Day 8 — Bonjour de Paris

7:05am. This is the time our train leaves for the airport. We get to the train station at 6:45am, phew, we have time to grab a quick breakfast. I walk to the nearest McDonalds and grab us two croissants, one chocolate, the other cream.

6:55am. We scan our tickets with the train guy (for lack of a better job title), and head to our train platform, 25.

7:00am. But wait a minute…we’ve been walking for 5 minutes and we only see up to platform 23.

7:01am. Holy moly, we realize our platform is on the complete other section. We start to sprint, hauling our luggage behind us. 7:02am. There it is, Platform 25! I see it! 7:03am. Phew. I made it! Mom hurry up!…but…wait. Where are all of the other people? 7:04am. I am on the wrong train.

7:05am. The train we are supposed to be on, departs to the airport from platform 23.

This morning was chaotic. Our train fiasco delayed us quite a bit, but luckily Rome airlines are wildly efficient, and we were able to get through the airport hassle in 10 minutes. Somehow, we just made it in time for our flight to Paris.

So here we are: Paris, France.

Upon arrival we quickly settled ourselves into our petite little hotel room, and headed out to explore. My first impression of Paris: it is so cute; flowers & flower shops everywhere, TONS of outdoor cafes,  little french flags, and miniature dogs unleashed. IMG_6236.jpgWe quickly experienced the language barrier when we stopped for lunch at Comptoir Voltaire, right down the street from our hotel, and mistakenly ordered two salmon filets off the dinner menu. While stuffing myself, I noticed a little sign on the sidewalk which read “En Memoire des Victimes des agents du 13 Novembre 2015.” With a little research, I found that we were staying right near the site of one of the Paris terrorist attacks, specifically a suicide bombing on Voltaire Street. Wow. Can you imagine? I sure couldn’t. With full sympathy and full stomachs, we headed to our first attraction: Sacré-Cœur.

Sacré-Cœur: The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. It was sitting by its lonesome atop a hill, giving it a grand presence. We could have walked up…but Mom wanted to take the sky lift #GetFitwitJin #FitnessMotivation. And if you look to the right of Sacré-Cœur you will see the hidden sinking house of Paris! ..Wait, what? Okay, so it’s not really a sinking house. But it is the perfect angle to create an optical illusion of one.

As you know, Paris is the leading country of fashion. So you could imagine there are some ridiculously high-end malls here. Galleries de Lafayette is one of these malls. After riding 7 floors up through Versace, Chanel, and Burberry, we accessed the “Photos for Clients-only” rooftop view and enjoyed some delicious gelato–and took a photo, because what a dumb rule, right? I didn’t buy anything…because everything in that mall is probably a months worth of my collegiate-level salary. But maybe next time, @Dad you can take me on a shopping spree here.

And then–there it was. The Eiffel Tower. So, here’s the thing. I have seen many pictures of various European sites: Charles Bridge, The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, etc. thus, I have gone in, knowing what I am expecting to see. This was different. The Eiffel Tower is even bigger that I had imagined it. It is grander, and even more so enchanting in person. I was pretty blown away by it. Although there were (hmm..I want to get this right) maybe a kajillion? or-so tourists around, we were still able to get some images with this stunning symbol of Paris.

We pretty much spent the next few hours around the area, grabbing a bite to eat, people-watching, bird-watching, boat-watching. Until we were ready for our boat ride through the Seine River.

Ah, the boat tour. Really lovely. Except for the flocks of tour groups constantly taking pictures around us. (Check out that last pic for proof). There was this one older couple, but not too old to be cute, (ya know?) that, I kid you not, took turns taking pictures of each other at different angles the WHOLE entire time. I really wish I was exaggerating. There was not a minute of time where one of them was neither posing nor taking a picture of the other on the iPad. THE BOAT RIDE WAS AN HOUR LONG. Like–I want to know how many GB of photos your iPad stores. So after around their–eh–maybe 850th? picture, I started to smile in the back of all their pictures hahaha. So here are some shots from the Seine Boat Tour, and I also attached a picture of the lovely couple, themselves, because I just really need you to believe that I am not making this up.

And finally, to finish off our wonderful day in Paris. We went back to the Eiffel Tower at 11pm to catch the hourly sparkling lights. The Eiffel Tower is stunningly luminescent by itself, at night. But, let me tell you, when it sparkles at the hour, it’s magical. Little flashing lights flicker and sparkle all around the tower for 5 awing awing minutes.

And to complete the moment, there was a violinist playing “Time to Say Goodbye” in the background while we sat there watching the Eiffel. Here’s the view, as well as the music we heard to give you a tiny glimpse of our magical moment 😉

1:05am. We are tired.

1:06am. “Started from the bottom, now we’re here :’)”

1:07am. Au revoir! ’til tomorrow.


Click to read Days 1-3 In Prague Here
Click to Read Days 4-7 In Italy Here

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