It's impossible to conquer Paris. There is so much history, art, and culture to discover in this huge city that it is easily overwhelming. Jon and I attempted to scratch the surface in 2 days. Paris is a bit over an hour from Jon in Brussels and 2 hours from me in Lyon. It's the perfect meeting place and a romantic place to explore together. We met an amazing woman, Amanda, a fellow American living in Paris, who shared her home with us for the weekend. I can't help but notice the friendly and hospitable environment of Europe and I have been so lucky and blessed to meet and reunite with so many amazing people here.
Here's a rundown of a few of the things we saw. Please don't feel like you have to read it all, it's kind of ridiculous and awesome how much fun we had in one weekend.
Louvre. Friday nights it's free admission for students. It's a beautiful museum but ridiculously oversaturated with art; it's too much to comprehend. So we said hi to Mona Lisa and strolled through the exhibits just soaking up the artistic atmosphere.
Forum des Halles. Did a little shopping around this area and saw a huge chruch. Aurélia, my French friend who I met when she was studying abroad at Mizzou, met up with us for déjeuner. It was great to see my friend again in a different setting. She was so generous showing us around the city that she now calls her home.
Champs-Elysées & Arch de Triumph. Aurélia took us on a tour of the famous street where she works. The Champs Elysée is a very expensive and touristy street much like Rodeo Drive in L.A. To buy a very small coffee at a café on this street will cost you at least 10 Euros.
Sacre Coeur/Montmartre/Moulin Rouge. This area (minus the red light district) really reminded me of the layout of Lyon: extravagant church on the top of the hill overlooking the whole city. It's a beautiful, although very touristy place to be. On Monday, I enjoyed this area again with another fantastic person, the talented Ariana Strall. We chatted about the awesomeness that is European life as we ate crêpes, macaroons, and drank café. It was such a coincidence that we were there at the same time and I'm so happy we were able to meet up!
Palace and Gardens of Versailles. A must see piece of history. The extravagance of each room in the palace makes me sympathize more and more with the French Revolutionaries whose money the monarchy used to build the marble hallways laced with gold. The gardens were beautiful and the spring buds were about the burst.
Catacombs. What a creepy interesting place! The underground mined voids were filled with bodies of plagued Parisians in the 1700-1800s. Millions of human bones stacked in a repetitive pattern, lining kilometer after kilometer of underground tunnels.
Notre Dame Cathedral and Latin Quarter. This area is such a lively place! There is nightclub after bar after restaurant after nightclub in the small pedestrian alleys. Jon and I found great French cuisine in this area and afterwards walked along the café-lined riverbanks.
Eiffel Tower. It is all it's made out to be. A huge hunk of steel that, when lit, can be a beautiful piece of art that everyone and their mom wants to take pictures of. Every hour on the hour, the tower glitters with lights for 11 minutes. When it begins to glitter, there are ohhs and ahhs, like when watching fireworks. Sitting in the park and watching the Eiffel Tower light up the sky with Jon was an amazing way to end our trip together in Paris.