Paris!!!! I am actually writing this entry a couple weeks late, as we went to Paris three weekends ago. Nonetheless, I had a great time in the City of Lights, taking plenty of great pictures and making lots of great memories.
I decided to go the cheap route traveling there, using my train pass. Instead of paying a supplement to take a direct high speed train from Den Haag to Paris (which takes 3 hours), I ended up taking 4 slow trains taking a total of 8 hours. Needless to say, when we arrived in Paris Nord Station (which is humungous), I was quite relieved.
We arrived in Paris around 530 P.M, set our stuff down in the hostel, and went off to start sight-seeing. First on our list was the Louvre. The outside of the great museum was awesome to look at with fountains, a huge glass pyramid, pretty lights, ornate buildings, etc. The inside didnâ€™t disappoint either. Other than the Vatican Museum in Rome, the Louvre is in my opinion the second best museum I have ever visited.
The corridors or the museum were extremely long and full of great pieces of art. The most famous of course, the Mona Lisa, was one of the first things we saw in the museum. Surprisingly, Da Vinciâ€™s work was not all that large-maybe the size of a family portrait some people have in their home. Even more surprising was the fact that we were allowed to take pictures of it!! We probably spent a good three hours getting lost in the museum, exploring the centuries of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. Afterwards, we just went back to the hostel to rest for the night.
The next day was a lot busier. The first thing we saw was Notre Dame Cathedral. It was basically everything I thought it would be after seeing pictures, learning about in art classes, etc. The size of the building was immaculate. There were flying buttresses everywhere on the exterior. The interior was very dark (it is a Gothic church after all), with the exception of multiple stained glass windows. These windows were so large and had such complex color patterns and designs that words donâ€™t describe it.
Later on in the day, we went to see what I looked forward to the most, the Palace of Versailles. It took about 45 minutes to get there from central Paris, but it was worth it. The hallways and individual rooms were so elaborately decorated. The paintings on the wall were quite interesting, as they depicted numerous battle scenes and famous individuals in European history. The gardens, though, were the best part. Acres upon acres of space were occupied with fountains, flowers, and interesting designs of grass and rock. I really could have just sat on a bench and basked in its beauty for hours.
Lastly, we went to the world famous Eiffel Tower. Luckily, we went at night and were able to see the landmark all lit up. The Eiffel Tower reminded me of the Great Wall of China and the Roman Coliseum; no matter how many times you have seen pictures of it, you still canâ€™t help but have your breath taken away by its splendor. We climbed to the second platform (the third one was closed sadly) and were able to see a panoramic view of all of Paris. It was well worth the climb and the money!!
We didnâ€™t have a lot of time in our last day of Paris (as we had an early afternoon train to catch). We were able to see the Arc de Triomphe, however. I had no idea how large it was until I was standing underneath of it. The monument was quite pretty with very ornate engravings and inscriptions. It is located in a very busy part of the city, as eight major roads converged on this one point. Afterwards, we rushed back to the hostel, grabbed our stuff, and headed back to the train station. Sadly, we missed our train (which is a whole different story), but eventually made it back to Den Haag.
Paris was a really cool city with plenty of awesome things to go see and do. The best part was that I was able to go into all of the sights for a combined 4 euro thanks to my student ID and Dutch residence permit!! I am very thankful for the opportunity to have gone there.
Thanks for reading,