“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman
Original plan for the second day in Paris:
-Attend lecture on French foreign policy
-Go to the Musée d’Orsay to see the work of some of my favorite artists: Degas, Monet, and Renoir.
-Have a nice lunch
-Head across the river to spend time in the Lourve before eating dinner there with my seminar group at 6 pm
-Group nighttime boat tour
-Go up the Eiffel Tower
After sitting in a stifling room in the hotel trying to pay attention to a talk on French foreign policy, a few of us took the metro to the Musée d’Orsay and found it after asking multiple people for directions. Thankfully my friends and I are not afraid to ask natives for directions, otherwise we would never get anywhere. This point is especially important later in the day.
The Musee d’Orsay building was originally a train station, so the incredible architecture is a museum within itself. The artwork was equally breathtaking. I bought my first real Europe souvenirs (besides a jar of lactose-free nutella I found in a grocery story in Amsterdam), which included two small prints and a bookmark of Degas’ famous dancers paintings.
My friends wanted to go see Notre Dame, about 20 minutes down the street, before going to the Lourve. I had seen Notre Dame already and really wanted to just continue with my afternoon of museuming, but I went along for the ride anyway.
My friend Lucia and I ended up walking a grueling 20 minutes in the Paris sun past the Lourve thinking it was a different building. We arrived at the Grand Palais and asked a man and woman for directions to the Lourve. Lucky enough, they spoke English and were able to tell us that we had passed it much earlier and directed us to the metro that would take us right into it.
By the time we arrived at the Lourve it was a little after 5:15 p.m. And guess what time they stop selling tickets? 5:15 p.m.
A security guard heard us complaining and pointed to a ticket on the floor. All I wanted to do was see the Mona Lisa, so I ran inside and followed the signs up. It was quite underwhelming, but still cool to see.
We had a three course meal in the cafe at the Lourve then headed over to the river for an evening boat tour.
A delicious appetizer with salad and long noodles with pesto and balsamic
Fish and quinoa
And some fresh fruit cocktail for a non-ice cream eater.
Paris at night is just as beautiful as by day.
The most eventful part of our boat ride down the Seine River was when a newly wed bride standing on a bridge threw her bouquet onto the boat.
By the time we got off the boat I was exhausted and felt like I couldn’t walk any longer, but a trip to Paris is not complete without going to the Eiffel Tower. My dad visited Paris on a business trip a few years back. The only recommendation he had for me was to actually go up the Eiffel Tower because he hadn’t done so.
I couldn’t let him down.
Five minutes after I got into the hotel room, a thunderstorm blew in that could’ve competed with those in South Florida.
My time in Paris was jam packed with sight seeing, exploring, and having lots of fun! J’adore Paris.