As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the other week in Paris and then Barcelona. Paris was everything I imagined and more, the visit definitely fueled my desire to learn French (after I work on my Spanish more and maybe actually learn enough Chinese to communicate). The streets in Paris are huge and the city is full of trees and water (the Seine and canals), it was all so glamorous and picturesque! When I got to Madrid I thought that it was a big city with so much history, but compared to Paris it is very small and new. On our first day my friend and I looked at a map and figured that we could walk from one point to another in half an hour, however after forty-five minutes of walking we were a little lost and only approximately half way to our destination! Regardless we did end up walking the majority of our stay and I got to see life in the side streets and the quirky character of the neighborhoods. The stereotype of the French seems to be that they are snooty and pretentious; however everyone I met seemed very friendly and kind. Especially kind were the workers of the Boulangeries, which I frequented often. My goal while in Paris was to survive entirely on the fantastic baguettes and pastries, and in truth I came close to realizing this goal. All in all I can only really say that Paris was fantastic and I look forward to visiting the city again some day in the future. Adieu! ~Kai
The Eiffel Tower was my first stop and instead of taking the elevator up I decided to take the stairs, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. As is probably usual, the lines were very long and considering the top was in the clouds I decided to only climb up to the second floor of the three.
Not a bad view of the city if I say so myself. Those of you familiar with Paris might be able to pick out some of the famous buildings and monuments.
The Seine River and La Défense.
Another tower shot.
The Arc de Triomphe, which has to be entered through a tunnel because the giant round is impossible to cross.
Museé Picasso, which was very hard to navigate… It was fun and quirky though!
Notre Dame, which was actually very pretty. There was also a choir singing inside and it was very cool getting the echo singing effect while walking through the gorgeous cathedral.
A street performer at Sacre Coeur. He was very impressive.
The actual cathedral of Sacre Coeur; it sits on top of a giant hill and is incredible both inside and out. The general area was probably my favorite of all of Paris. In the picture if you notice a silver goblin man, he is a street performer that was applying make up and happened to get caught in my picture.
Here’s the view from in front of the cathedral.
I tried to get a good picture of the actual palace of Versailles, but it is incredibly large and it was next to impossible to fit it in one picture. I settled for pretty pictures in the garden and the Trianons. The palace however was impeccable and instilled in me the great desire to live on an enormous property filled with marble, mirrors, and gold.
The Gran Trianon, one of the elaborate houses on the actual grounds of Versailles that the king would live in for a while when he tired of the palace.
One of the many fountains in the gardens.
On the way to the Louvre I bumped into this neat statue and pretty church. With just the right angle they complement each other very nicely.
The Louvre with it’s giant glass pyramids. The Louve was INCREDIBLE! Not only does it contain famous works, such as the Mona Lisa and Venus di Milo, but it has so many pieces of art. My roommate from the hostel told me that if you were to spend 30 seconds looking at each painting in the Louve, it would take you 4 months to see all the paintings. Furthermore I heard that the Louve closes off different sections each day because it is so large and doesn’t have sufficient workers to keep everything open. What is even more is that it has amazing architecture and enormous gardens. Fantastic…