On thing that has made me really grateful for my exchange experience is the fact that I am basically living my dream. One of my dreams was to visit the magical city of Paris.
On the 15th of November my childhood dream came true and I stepped foot on the magical land of France.
France was easily the easiest country to enter, but I guess because it is in the Schengen area. I basically waltzed from the airport to the train station without any trouble, which is far cry from what I experienced in England.
Just like Spain I immediately noticed that people in France like to have a good time. It might be a European thing. From the train you can see people drinking and then some train entertainment which I saw a lot during my journey in France.
I arrived at my hostel in the evening and not being the very adventurous one; I decided to only look for a place to have dinner. So I took a walk down the street of my hostel. What I found particularly interesting about the area of Paris where I stayed was how different the streets are. On the side of my hostel it was well-lit, with restaurants and shops. However, on the opposite side of the street, it was so dark and there were homeless people and honestly it was looking really sketchy. I just found that really fascinating. It was like the left Twix was Beverly Hills and the rights Twix was the hood.
Bright and early the next day, I was all set for my Paris adventure.
I decided to book a tour guide so I can get the best of Paris, which was a good plan. The first stop was Montmartre Paris. Coming out of the station you immediately see the “Moulin Rouge” not easy to miss with its blood-red color and the majestic windmill. This one of the few windmills I saw around the Montmartre.
We took a walk around Montmartre, and just like England Paris weather was very gloomy and wet but I loved it. It was really great that our tour guide was a native from Montmartre, she was able to tell us tales about Montmartre and also recommend best places to eat.
We all started hungry and Paris did not fail us. There are so many bakeries around with so much mouth-watering goodness. After filling our stomachs the journey continued.
In contrast to Spain, the Churches in Paris are more of a goth style and less flamboyant. It was nice to really appreciate the beauty in the different styles.
Shakespeare and Company
As a true book lover, I simply could not come to Paris and not visit the Shakespeare and Company. It is a true book lover heaven. It is old but it adds to its sweet charm. I also had to buy a book and you get the option of having a stamp. I will recommend going there.
Notre Dame de Paris
Is it Paris without Notre Dame? Notre Dame is just as majestic as seen in the movies and pictures. I was so fortunate to go in when mass was going on. It was really just an awesome presence with the voices and the majestic architecture, structure and art in the church.
I thought I was blown away by the Notre Dame, boy was I mistaken. The entrance to the Louvre itself is so spectacular. It is gently placed in the middle of the Louvre palace. I went during the evening and the glass triangle structures are lit up. Honestly words cannot explain how magical this place is. The building felt like a time travel capsule to me. I really enjoyed the opportunity to see some of the best arts and pieces of culture from cultures around the world. Yes the Mona Lisa was there, getting all the attention only she can have.
Fun fact; At the basement of the museum, you can see the remains of the original fortress.
Paris has a thing with banks, right bank and left bank. It is really helpful to know them. It makes it easier to get around and actually enjoy the history and complexity of the city.