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I went by train from Germany to Paris. My friend Helene picked me up from the train station. I met Helene and her sister Claire when we were in Bali. Claire is actually still traveling in Southeast Asia so I stayed with Helene. There was another guy staying with her too, his name was Sandro and he was from Italy. My first afternoon in Paris we went to Montmartre which is a really nice neighborhood in Paris. We climbed up the stairs to the Sacré-Cœur Church and from there we had a really nice view of Paris. We walked around the neighborhood there for a while too but there were so many people there because it was a Sunday.


Sunday night we went to the Quai and met with some of Helene's friends. We sat at a cafe along the Seine River and drank cocktails and got to know each other. They were very accommodating and tried to speak English when they could. We watched the sunset and it was a really nice night with good people.

The next morning we got up early to take Sandro to the bus station so he could take a bus to the airport. Afterward, Helene and I went to go see the Eiffel Tower. It actually lived up to my expectations, which was a bit surprising. I feel like for giant landmarks like that, they usually don't end up being as great as they're advertised to be but I really thought the Eiffel Tower was cool. Here are some not very good pictures I took of the Eiffel Tower.


After the Eiffel Tower, I stopped at a bakery and got a chocolate eclair which was amazing. Then we walked to the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. That was really cool to see but I didn't stop to do any shopping.


For dinner, we headed into the Jewish Quarter (per Bruce's recommendation) to get falafel. We went to the most popular restaurant and I ended up getting shakshuka instead but it was really good so I was happy. I asked if it came with pita and the waiter told me it came with a baguette. I thought that was really funny and really French. After dinner, we walked around the area for a while and then met up with some other friends we had made in Bali, Jeremy, Mackenna, and Svea. We walked around until we found the perfect spot along the river to watch the sunset. It was really fun to all be together after 8 (ish) months.


The next morning Helene and I got a late start and went to meet her friend Leah for lunch. She was really nice and we met up with her again later that night. After lunch, Helene and I went to the Musée d'Orsay, which is a really nice art museum across the river from the Louvre. We spent a few hours walking around and looking at all the paintings. I saw paintings by Renoir, Degas, Monet, and Van Gogh (to name a few). Here are some of my favorite paintings from the museum.


After the museum, we walked around the Tuileries and the Louvre. I didn't go inside the Louvre because it was closed on Tuesday, apparently the only day of the week it's closed. It would have been smart to look that stuff up in advance but I'll know for next time. I did get to see the big pyramid though and walk around the area for a while. I stopped for 20 minutes to listen to a street musician who was playing the cello. That night we went to meet Leah and another one of Helene's friends for dinner. We sat and talked for a really long time but it was really cool to get to know some other people as well.


Paris is a beautiful city. It really is. No, it's not the cleanest but all the buildings are so intricately designed and because they are all the same style it gives Paris a really unified feeling.

Posted by Ilana'sGapYear 10:09 Archived in France

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