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After the slow day in Lucerne we were off to Paris for two days to see the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa. Before heading off on my trip to Europe I think I had the highest expectations for Paris based mostly on the fact that so many people have an idea of what Paris should be like. With that in mind I thought the best way to introduce myself to the city was to take a riverboat cruise on the Seine at night. The first thing on the itinerary however was dinner. If there is one thing that the French are known for its their food and for the most part it didn’t disappoint. The first course was French onion soup which surprisingly enough tastes better in Paris than it does at Panera. I did notice that the chicken was pretty bland throughout my time in Paris, but who am I to question their cuisine. Finally for desert we had creme brulee, yes I went with the stereotypical French meal b/c is there a better way to fulfill my expectations. So yes the dining experience is what everyone says it is for the most part in fact my biggest regret for the entire trip to Europe was that I didn’t get a chance to get nutella and banana crepes from a street vendor (that sounds much more depressing then I originally thought when I read it back.)

Anyway after dinner we all boarded a boat and took off down the Seine to see Paris at its finest, at night. Most of the pictures from that night didn’t turn out so well b/c the flash didn’t quite work well but I’l see if I can draw a picture for everyone through my beautiful words. It truly is amazing to see Paris at night, calling the it the city of lights is pretty appropriate and it was one of the things that I took away from that night. Another thing I noticed was just how many of the city’s landmarks are located along the Seine. As we rode down the river I saw the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and of course the Eiffel Tower, which would flash a different color every hour. I would absolutely recommend that anyone that visits Paris should take the opportunity to go on the river boat cruise as its a great way to see the city. It also allowed me to see which areas and icons I would want to go back to visit more thoroughly.ParisEiffel Tower

Paris

The next day we drove through Paris on the bus, stopping at the Arc de Triomphe, the Musee D’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou. My favorite stop was the Centre Pompidou which is a modern museum in Paris that has all of its plumbing on the outside, so when you drive by it all you see is a building that looks like its built out of tubes. The tour stopped at the gate of the Louvre where we were able to have free time for the rest of the day. I knew that if I was going to be in Paris I would have to stop in the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. The one thing I didn’t know about the Louvre was just how big it

Louvre

This was on the ceiling at the Louvre

actually was. I believe there are over 15 entrances to the museum (don’t quote me on that). We entered the museum through the early period entrance so it took about 3 hours of looking at mummy’s and clay statues before we walked into this enormous hall which turned out to be the hall of Italian painters. We walked all the way down the hall without seeing the Mona Lisa so we stopped to ask one of the guards where it was housed. To our surprise the Mona Lisa rests in a little room halfway through the hall that you would miss unless you knew what you were looking for. The other thing that surprised me was just how small the painting actually was. To think that one of the most celebrated and famous paintings is the size of a small pizza box. My advice to anyone who visits Paris is to definitely visit the Louvre not only to see the Mona Lisa, but also just the building itself which is beautiful in its own right. Every time I looked up at the ceiling I would see another fresco.

Louvre

The infamous hall of Italian Painters

What visit to Paris would be complete without visiting the Eiffel Tower? As anyone who knows me well is aware I have a huge fear of heights so when planning my trip this was the part that I was both excited for and dreaded the most. While we only went to the second part of the tower that was high enough for me. I believe that put us 100 stories up on a tower that is over a hundred years old that is made out of metal. I swore while I was up there that I felt the tower sway. The funny thing is most of the people in my group knew about my fear of heights as well so I had everyone coming and checking on me every five minutes to make sure I was ok. The cool thing about the elevators of the tower is that they go up diagonally up the side of the “leg” of the tower. I remember not wanting to get out right away as we were all squeezed into that little lift. The six year old girl behind me had other plans and started pushing me in the back to get me to walk. I don’t think I’ve ever given anyone that dirty of a look before. This girl was not going to make me walk out before I was ready. When I first got out I felt fine but as soon as I looked over the edge my knees began to wobble. Needless to say I spent the twenty minutes on the tower tip toeing around. I even had my picture taken by the edge as I clung for dear life.

Eiffel Tower

This is what pure fear looks like

Our last stop in Paris was to see the Sacre Coeur or Sacred Heart church in Montmartre. This was probably the one place that I wish I had more time to see. Montmartre is essentially a small collection of shops and art galleries that is located on a hill above Paris. The people of this area are your hipsters and artists who work out in the open market area painting pictures and drawing caricatures of tourists who will pay for them. The Sacre Coeur was my second favorite church on the trip after St. Peters because of just how imposing it is both inside and out. Unfortunately there were no pictures allowed inside the church which meant that I got 3 pictures before a guard came over to tell me to stop taking pictures. What I can say is that there was a giant mural painted on the dome of the church which was incredible to look at. The only negative thing that happened while up in Montmartre was the fact that one of the people I was with got pick pocketed. Word to the wise if you pass a group of men on the steps up to the church don’t let them put a string on your finger because they will reach in your wallet and take your cash. These are just some things that you can only learn by experiencing them first hand.

Overall Paris met my expectations and it’s definitely a city that I would absolutely love to visit again so that I could see Notre Dame from the inside and go back to Montmartre to visit the little shops that are so common to that area. Most importantly though I want to go back to get those crepes that I missed out on the first time. Like the trip itself my next blog post will be about the last day of the trip in London. For now enjoy some of my pictures from Paris.

Champs Elysee

Champs Elysee

French Restaurant

The French are so descriptive

Mona Lisa

There it is

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

Louvre

Louvre

Paris

Eiffel Tower

View from the Eiffel Tower

Montmartre

Montmartre

Montmartre

Montmartre

Monmartre

The main square in Montmartre

Eiffel Tower

View from the Eiffel Tower

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I’ve been thinking about making a blog for years now to store some of my weird thoughts that pop into my head at all hours of the day but kept putting it off. I have finally decided to put these thoughts and words down because I know so many people are dying to hear them! My goal is to be able to connect with like minded people who enjoy travel, sports, and marketing as much as I do. My life is in transition now as I am no longer a full-time student but rather someone who is actively seeking a job in this rough but still manageable job market. I hope that through this blog I can both entertain and inform not only my current group of connections but also new ones along the way. I plan on updating this blog as often as possible and look forward to the challenges and unique possibilities that arise as a result. I’m planning on writing about my trip to Europe last year in the upcoming days as a way to introduce my passion for travel and will definitely use this as a forum to post my opinions on sports as well (which I have a lot of). Thats it for now, I am excited for what the future holds and I know that this blog can and will serve me well in that future.

Lev

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