FRIDAY NIGHT, we were finally able to live like young Parisians.
In the morning, I went down to school in Passy to meet with my tutorat for the University of Paris. It’s really nice that we have the opportunity to have sort of like an advisor for it, especially when I get confused. Also, the French method of writing still baffles me, so she told me she’d help me organize everything for my next paper the next time we meet.
At night, Emily’s friend Vince came in from London, so after dinner at my apartment we went to the train station to go pick him up. After wandering around Gare du Nord for about 15 minutes, we found him! Or rather, he found us. We decided to go check him in at his hostel in Bastille, then take him to Sacre Coeur.
After walking around Bastille for a while not knowing if we were going in the right direction, we succumbed to using a map and Emily went to ask someone if they knew the street (he thought he did, but he didn’t. He tried to send us to the Marais).
At the same time, a French girl with a cigarette dangling next to her 1664 came up to Vince and me asking for “le feu”. Neither of us had a lighter, so we told her non, désolé. She saw that we were looking at a map and asked if we needed help finding our way, then proceeded to tell us they were walking the same way (back to the metro we had just come from) and could show us from there.
There were two other girls with her, and we all talked (in French!) on the way to the metro. One of the girls showed us a shoe store she really likes! The girl asked me how long we were in Paris, if we liked it here, and if we thought the French people were nice. She said that someday she’ll probably leave the city and go to America or somewhere else, but for now she liked Paris.
We got to the metro stop and the girls showed us the street to take. After we found the hostel and got Vince settled into his room, we got back on the metro (I’m going to have to rename my blog “The Tales of an Underground Traveler” cause that’s most of what I see) and headed toward my apartment.
After getting crepes from “our guy” and with champagne in tow, we walked to Sacre Coeur. After walking through Pigalle and up a street in Montmartre, the gates were closed. We were not ok with this. But then, all of the sudden, we saw that the Funiculaire was still open (thank you, Navigo) and found our way to the top. It was great–none of the annoying “vendors” were up there cause it was so late and there wasn’t a tourist in sight.
We could see the entire city at night, which was really beautiful. And it wasn’t too cold, so basically it was perfect. There was music playing from someones car and a bunch of people were just sitting on the steps drinking wine, talking and hanging out with their friends. It had just become Emily’s birthday (as in it was yesterday), so we popped the bottle and found a spot on the stairs.
When we were about to leave to catch the metro, a young guy came up to us asking for un feu again. Vince handed a lighter over, and the guy sat down with one of his friends and started talking to us. He didn’t speak any English (except “Happy Birthday” to Emily), so we got to practice our French more! Another guy came up while we were talking to them asking if we had cups that he could borrow; it was kind of like a big block party. With the entire city of Paris in the background, nbd.
YESTERDAY, Vince and Emily and I went out in celebration of her birthday. After a long lunch at a cafe next to the Louvre (a long French lunch, with quiche, escargots, wine, and espresso), we went into the palace-turned-museum. I’m fairly certain that most of the places worth going to in Paris were palaces at some point in history.
It’s kind of embarrassing that we hadn’t been to the Louvre by now. It’s a 15 minute bus ride from my apartment, but we were all just too busy living in Paris to get down there. However, it isn’t the easiest thing ever to do. Going on a rainy Saturday afternoon brought lots of crowds with us, so we waited in line to get in, in line to get a ticket, in line to be told that Vince had to check his backpack, and then we could finally go explore. We didn’t have much time by this point (mainly because we spent almost 2 hours at lunch) so we mapped out what Vince wanted to see and headed that way.
First, we walked through a room of sculptures and saw Venus de Milo. The last time I took an art history class was my senior year of high school, but it was really cool to actually see the statue we studied in person. We walked up the stairs, going towards the Grande Galerie. On our way, we saw my favorite piece, La Victoire de Samothrace.
I could keep trying to describe everything I saw with words, but it would pale in comparison to what I actually experienced. The tricky thing about the Louvre is that you’re literally surrounded by art–ceilings, floors, mirrors, door handles…it’s everywhere. So, here’s just a glimpse of my mini-trip to the Louvre:
Venus de Milo
Luckily, Katie is coming in THREE days so I get to take her! Also, I’m just super excited to see her :). But now, I have to go do homework…