Okay so I know the title says in 3 days and I’ve listed 4 here, but day 1 and day 4 are half days so it’s really just 3 days okay? Okay great, let’s begin!
My study abroad adventure began in Paris. I arrived in Paris after crying in the Houston airport and crying on the plane ride over. Then I got to my hotel and cried some more. I know, I know, this is such a great way to start this story! (lol not!) But, I was scared and alone and you can read all about that here. After that first day of crying though, I was ready to go!
Boat ride on La Seine
I went to Paris when I was studying abroad. Although I would be spending the semester in Grenoble, France, our orientation (and LOTS of sightseeing) was in Paris. So that Sunday I met everyone in my program, tried to set up my cell phone plan, realized everything was closed on Sunday in France, and went on a boat ride around La Seine. We got to see the sun go down over the city and a sparkling Eiffel Tower on our very first day. After half of us jet-lagged and emotional college students fell asleep on the boat ride, we found some dinner and went back to our hotel to get some sleep.
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This morning we walked to the Notre Dame in the freezing weather. This Texas girl was not prepared to say the least! We went inside the Notre Dame which is absolutely beautiful then we walked up to the top which was absolutely exhausting. The views from the top were spectacular and we even got to see the bell that rings for the clock.
Next, we walked (and shivered) over to Sainte-Chapelle which was equally as gorgeous. Where the Notre Dame is a little more dark, moody, and dramatic, the Sainte-Chapelle is bright, colorful, and airy. Stained glass covered the walls and lit up every room with a rainbow of colors.
After Sainte-Chapelle, we took the bus to the Louvre and grabbed lunch at a cute little café before heading into the museum. Since we only had a few hours at this colossal museum, we took a guided tour to see the most famous/interesting pieces.
Of course, the Mona Lisa was included in this and, as you’ve probably heard, it’s a little disappointing. It’s a small painting and there’s a huge crowd filled with selfie sticks all around it. But, hey, it’s still cool to say you saw it. After we finished our tour of painted and sculpted naked people, my friends and I headed to Montmartre.
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We had already climbed the Notre Dame and walked around half of Paris so why we thought it was a good idea to walk up the hill that is Montmartre I’m still not sure. But, nevertheless, we did it. After getting lost multiple times and having to take breaks from climbing all the stairs, we finally made it to the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur at the very top. The views were, again, pretty spectacular. Next, we headed over to La Maison Rose which is a cute little pink café with green shutters and a green door. It was closed so we took our pictures and went to find the Moulin Rouge. Afterward, we headed back to our hotel for a nap and more orientation.
We headed out to La Créperie des Canettes for dinner. It was super French and super yummy. It was the perfect ending to our first full day in Paris.
We spent the morning at Versailles and honestly I wish we could’ve stayed a little longer. Everything was so ornate and extra and I was LIVING for it! We did an audio tour through the palace which was nice because you get a little bit of history, but you can also skip it if you want. After roaming around the palace, we headed out to the gardens for a little exploring.
After grabbing some lunch, we did a little exploring in the Musée d’Orsay. It’s smaller than the Louvre and much less crowded. My favorite things here were the super dramatic sculptures, like these people were SO extra.
If you’ve ever wanted to drink the chocolate that’s in the middle of a chocolate lava cake, Angelina’s is for you. It has the richest, most decadent, thickest hot chocolate and the most amazing pastries. Plus, the interior is too die for. Like, it’s just that cute. Don’t skip Angelina’s!
Arc de Triomphe
You can’t go to Paris without seeing the Arc de Triomphe, so we headed there next. Naturally, we decided to climb up the entire thing. Once we got to the top (with shaky legs and heavy breathing), we took in all the views. It was dark by now so the Eiffel tower was sparkling in the distance and the city glowed orange from the street lamps and headlights.
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Avenue des Champs-Élysées
We strolled down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and window shopped. It was really cool to see the street come alive at night.
For dinner, we decided on a restaurant near the Eiffel tower called Firmine. I got some pasta and wine and enjoyed the night with my new friends.
We started the morning at the one and only Eiffel Tower. We got there right when it opened so there was practically no one there. You’re never going to believe this, but we once again climbed up hundreds of stairs (670 to be exact) and arrived at the second level of the Eiffel Tower. It was sunny out so we could see really far and it was, yet again, beautiful! We couldn’t go to the very top since it was too windy, so after we took tons of pictures, we headed down.
After the Eiffel Tower, we took the metro to the Catacombs. I was a little skeptical of the Catacombs, but it ended up being the most, well, I’m not really sure the word for it. The coolest experience? Or maybe the creepiest experience? Or maybe the most solemn? Or saddest? Or most interesting? Or maybe all of those things? It’s something I’ve never really experienced before and it’s definitely something I won’t forget. I would highly recommend this if you have the time!
After our day of exploring, we took the train to Grenoble, France where we would be living for the next 4 months.
Have you ever been to Paris? Let me know in the comments below!
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