Semester Break Vacation Part 10: Paris
Ah, finally, our end destination: the city of love, the city of lights, Paname, PARIS! After quite a long time discussing in broken French with a customer service agent how we would get to Paris from Lyon, we finally made it in around 7pm and, of course, it was snowing. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem, had the soles of my boots not begun to separate a few days before from all of the walking. You know what that means: wet, cold feet. Morgan was also having some issues with her shoes, so as soon as we dropped our stuff off with our host, stop #1 was a shoe store.
With dry shoes and a much better attitude, around 8:30 on our first night, we got to do what we had been dreaming of for weeks…eat Chipotle. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of really experiencing the culture in foreign lands, and specifically experiencing the food culture. However, just for one night, we allowed ourselves to be nostalgic for our homeland and compensate for Germany’s lack of Chipotle, having lived without it for nearly 7 months. Bellies full, we strolled over to the Louvre Museum, although it was closed, and simply enjoyed the great views of the palace and glass pyramids being lit while the snow fell gently on the ground. A better first night could not have been had!
On the following days in Paris, we of course did the touristy things: pictures at the Eiffel Tower, a few laps through the Louvre, walked down the Champs-Élysées, and ate some crepes. However, it was the less touristy stuff that is always the most fun, so I will quickly recount some of our favorite memories of our Parisian adventure.
Firstly, we did what all must do, and that is eat a ton of cheese. Specifically, for two nights in a row, all we had for dinner was baguette, brie, and red wine. And it was wonderful. It is easy to get wrapped up in French cooking and the amazing specialties offered at French bistros throughout Paris, but sometimes the best way to really enjoy the food of a city or country is to really get back to basics.
Another great thing to do in Paris is to take a note from the film “Midnight in Paris” and just walk along the banks of the Seine that are a little out of the way from tourist traps. It’s a great place to find a short escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and still enjoy the city. The small vendors that you find as you head near the city center are also great and we often found some particularly good postcards that we couldn’t find anywhere else!
So those were just a couple of the things that we did to get away from the pressure of “being in Paris” if one can call it that. We found over our month-long adventure that especially in the biggest of cities, one needs to find the time to get away from the idea of “seeing it all” and simply be in the city. Sadly, this was indeed the end of our wonderful semester break and they were some memories that I will not soon forget. In the next couple of posts, I’ll bring you all up to speed on life here in Munich and my feelings about leaving in under a month!