The day before I left for Spain, my grandma called to wish me a safe and fun trip. This was right around the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, so right before hanging up, she said “and please, stay the heavens away from Paris”, so I would like to start out by apologizing to my grandma, since the first place I visited outside of Spain was, in fact, Paris.
I had a few reasons to go to Paris, to start out, my roommate was visiting the city the same weekend, I have two friends studying there (which meant free lodging!), and the last time I was in Paris, I was three years old so I wanted to see if I remembered anything.
I flew Ryanair (which despite what everyone told me, was not chaotic nor strict, it actually just felt like any other flight) and arrived Wednesday night. The scariest feeling in the world is entering a country and not being able to speak a word of the language other than “merci” and “fromage”.
Thank god public transportation is universally very similar because I was able to figure out the metro system and get to my friend’s stop with relatively no trouble. That night we got sweet crepes and I fell asleep very quickly since traveling always tires me out.
The next day we got lunch in the Jewish Quarter. At the time, there were many armed guards in the area. I am not used to walking down a street and seeing soldiers carrying weapons so that was definitely an interesting sight. We ate delicious falafel and then I walked around the area, admiring all of the buildings even though it was freezing. In the evening, we ate Chinese food in honor of the Chinese New Year.
I think it is amazing to see the architectural differences between cities. Paris definitely has a cohesive look that is nothing like Sevilla (or New York for that matter), but it is equally as beautiful.
It was so pretty at night, all lit up! We also got very lucky with lines and were able to go to the top.
I actually remember going to the top with my dad when I was three. I remember he wouldn’t carry me the whole way up. It’s weird how memories work.
On Saturday we went to the outside of the Louvre. I’m not a huge fan of art museums, so I didn’t really want to go inside but I do love impressionism so instead we went inside Musee d’Orsay and saw Monet and Van Gogh. The museum itself is very beautiful because it used to be a train station. We also got to cut the line because our student cards got us free admission.
Afterwards, we went to the bridge with all of the locks which I thought was really pretty even with all of the recently added plywood (they had to put it up to stop people from adding more locks because they are weighing down the bridge too much!). Then for dinner we got bread and cheese and chocolate which was delicious.
I really liked Paris overall, but I must say that I am very glad I chose Sevilla to study. I prefer the Spanish way of life as well as a warmer and smaller city. By the time I had to leave, my brain was already itching to speak Spanish and see my host family once again!