Un Grand Voyage à Paris

This past weekend I went to Paris for the first time. I was able to meet my old roommate, Kevin again, who now works and lives in Paris. I got to explore and visit a lot of the famous landmark in Paris as well. The city was so full of history. Paris was a lot more beautiful than I expected and I ended up loving it there, almost wishing I could live there. I also find it amazing how much French I could understand and learn, despite taking my last French class 4 years ago.

The morning I arrived in Paris it was very cloudy and cold. My first thought was how I didn’t leave Dublin only to experience the same weather in Paris. I was a tad under dress but the weather eventually started to clear up slowly. Once I got on the metro I immediately realized how incredibly touristy it was. I had to wait in line for about 20 minutes just to get a ticket for the train. Even the train itself was incredibly packed, which I soon realized it was because that metro line leads to about all the famous landmarks you can think of in Paris.

I then headed to L’hotel de Ville, to meet up with Kevin for lunch. It was so strange seeing him again after almost an entire year. After some catching up I realized it felt like there wasn’t ever a year in between us. We were the still the same people but now in different stages of our lives. I was kind of proud of him for living his dream of moving to Paris, and was pretty successful with it. After that, he had to head back to work and I went on to explore the outside of the Louvre and Tuileries, and Notre Dame. Notre Dame was a lot smaller on the outside than I expected but the inside was still gorgeous. I was able to attend a service and I stayed there until I had to meet up with Kevin for dinner.

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Notre Dame

After dinner we walked along the streets of Paris towards the Eiffel Tower. I noticed how Paris wasn’t as dirty and disgusting as everyone says it is. I thought it was rather beautiful in fact. For a city that has a lot of tourism, it wasn’t so bad. I loved the streets of Paris and the architecture of the buildings. I do understand that the touristy areas are probably more upkeep than anywhere else in the city.

The Eiffel Tower was a lot bigger than I expected. It was amazing when we got up close and I could see how big it really was. I felt so strange that I was there, able to see one of the most famous landmarks in the world. I started to feel the world around me getting bigger and that I was getting smaller. Every hour, once it got dark, the Eiffel Tower would light up in a dazzling display of lights.

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The Eiffel Tower

Next we started making our way back to Kevin’s apartment. He lives in pretty much a one room apartment with a kitchen to the side, with his bathroom not even connected to his apartment. Despite how small it was, it felt very homey and definitely livable for one, or even two persons. It felt really refreshing to see and talk to him, especially since I’ve been away from all my friends for quite a while now. I started realizing how much I had missed him after just talking, and catching up with him. It was strange that it only hit me that I missed after I saw him again. It was really nice and made me wish I could be living in Paris with him.IMG_3724

The next day he took me to a few more landmarks. We went to an area next to the Eiffel Tower so that we could see in full view and take some pictures. Next we headed towards one of the richest district in Paris. That district also had a very famous church called the Sacre Coeur. It stills upon a hill where you can see all of Paris in the distance. In front of it was a park which was understandably filled with tourists, because the view was gorgeous.

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Sacre Coeur

At night, he took me to one of his friend’s birthday party, which was really nice because I got to interact with some French people and learned some more about their culture. I found out that it’s very rude if you don’t directly look at the person you’re talking to.

On Sunday, Kevin had to meet his friend for business, which left me to explore the Louvre Museum. I spent about four hours in the museum, two of which were probably of me just being lost and trying to find the exit. It was all worth it though. I saw a lot of art, mostly statutes. I also saw a lot of artifact and saw a recreation of what Napoleon’s rooms would have looked like. I was also looking for the famous Mona Lisa as well, but after wandering for an hour I discovered that the Mona Lisa was in a totally different wing of the museum, as if it wasn’t already big enough.

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The Louvre

On the other wing, there was a lot more painting, from a lot of different countries. At this point I was pretty tired and wanted to find the Mona Lisa as fast as I could. Seeing the painting in person wasn’t as cool as I expected. I thought it was going to take my breath away or something but instead I didn’t feel much for it. It was really hard to appreciate it and a lot of other art because there were so many people all around. Even after seeing the Mona Lisa, I still got lost just trying to find my way out of the museum.

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The Mona Lisa

I had planned on heading to see the Versailles Palace on Monday, but unfortunately I found out on Monday that it was closed. I spent my last day in Paris appreciating Tuileries again because it was a much more beautiful day out than when I first got there. I sat down in the gardens easing my mind and taking in all the relaxation I could before heading back to Dublin.

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Tuileries

As I headed back, I started reflecting a lot on what visiting Paris made me feel. It made me feel smaller, because it opened up my eyes that the world was still enormously large. It scares me, yet excites me at the same time. I’m scared because I feel so small in such a large world, and I started questioning what I wanted to do with my life in that world. It excites me because now I truly realize how large the worlds are and how many different cultures and countries out there and I want to visit and experience them all. I want to feel free and just be able to travel the world, see new things, experience new things, and live new lives. I wonder how many others must have come to this point in their lives, and felt they needed more out of it.

Until next time, au revoir.

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