Paris Mon Amour Pt 2.

On our first full day, Sophia wanted to visit the Louvre and spend our Sunday at the Gardens of Versailles. She booked our Louvre tickets the night before so all was set. We took a bus to the Louvre, went through security and found out that our museum tickets were booked for Sunday! Sophia felt bad, but all was resolved! We decided to travel to Versailles the first day and the Louvre the next. We had to make sure we could have enough time to travel back to the city because we were meeting with my sorority sister later that day.


Versailles was a 40-minute ride. Great views though! We made our way to the Palace of Versailles and stood under the burning sun, in the heat, for about an hour. By this time of year, there are more tourists, which is why we were in lines and crowds while we were visiting Versailles. I needed to cool off somehow and got us ice cream bars just in time to go inside the palace. Fair warning the palace does not have air conditioning. Be prepared.


My first impression of Versailles: “THAT IS A LOT OF GOLD.”


I haven’t been all over the world yet but this was my first experience where I saw how much gold can be used as a place to live. There was gold basically everywhere, outside and inside. The Palace of Versailles was built by Louis VIII for hunting trips, it was Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” who transformed it into a place of high-class, royalty and magnificence. The whole palace inside had you thinking how much vanity could a person have? Louis XIV for sure thought he was the greatest thing to ever live. I have to admit he got a little annoying at some point. I suggest to take a tour in here to learn about all the things he did and made people do, you’ll understand why.


The Gardens, on the other hand, were something out of this world. I was amazed by how much beauty a garden could hold. There was a map of the garden given to you so you won’t get lost. This place is huge! When we come back to Paris I wish to spend a whole day exploring the Gardens. We were on a time crunch so we only saw a few places.


We then caught a train back to the city and met my sorority sister, Pamela. She had studied abroad in Paris during the Spring semester and was now traveling all over Europe as well. We luckily happened to be in Paris at the same time and thought it would be great to meet up. She took us to an incredible spot by the Eiffel Tower. She knew how much I would love taking pictures and this was the perfect spot to capture the lighting of the Eiffel Tower. She brought wine, bread and cheese to have while we waited for the first lighting.


Tip: The Eiffel Tower lights up starting at sundown. It has a five minute light show (it glitters) every hour until 1 a.m.


This moment was one I will never forget. Ever since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of visiting Paris. The city of love and the city of lights. Although the love known in this city wasn’t quite the theme of this trip, I did fall in love. I fell in love with my travels. I was on cloud nine when the lights lit up. My heart was pounding and I had butterflies in my stomach. It was the moment I had been waiting for my whole life. At this moment, I realized that this was something I wanted to continue doing. Yes, this was only a six destination trip done in only two weeks, but it was only the beginning. I wanted to keep traveling because this feeling of being in awe of the wonders of the world is what I wanted to keep getting in other countries.


After the first light show, we parted ways and decided to meet up at a train station in about an hour. We tested our city exploring skills and ventured to a speakeasy with Pamela. It was a legit place. A closed pizza parlor but with a huge fridge door in the back you could enter through. We noticed men outside but figured they were just hanging nearby. We ignored them and went through to the door when all of sudden one guy starts yelling at us in French. Sophia and I had no idea what was going on. Pamela was able to understand him and apparently, this dude was offended that we didn’t greet him. I was like, “Why would I want to greet you if it didn’t seem like you were a bouncer or whatever.” Anyway, to avoid any trouble we said Bonjour and left. That was a weird but necessary thing to share because it was a moment when two cultures collide. I’m from NJ/NY, we aren’t necessarily the nicest people in public sometimes and prefer our own space. Apparently, in Paris, you should greet every single person that you come across. Or maybe this guy was just being a jerk, who knows. One thing is for sure is that you will go through culture shock in your travels.


This speakeasy was pretty nifty. It was small and quaint. We got some cheap drinks and talked for a bit. We then explored more of nightlife in Paris and ended up in a restaurant and bar spot. We got a table and ordered some drinks. We talked for about three hours about life, family and the future. Time went by fast and soon it was 3 a.m. We caught some Ubërs and went back to our humble abodes.


The next day, Sophia and I got some quick croissants on the street and caught a bus to the Louvre again. This time we had the tickets for the right day. We spent about 3 hours in here and we didn’t even get to explore the whole museum. It’s huge! I got some cool pictures though.


The Greeks were my favorite. I always loved learning about gods and goddesses and their tragic love stories in history class. Myths and legends always caught my attention. Some of these statues were original works of art, others were replicas. I was in awe of the detail of the Greeks.


We then proceeded to some Roman sculptures and artifacts. Then we made our way to the big one. The painting room. I told myself before getting to Paris that I would make it my goal to find the Mona Lisa, and I did. I stopped by to discover some favorite artists but I got to see her. She has some history.


The Mona Lisa used to be in The Palace of Versailles, it later made its place in The Louvre. People have stolen the painting and also knicked it a few times. To avoid further damage and tragedy, it is sealed in a glass box. It even had its own security. But there she was, the beauty herself. I, along with everyone else, wonder what was going through Leonardo Da Vinci’s mind when he was painting her. What was her story? What was his story with her? I know there is evidence out there about the background in this painting, but I like to keep the mystery alive. I know this painting isn’t even that incredible with color and such, but you have to think about the time that this painting was done in. Cameras didn’t exist and portraits didn’t always look like the person being painted. This was the work of an artist that was able to capture a woman in a painting so well that it almost looked like a picture. This man had talent. Even more intriguing is her smile, was it done to throw people off? What is the secret she’s hiding? We may never know.


We caught a train to Notre Dame and got on line. Wow, this place was huge. I never saw The Hunchback of Notre Dame before this (I saw it when we got back from Europe). This church was magnificent. Its intricate details reminded me of the Sagrada Familia. Maybe Gaudi had a soulmate of some sorts in the art world with the person who designed this place. Maybe not. There was so much detail and story on this place. It took about 200 years to build the cathedral. When you enter the church you’re caught in awe by its grandiose.


It was filled with many statues and mini chapels dedicated to saints. I saw a Mary shrine and went inside to pray, when I looked up to the statue to my left I saw El Señor de Los Milagros (The Lord of Miracles), a Peruvian saint. Out of all the places in this world, I never thought I would come across him in Paris. I believe it was a sign and I got a feeling of comfort at that moment. I teared a bit because I felt touched not only by the beauty of this place but because I know God has been right there by my side this whole time. No matter where I go, he’s watching over me.


We then made our way to some souvenir shops nearby and got some gifts for friends and family back home. Afterwards, we took a train to the Arc de Triomphe. You can’t just go this place. It’s in the middle of a traffic circle, therefore you have to take a train and walk below the streets through tunnels to get to it. We were starving so Sophia went to look for food and all she could find was croissants, can never go wrong with that! We waited in line for about an hour because there is a maximum limit of people that can be at the top. We made it just in time to catch the Eiffel Tower glittering for its first show of the night.



Okay, time for actual food. It’s 10:00 p.m. and we’re in a bit of a pickle! Kitchens are closing by the time we reach an area with restaurants. After walking almost aimlessly for about eight blocks, we find a kitchen that made us the last pizza of the night. We stuffed ourselves and were content.


Since the Eiffel Tower was still nearby, we decided a great way to end our Parisian adventure would be to see the light show from up close. We made our way to the park where the tower is located, bought some crepes, found a spot on the lawn and waited for the next show. We were surrounded by all kinds of young and old people. From students studying abroad and fooling around to older couples spending a vacation together. I was so happy. This view and being here in another country exploring with my best friend, how could you not be happy? Sophia and I talked about life and what we would expect when we went back to the states. Our trip was almost over. But we decided we shouldn’t mope, yet. Later, after a magnificent last dark glittering light show, we took an Ubër back to our air BNB and had to stay awake all night because our flight was at 6 a.m. I know what you’re thinking, “Allison, why would you book a flight so early?” We had to coordinate with our budget and time we could check in to our air BNB in our next destination so this was the only flight we could take. So we ordered our Ubër at 4 a.m. and drove to the airport to make our way to our last stop.


Tune in to my next blog post for some really incredible views ;-).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s