Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Paris en Bref

I am finally home sweet home back in London after an absolutely picture perfect trip to Paris. I have to admit I was quite nervous walking out of my flat all by myself, praying that I would be able to meet up with my 4 good friends at our hotel in Paris. I booked a round trip from easyjet thinking it would be a snap, what I didn't realize the airport in London they fly out of is an hour and half out of London. Oops! However, I found the right bus that was similar to a shuttle express and ventured out in to the country side to catch my flight.
My flight was only an hour and a half and I arrived right when it was beginning to become dark out...I headed down to get on a metro out of the airport and into the city. Luckily the Paris metro is almost identical to the London underground so I was able to figure out how to get to the stop right by our hotel. Our hotel was on a really small side street right near the Moulin Rouge--which was only 150 euro a ticket! Guess we wouldn't able to do that...

I had a couple of hours before the rest of the girls got there, so I wandered the cafes nearby and finally found one that wasn't too expensive and still had at least 3 hours till they arrived so I ordered a glass a wine and bruschetta and then a couple more glasses and tiramasu--haha I had a lot of time to kill. I love the fact that Europe has such late dinners around 8pm and even despite the cold weather everyone sits outside the cafes, socializing, eating or even checking email.

Luckily when I got back I just waited a little while and Michelle, Erin, Tenessa and Kathleen had made it back safely! We walked around a bit and then hit the day after such a long day of traveling.

We woke up every morning to a complimentary breakfast of coffee, orange juice, a crossiant and a BAGUETTE! haha I didn't hate this one bit...but it literally baffles everyone still stays so skinny??? Atkins is nonexistent in Paris that is for sure. Awww I also tried a crepe and an eclair--sooo divine!

We did not waste a minute in Paris, we were all so proud of getting up at 8:30 every morning and going out and exploring the city! Despite the rainy weather and a tiny bit of snow we managed to see the Arc De Triumph, walk down the Champ de Elysee straight to the Lourve where we saw the one and only Mona Lisa. We grabbed some bagette sandwichs by a cafe nearby and then went on to see Notre Dame and the Muse de Orsee. I really enjoyed seeing all the impressionist paintings in person after learning so much about them in classes.

Afterwards we decided to head out to the eiffel and be there to see it light up at dusk. Paris is such a low lined city skyline so it's easy to spot the eiffel almost anywhere. We followed it and literally turned a corner and it was just stand there, literally in someones backyard! It was sooo amazing to see it in person because it is so much larger then I imagined, especially standing underneath it--it really is massive!
We spent a while taking hundreds of pictures of it from every angle and then decided to go home for a bit and then come back at night to see it go off with all the different lights!

On Saturday we headed an hour out to see the palace of Versailles which was actually one of my favorite things to see in Europe so far. The architecture in Paris is absolutely stunning, it is so detailed and ornate and I love that every window is adorned with shutters and a wrought iron faux facade style porch! Perfection:)

Versailles was King Louis XIV's and Marie Antoinnette extravagent (to say the least) estate. Inside was filled with his thousands of portraits, sculptures, furniture, books, etc. Versaille literally was never ending, we wandered through easily almost a hundred room all decorated to a T with ornate molding, painted cielings, damask wallpaper and glamourous furniture. This was only the inside!

The gardens can take you 50 minutes on a small car to drive out to the end--its full of fountains, ponds, islands on the ponds, arboretums, coliseums, amphitheaters throughout. You could easily spend a week just wandering through his "back yard". I definitely would love to see it in the spring when everything is in full bloom!

The next day my friends had an earlier flight out so I decided to go explore. The one thing I have been dying to do in Paris was to go to an authentic Parsian flea market, so I headed out to Bastille and was hoping to find the one that was mentioned in my book. I walked several blocks and began to hear a lot of commotion, I walked straight up to the hustling market! They had vintage goods, a farmers market and live music. Not to mention Sunday we woke up to a beautiful, sunny day--I was in heaven. I wandered throughout the different tables filled with old vintage books, clothing, jewerly, antiques, plates--you name it they had it! I found a huge turquoise cocktail ring that I have always had my eye on and I also found a vintage swatch gold watch that has been on my wish list :)

I wandered down several more side streets which just happened to be high end interior boutiques so that was nice eye candy until I reached the center of Bastille and saw another lively market that I checked out. It was bustling with people getting there weekly groceries--meats, cheeses and bread. I love the way they eat here, I definitely could used to this.

I headed back in to town with still some time to kill and sat outside the most picture perfect cafe outside of the Eiffel Tower and had another sandwich and a latte (literally the only meal I had all weekend) and people watched. After my meal I headed over to try and sketch the Eiffel for a bit. I am a bit rusty when it comes to sketching so I figured drawing the infamous Eiffel Tower was a good place to pick up! I was there for a good while before it got really chilly and I wandered back to the Arc de Triumph to catch the metro back to my hotel and get ready to go home. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day to leisurely enjoy the Parisian lifestyle :)

I had no problem heading back to the airport and was so proud of myself for getting around without any problems UNTIL I tried to check in for my flight back to London and realized I had booked it for the NEXT day at 10pm. MINOR DETAIL with a MAJOR PRICE TAG!! Fortunately I was able to get a spot and headed back to London safe and sound.

I can easily say this was one of the best weekends I could have ever asked for, I got to see so many famous Parisian landmarks, artworks and got to experience all of this with some of my greatest friends!

I am so happy I get the opportunity to go back to see Paris in SPRING with my family. It was all I could ask for and more :)

Now I'm back to the daily grind, class and work. I am actually really enjoying my internship, I have been busy on photoshop designing custom rugs and putting together presentation boards for their current cruise line refit. Not too shabby for a 9 to 7 workday...Until then ALL MY LOVE FROM LONDON!

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