGE 'thank you' to my countless friends here; for spending time with me, for wishing me Happy Thanksgiving, or for spending Saturday watching an American football game. 

The holidays are special because of the love that surrounds family and friends when they come together, and my friends showed me that love here in Strasbourg this week whether they realized it or not. 

I have a lot to give thanks for this year. 

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