Highlights of Paris: Part 1

After Ireland, Gabby and I flew to Paris to continue our spring break adventures. Six days in one of the biggest cities in the world makes for a multitude of memories and stories. To save time (and your eyes from staring at a screen) I will relate the highlights.

We arrived at our hostel at about midnight on Monday, March 26/Tuesday, March 27. We were then told they booked us wrong and we had no room. They called another hostel for us and around 12:30am we were lugging our luggage through the streets of Paris to this second hostel. We finally got to sleep around 2am.

Day One: Tuesday, March 27 started with a trip to the market to buy cheese, fresh fruit, and a baguette for our picnic lunch in the Jardin du Luxembourg park. We then headed to the Eiffel Tower. We reached the second level of the Tower when it was still bright and sunny out and stayed until the lights of the city became illuminated.

 Day Two: We took another New Europe Free Walking Tour and learned a lot about the history of France and some of its most famous buildings. Our tour guide, Naomi, was actually from Scotland! She told us about all the King Louis', Marie Antoinette, Napoleon I and III, and the many revolutions France has had. My favorite story is about Pont Neuf, or the "New Bridge." It is actually the oldest bridge in Paris, but was the first one to be made of stone. It was built under King Henry IV and to celebrate it's completion he held a party and everyone was invited. When all the guests were good and drunk he had an artist sketch a headshot of each of them. His intention was to give each guest their picture as a way to remember his wonderful party, but when he looked at them the next morning he concluded that they were too terrible to give away, so he had each head sculpted out of stone and put on the bridge instead. 

PART of the front of the Palace
Day Three: The Palace of Versailles. King Louis XIV moved the royal court out of the city and into this large, elaborate, ornate, jaw-dropping palace. 

The outside was trimmed with gold and the inside was almost entirely gold and marble. We toured the inside of the Palace, including the famous Hall of Mirrors with its 17 arches of mirrors opposite 17 arched windows, numerous chandeliers, and detailed ceiling paintings.

Hall of Mirrors
A glimpse of the gardens

We then moved outside and walked through the extensive gardens. Countless ponds, fountains, trees, and statues depicting Roman mythology make up the gardens. We walked to the edge of the gardens to the Grand Trianon, the King's "summer home" and the Petit Trianon, the "mini-palace" King Loius XVI gave to Marie Antoinette as a gift. After a day full of overwhelming grandeur and walking, we headed back into the city and rested up for more Paris adventures.


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