Friday, August 21, 2009

Paris Part I

A lot has happened since the last time I blogged so I am going to break it up into a few different posts. According to my mother long posts are boring and people tend to skim, so I will try to keep them somewhat short, entertaining, and coming as often as possible between packing and other final activities.

Last friday I took my last exam and immediately hopped on a bus to Paris. It was a long time to be on a bus, but luckily I was able to sleep most of the way. I got to Paris at around seven in the morning and after wandering around lost for a little bit I located myself on the map and set off to find Notre Dame. It was about an hour and a half walk, but it was fun to watch the city wake up. I bought a croissant at a small bakery on my way (To be included in YourEuroBasedSon Part IV). Notre Dame was awesome, and I even got to attend a morning mass. The organ in there was incredible, I took a few videos of different things on this trip and may try to upload them in a later post.

After Notre Dame I went to the Louvre. To be honest I really don't like art museums. After about ten minutes all painting start to look the same to me. Call me uncultured, but I had way more fun in the Oxford natural history museum, which is about the size of the Louvre's entry room, with all if its dinosaur bones and shrunken heads than I ever could have had in any art museum. But I figured since I was in Paris I better go see the Mona Lisa, plus I got in for free since I'm a student within the European Union. If had been anything over five Euros, I would have most definitely bought a crepe and a Mona Lisa post card instead. After wandering around for about a half hour I found it, looked at it for a minute then left. I really don't understand all of the hype it receives. The thing is really small, personally the fifty foot painting on the opposite wall that nobody has ever head of was much more impressive.

After the Louvre I walked to the Eiffel Tower. It was much more impressive than I thought it would be. I took a nap in the park in front of it and then climbed up as far as you can go without taking an elevator. I then went to the arc de triomphe, and then walked by Moulin Rouge on my way to the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. The Basilique was by far the best part about Paris in my opinoin. The building is beautiful, the view was awesome, and the ambiance of the place was way cool. There was a guy playing live music, a couple of guys doing tricks with soccer balls that were unreal, and a dance crew right out of some low budget dance moving performing in front of the church.

At the Paris train station we ran into some problems. They told us that all of the night trains to Barcelona were full. We went through several different possible routes with the very unhelpful guy at the ticket counter who was very annoyed at our persistence. There are two train station that are about two minutes apart, one in France and the other in Spain. He kept telling us that there were no reservations left on the train to the Spanish station where you make the connection to Barcelona, but I asked him what about the French station? There happened to be two reservations to there even though it is the same train. Needless to say the train system in France in Spain leaves much to be desired. The train ride was very interesting, but that will have to wait for the next post.

Basilique du Sacre-Coeur

View from where I took a nap

The Louvre

Notre Dame

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