Current City: Berlin
OK, I know I haven’t posted an update in a while, but in my defence, the wifi in the hostel I was staying at sucked. Also, I was in Paris. So sue me.
First off, I must say that catching an overnight train is certainly… an experience. Probably not the quietest night I’ve had, but it kind of rocks you to sleep. I’m just chalking it all up to the whole European experience thing.
So Paris was amazing; I think I saw just about everything I wanted to see, and then some. All capped off with an amazing meal with an amazing view (more on that later).
The Paris walking tours are excellent. I would recommend them to any visitors who want to learn about the city from the inside. And there is a lot to learn! Each tour takes about an hour, and they’re free, so at the end you just tip the guide what you think it was worth. I went on three in as many days, and at 10 Euros/tour, it was worth every penny. There wasn’t even anyone else on the tour of the Latin Quarter and the Left Bank (the South side of the Seine), so it was basically a personal tour from a guy named Kevi who lived about a block from where we finished the tour.
Another tip, if you want the best views of Paris at night, skip the Eiffel Tower and catch the Metro out to Tour Montparnasse. Aside from the Eiffel Tower, it’s the tallest structure in the city, to get the lift up to the observation deck on the 56th floor is the same as a ticket to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but the best part is that when you get up there, you not only have the incredible views of Paris at night, but you can get a picture WITH the Eiffel Tower all lit up! You can even take a set of stairs up to the 59th floor (the roof, basically) and get un-obstructed views of the entire city.
Of course you can still do all the regular tourist-stuff (and I did, of course). The Louvre and the Musee d`Orsay, Les Invalides (Napolean`s tomb and the Military School), Notre Dame (did another walking tour of that one), the Sacre Cour (Sacred Heart) and Saint Sulpice Basilicas.
And finally, on my last night in Paris, I found a great little restaurant (and by found, I mean I walked around for about 2 hours scoping out the best place to have dinner). I must say, though, it was 2 hours well spent; to be eating an amazing meal (Ravioli in a white truffle oil cream sauce) and watching the Eiffel Tower light up. As the icing on the cake-of-awesome that was my night, as I was sipping my après-dinner café-au-lait, it hit 8 pm and they turned on the twinkling lights (as they do every hour on the hour). I figured it wasn`t going to get any better than this, finished off the caramel cookie they brought with the coffee, paid my bill, and thanked the waiter for making my night with a nice tip. I don’t think he had any idea what I was talking about. I walked back to the metro with the biggest grin on my face.
I could go on, but, as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words.
|My first night, after arriving from Barcelona|
|Patisserie (baker) in Montmarte|
|La Pyramide du Louvre, a nuit|
|The Mona Lisa, in all of her dimiuative glory (seriously, the painting is tiny..)|
|The tomb of Oscar Wilde in Cemetary Pere Lachaise. I also found Jim Morrison's tomb.|
|The view from Tour Montparnasse|
|OK seriously, there are worse things you could be looking at while eating dinner....|
Please note this is only a small portion of the 1600+ pictures taken thus far.