Paris is magical. Aside $4 expressos, skip-the-line site tickets, $15 cocktails, and other expenses it’s well worth living the fairy tale. There’s a time and place to treat yourself studying abroad, and Paris is the place to do it.
Not many people can say they’ve climbed 387 steps to the top of the 800 year old Notre Dame Cathedral, saw all of Paris from the sommet of the Eiffel Tower, or ate escargot for the heck of it. The city of love is a place to really pursue your spontaneity and ask yourself one question – why not? (Or where did that Frenchie get that Nutella crepe?!!)
In the little time that Ian and I spent here, we were able to explore major sites of the city and drooled over Parisian trends. Friday we took the Metro to the Notre Dame Cathedral and climbed 3 flights of tiny medieval steps to the top. The foggy view was insane – the detail of the cathedral’s gargoyles to seeing Paris through a panoramic lens made my heart skip a beat. After, we waited in line to see the inside of the cathedral that was even more surreal. With a little more time and If I didn’t make the mistake of bringing one pair of heeled-boots, we could have spent hours in there admiring hundreds of years old of stain glass and statues.
From the top of Notre Dame we spotted the Sainte Chapelle and decided to head there. Trying to finding places in 30 degrees, without wifi, a map, and especially being in a foreign country is one of the most frustrating things – luckily a sweet French couple noticed us having trouble, led us all the way to the Chapelle and helped us get cheaper tickets to go inside. The inside of the lower level is gorgeous but wasn’t anything compared to the Notre Dame until we walked up a staircase and saw its upper level interior of 13th century stained glass.
After a good hour we parted with our new Parisian friends and took the Metro to the Louvre Museum. When we came out of the Metro station the weather had dropped to freezing and it was snowing. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact I was in Paris and was finally at the Louvre… when it started snowing I really couldn’t believe it. This day I learned my cute pink blazer and high-neck-cut-out-V-neck shirt was not worth the goosebumps.
I’ve read plenty of articles and did my research on Paris – when reviews say you can spend a week in the Louvre, the people aren’t kidding. There’s 3 different entrances that branch off into all kinds of different exhibits. But what we chose to see was amazing and we were able to experience another once-in-a-lifetime moment. We pushed our way through what people from all over the world came to see – Mona Lisa! She’s a lot smaller than I expected, has her own wall, and is locked behind a thick protection of glass. Looking at her is like stepping back in time.
Up until this point of our weekend getaway, I’ve enjoyed every corner of Paris. Some of the most charming things are being able to see the Eiffel Tower peak over the tops of buildings, meeting Parisians that treat you like they’ve known you all their whole life, and seeing people run around with baguettes in their purses and pastries in their hand. People dress to the T, the food is to die for, and you can soak up history after hopping off almost any stop of the Metro. You can seriously do so much here in one day and you just can’t get enough.