And the journey continues! France is apparently the most overrated place in Europe but I really enjoyed it.
It was a cool morning. The place we were staying at was close to the Arc de Triomphe so we ventured inside and were given an amazing view of Paris. It made the Eiffel Tower look tiny.
The way up had a lot more stairs than I thought but the view was amazing. We did some more walking and visited Notre Dame and the Saint Chapelle. Both were very elaborate churches done in Gothic style.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped for ice cream, and after eating the food from the vendors we went to the infamous Ladureé; the house of macarons.
This day was a trip to the Palace of Versailles. We had a quick breakfast then walked to the train station. The palace was very detailed, with marble columns and paintings everywhere; even on the ceiling. We also walked through the massive gardens and found the Hameau de la Reine or Marie Antoinette’s hamlet. She was given the very cute retreat, a smaller, simpler version of Versailles with fewer murals. She had expensive taste in designs. It’s amazing how the royal family had all of this, especially their own canal.
After lunch I fell asleep on the train as we headed back to our flat. We finished up leftover cheese and ham for our sandwiches with salad and raspberry juice, then ascended the arc again for a view of Paris by night. The lights and the view were pretty, but I was hoping the Eiffel tower would sparkle as it does in the movies.
The day started with crackers then we jumped on the metro to explore the Louvre.
It was very crowded! All those people taking pictures of the tiny Mona Lisa were ruthless; so if you want a picture, you better be ready to be aggressive and assertive. People push, rest their arms on your shoulder to steady their phones, or use your head as a tripod. Be careful and good luck. The crowds will also test your patience. If you want a good picture of the whole painting you need to wait for families, selfies, and school tour groups to pass. I don’t mean to say that I didn’t enjoy it, just be warned. There were a few more works we saw besides the Mona Lisa like the Cycladic sculptures, the Winged Victory of Samothrace or Nike of Samothrace scuplture, Oath of the Horatii, Liberty Leading the People, and the Seated statue of Gudea.
Another day, another museum…this time we went to the l’Orangerie and the Musée d’Orsay.
At the l’Orangerie and saw Monet’s water lilies as well as other works. The cool colors and fewer tourists made it a much much peaceful environment than the Louvre.
L’Orangerie also features works of other artists such as these mini art gallery rooms and buildings from Maurice Urtrillo’s white period.
Next was the Musée d’Orsay, the museum housed in what used to be a train station. I features mostly impressionist artists such Degas and Van Gogh, and we saw some of the most famous works such as The Gleamers, Luncheon on the Grass, and Two Young Girls at the Piano. There was also a scale model of the opera house.
The final day started with a trip to the Galleries of Lafayette. This place was the most fancy and most expensive mall I’ve ever been too. They have every expensive brands there and the top floor offers a lovely view of Paris.
Before our long ride to the airport we visited the market to buy lunch. The airport is huge and filled with gift shops. Our plane was very crowded and full of a little bit of everyone from everywhere. Some were French on their way to visit the United States, but most were just Americans going home.
Hopefully I’ll be able to travel to Europe again one day because this trip was a lot of fun!
Coming soon: food journal & travel tips
Edited by: Alice