For anyone that wants a summary of my weekend: Paris was amazing. I packed for an entire weekend in a backpack!! We hit up all of the iconic places, went to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, and even ate dinner in a great restaurant that coincidentally was in the Louvre/overlooked the Louvre.
Saturday: After ending the easiest and most enjoyable 3 credit hour class I have ever taken, we were off to Paris. We left Florence at 6 AM and caught a train to Pisa. The majority of flights are cheaper from there. Loading the plane in Pisa was very unorganized and seemed like a free for all but getting there couldn’t have gone any smoother. We took a cab to the apartment we rented through AirBnB. It was advertised as being a two bedroom apartment. Little did we know that two bedrooms meant one small room with a full size bed and a glass divider with a fotone that folded down into a twin size bed. Things definitely could have been worse though. It was clean and in a great location that overlooked the entire city.
After getting all moved in for the weekend, we started to explore. We took an Uber (which is like a taxi but you can request it from an app on your phone) to the center of the city and got dropped off at Notre Dame. The line to go inside was ridiculous so we opted out. At this point, we were starving. The closest cafe was advertising for their cheeseburgers. Our mouths were watering when they brought out our plates. The fries were cooked to perfection. After I took a bite of my burger, my lunch quickly went down hill. Something didn’t taste quite right. They put cocktail sauce on the burgers…who does that? It’s gross, don’t ever try it.
We then walked around until we found the Louvre. Somehow we convinced the ticket guy to let us in for free because we were students in Italy. I think if you are a student and a citizen of the EU you get in for free so his lack of understanding English helped us out. I wish I had more of an appreciate for all of the great paintings we saw but our mission was to see the Mona Lisa so we did that and then left. There weren’t as many people as I expected crowded around. We were able to get a front row view.
After walking around all day in the rain we were ready to find a place to sit. That place just happened to be Ladurée. We all got their famous macaroons and they were nothing less than amazing. I tried to ship some home but I couldn’t so I had to take one for the team and eat all of the ones I had bought.
Sunday: We woke up and took the metro to navigate our way to Versailles. It rained again all day. Thankfully most of Versailles was inside. If it was spring time and the gardens would have been in bloom, the rain would have ruined the day more. The gardens were huge but under renovation so we didn’t really miss much.
We then went to the Eiffel Tower. It continued to rain so we and grabbed some lunch at Cafe Gustave hoping it would blow over. February 5th is National Nutella Day so we decided to start the celebration early. We got a traditional French brunch with a crepe. Thankfully the rain stopped long enough for us to take an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. My stomach was a little queazy looking down from the top and trying to take pictures. I was terrified one of us was going to drop ours phones over the edge. We hit up the rest of the iconic places like the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées. One of Connie’s friends had provided us a long list of places to eat for dinner. We just randomly picked one and it coincidentally ended up being in a wing of the Louvre. That was definitely a dinner I will never forget.
Monday: We woke up and explored around our apartment before heading to the airport. The flight back was super easy besides our first encounter of rude Europeans. Thankfully we had the evening to recover before classes officially started.
Today felt like forever. My Italian Film and Culture professor struggles with English so that will be interesting. I loved my food and wine pairing class. I’m glad I have a class with zero UNC students so I get the chance to meet new people. This weekend we are off to Budapest and Vienna. Nothing too exciting will happen between now and then so I’ll post again once I get back!