Monday, March 18, 2013

Paris

The first weekend in March, Kaan and I got up Saturday morning, walked down to Gare du Nord and hopped on a bus bound for Paris. 4 hours later we were in a terminal Paris metro station, where we met Chloe, my friend from chop Point.


Chloe has been in Paris about as long as I've been is Brussels, and like me, she spoke French before coming. So, basically, she knew every good place to eat all weekend. If I had to sum up the trip, the 3 lasting memories would be:

3) The food we ate.
Turkish sandwiches, crepes, croissants, falafel, more crepes, Chipotle burritos (!!!), frites, even a steak on Sunday night, it was just generally delicious.
As good as Boca or Anna's? NO! But still great
2) The famous places.

Birds under the Tower
Paris obviously has lots and lots of "sights" so naturally I wanted to see them. Unlike lots of places, where the main tourist attractions are drags, Paris' most famous monuments where excellent. The Eiffel Tower? We hiked it instead of taking the elevator. Champs-Elysees? Waited in line just to check out the Abercrombie store (yeah, the smell is terrible, but the walk through garden and all the gilded ceilings and all was the kind of thing you want to see). Arc de Triomphe? When I was lost, that's where we had arranged to meet. And it worked. Louvre? We didn't go in, but the pyramids looked awesome anyway. The Seine? Beautiful. Etc, etc, etc.

All this could make me think of was the end of The Da Vinci Code

Outside the Louvre

This is typical of the beauty of every single building in Paris
1) The metro.
In no city have I spent as much time underground than I did in 2.5 days in Paris. There are like 18 different lines, and unlike, for example, New York, where the subways run pretty much north-south, the Parisian lines run in any and all directions...except, of course, between where we were and where we wanted to go. And, unlike any sane system, when two Parisian metro lines share a station, you have to walk at least half a mile to get from one to the other. I'm not exaggerating: many of the walkways were so long, they had moving walkways like they have all over Atlanta's airport. We legitimately spent five hours on the metro. Tiring, crowded, dark, and dirty.
Upside: Game of Thrones posters everywhere!



In the end, of course, we had a great trip. Hanging out with Chloe (and her other American friends) was great. For the first time in over a month I had someone to chat with, to compare my experiences, to make fun of Europe with, and most importantly, to talk about Chop Point with. Chloe and a couple friends are gonna try to visit Brussels in April, so now I'm trying to think of ways I can possibly make Belgium as exciting, alive, and fun as Paris. I'll probably just make Marco cook for them and they'll be happy.

The coolest statue we saw, of Charles de Gaulle, had this inscribed on the side
Note: I was a dummy and my camera was out of battery all weekend, so I only took like six pictures. Sorry folks

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