Monday, September 30, 2013

Friday + {Day Eleven: Paris}

The good news: our taxi arrived on time! The bad news: apparently it was cash-only. We didn't have any cash, of course, because we were leaving the UK for the EU, so after he dropped us off at St. Pancras train station, Gooligan had to run inside and find an ATM to pay the man. Lesson learned for the future: ask ahead of time if taxi cab takes cards. This will be less of a problem from here on out, though, since we're going to be in the EU and dealing with euros for the rest of our trip.

The train to Paris was lovely. Taking the train is a nicer way to travel than flying: less panic over your bag because Eurostar doesn't have weight restrictions, less security, less hassle in general. Once we got on the train and it started moving, our ears popped from the pressure of going underground. In order to get to Paris from London, we went under the channel!

I slept through most of the train ride—which was actually an hour shorter than I thought it would be due to traveling into the next time zone—and when I woke up we were in Paris!

The Paris’s metro system is quite similar to England’s underground, which we had become quite proficient at, so finding the correct stop was relatively easy. Once we were there, we called our host. His brother came to meet us, walked us to our place, gave us our key, and told us to call him if we had any problems.

Since we were ravenous at this point, we Yelped a place to eat and headed off after a few minutes. The place we ate at—Bistro 31—was delicious. It was also filled with almost exclusively French people. The food was perfect. Gooligan and I split a delicious pasta dish.

After eating, we made our way to the Eiffel tower! Sometimes famous tourist attractions don’t live up to the expectation, but the Eiffel tower is amazing. I can’t believe that it only took a little over two years to build; it’s so huge and the idea of people climbing up so high in the air and building this giant metal structure is incredible.

Anyway, we bought tickets to go all the way to the top. For youth (under 26) it was only 13 euros a person. Not a bad deal at all, considering there are several different observation floors and you can walk all the way around the tower on each of them.

It took a lot of time to see the tower, though; we waited in line for several hours collectively, probably, but it was definitely worth it. The view of the skyline was so beautiful. The only shame, of course, is that by viewing it from the Eiffel tower, the Eiffel tower is missing from the view.

We wanted to go up at night originally, but we originally got in line at four and by the time it was getting dark (around 7:30) we were getting hungry and tired. So we stayed through the beginnings of dusk, saw a few lights around the city from the tower, and then came down. By the time we arrived at the bottom, the entire tower itself was lit up. Beautiful. We stopped to use the bathroom and when we came out, there was a rotating light display that made the tower look like it was sparkling.

Then, happy and content, we made our way home, stopping to pick up some wine. When we arrived home, we discovered that the nearest grocery store was around two miles away. Gooligan and I put our shoes back on and headed out again. Luckily being without a car is fine in Paris: we walked a few blocks to the Metro, hopped on one line, got off it about nine minutes later and walked a few blocks to the store! So convenient.

At home, we dined on salami, Brie, baguette, tomatoes, and wine, while swapping stories about how we met our respective partners. A great end to a great day!


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