The architecture in Paris is prettier than most American cities hands down...probably because most of it has been around longer than our country. It's hard getting along in your second language, but rewarding when you realize you can get along. In some ways, big cities are all alike in that they like to make your life difficult. French creepy men just don't get the hint. The kindness of strangers is a-maz-ing.
So, I've been out of the country for about a week...a little longer. For the most part, I've stayed with a friend of a friend in Paris. It was great because I avoided the touristy hotels and got the grand tour from a girl that has lived in Paris for years. So what did I do?
Well, I poked around and got lost for the most part, haha. But, that's okay. That's why I plan to be here for almost two months.
My first day, I walked around and followed the shadow of the Eiffel Tower until I found it.
The second day, I passed out due to jet lag. One day lost; whatever.
The third day, I went running around the Champ de Mars (the park surrounding the Eiffel Tower), visited the Musee D'Orsay (finally!!) and saw the Sacre Coeur and Montmartre by night.
During the weekend, I relaxed, walked around the markets, le Marche aux Puces (flea market!) and the Catacombes. The Catacombes were eerie to say the least. It was actually my third attempt to see the Catacombes, but I was very pleased to finally see them. See, the first time I attempted the Catacombes was Summer 2005, when I did the summer study abroad program through good ol' SJU. I took the Metro to the site only to realize they were closed on the day of the Fete de la Musique, a city-wide music festival every summer in Paris. My second attempt, just one day before I actually made it (last week), I left too late and they capped the line before I could get to the gate at 4pm. I was disappointed, but I made it the next day in plenty of time. And, though it was super-touristy, I was
to >thisclose< to femurs and skulls from the 18th century, and that's pretty damn cool.
And now? Now, I'm in Nice, on the French Riviera, and loving every moment. I leave tomorrow morning, but I wish I could stay here longer, and I wish it could be summer forever. Updates are soon to come :).