Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Exploring Paris

After 7 days in Taize, we took a 4 hour bus ride to Paris. We arrived in Paris on Sunday in the early evening and spent the rest of the evening walking the steps to Sacré-Coeur, exploring Montmarte, and having a fantastic time.
Because Monday was the only day we were in France where the weather was supposed to be nice, we packed as much in as possible! Our day began walking each dark, steep, winding stair all the way to the very top of Notre Dame!
From there we went to the Louvre. I felt like I was in the Di Vinci Code! Honestly, I'm not a huge art fan and had heard that there is absolutely no way to get through the Louvre in one day, let alone just a few hours. We ate lunch, wandered around a little bit, and sat at Starbucks just long enough to facetime with Wesley and organize the rest of our day! We walked through a park, tried to go to a few places that were closed, snapped a lot of photos, ate food from carts on the street, rode the Metro, had dinner of cheese, bread and wine, and ended our day at the Eifel Tower for a bike tour!

The weather could not have been better. After a week of temperatures in the low 40s (that's the HIGH!) and lots of rain, it was absolutely wonderful to have so much sunshine! The bike tour was incredible and I highly recommend it. After walking what we estimate as about 12 miles, we were all worried about the bike tour. How would our legs manage biking for 3 hours?! Turns out, we had nothing to worry about!

The bike tour was a glorious pace and we got to see so much of Paris. One of the best moments was biking straight through the courtyard at the Louvre and up to the Pyramid just as the sun was setting. This was just one moment where I was so thankful for Better Mom Shots because of the strange lighting situation!
After our bike tour, we ended up on a boat floating up and down the Seine. We got to see the Eifel tower lit up. Absolutely incredible and another moment I was thankful for Better Mom Shots. Because Monica taught me how to use the light meter, how to set ISO for really dark situations, and how to get the shutter speed really fast, I was able to capture this gorgeous shot of the tower mid-twinkle.

After the boat, we got back on the bikes and went to the office to drop the bikes. We then had to walk to the subway and take 2 trains back to the hotel. We arrived home sometime near 1am. It was a VERY long day, but absolutely incredible! The weather couldn't have been better and we really took advantage of the city!

Our second full day in Paris was supposed to be cold and rainy. We opted to take it very easy. We met the group for breakfast in the hotel around 8:30am, but then we went back up to the room. Jarrod rested and I worked. The wifi was actually worked fairly well and I was able to finish up some projects, send some emails, and get a grasp on some things I had going on back at home. I also spent a good bit of time working on a few articles for work about the trip.

We met some friends in the lobby around 10:30am and set out to explore again. One of the places we really wanted to visit was Saint Chappelle. We went twice the day before but the first time the line was too long and the second time we weren't allowed in because we're American.
Yeah, that happened. We made it through security, even though the security guard didn't want to let us in. We weren't really sure why because we were there a full 30 minutes before it closed and a French woman went in after we arrived. We walked through the courtyard to the church and were not allowed in. A French couple behind us were permitted to enter. Even after explaining that we would be just 5 minutes, we weren't allowed in. The woman working the gate was absolutely one of the most rude people I've ever encountered. We were incensed. But then it occurred to me that it's really only the first time I've ever been on the receiving end of prejudice. I suppose I have nothing to complain about.
Our first stop was Saint Chappelle. The line was long and it was raining, but we opted to wait. We had fantastic conversations and got incredibly wet while we waited. By the time we got in, we knew it was well worth the wait!

We spent the rest of the day exploring. The weather was rainy and cold, so we did our best to enjoy ourselves. We visited a few churches, a museum, and wandered the streets of Paris. We ate a nutella crepe and cookies from a bakery. It was romantic, picturesque, and incredibly fun!
We ended our day with dinner as a whole group. It was at this quaint little bistro and we ate in the back room. The brick walls and wood ceiling was gorgeous. Our waiter was wonderful and even offered to snap a few pictures of our group. 
On our way home from the restaurant, I snapped this photo...
This is France and it is gorgeous! This was also taken around 9:30pm or so. It doesn't get dark until much later in France as compared to Dallas! We walked to the subway and took a few trains back to the hotel. Jarrod and I went to our room to finish packing and get to bed. We were asleep sometime after midnight and the alarm was set for 5:30am. Our last night in France was short!

Overall, we had an absolutely incredible time in Paris. We loved traveling the Metro with dear friends, eating incredible food, and exploring beautiful places. Don't worry, I'll be sharing more pictures over the next few weeks. I'll also be sharing other aspects of our travel and things that have nothing to do with France too.
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1 comment:

  1. The pictures are gorgeous!!! This trip seemed fabulous!

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