Monday, June 8, 2009

A Weekend in Paris

Despite a few set backs, I had another good weekend touring through Europe. I took a train to Paris Friday afternoon and spent the night with Anna, Joe, and Katie eating dinner in our hotel and going to see the Eiffel Tower at night. Apparently, we missed seeing Michelle Obama at the Eiffel Tower by just a couple of hours...quite unfortunate right?

The Eiffel Tower was quite a sight, especially at night with its light display. I really liked it, but at the same time I thought it was really bizarre and random. There was a ton of people there that night as well for some sort of movie showing that was going on. I guess you could say it was Paris's version of "screen on the green." The girls wanted to head back to the hotel a bit early, but Joe and I really wanted to check out the night life of Paris, especially the Latin Quarter. So, we took care of Anna and Katie and then went out to explore the streets of Paris at night. We ended up running into a large group of people in their mid-20's on the metro. The group was quite loud and obnoxious, especially due to a rather intoxicated Scottish male, and we couldn't help but to start up a conversation. They ended up convincing us to go to a bar with them, instead of going to the Latin Quarter, which apparently is a more girl friendly hang out (...something to do with waiters only wearing boxers...something Joe and I probably wouldn't find that interesting). Either way, Joe and I decided to tag along. The group was so much fun to hang out with and talk to. Apparently, they were a hodgepodge group of friends that met through studying and traveling abroad. Some of them were Scottish, British, and others were French. We talked about all sorts of things on the way to the metro. Unfortunately, we never made it into the bar because the bouncers refused to give our group entry when the Scottish guy smashed a wine bottle on the ground right outside of the bar's entrance. At that point, Joe and I decided it was best to get out of the area and head back to the hotel. We didn't want the group to blame us for ruining their night...oh well! Joe and I had a great time, and it turned out to be a fun story to share with the girls when we got back. Joe even hit the wrong button when we were exiting the metro and accidentally called the police instead of opening the gate.

We spent all of Saturday in Versailles where we met up with a group of French girls Joe, Katie, and Anna had met in Barcelona. We hung out at the mall for a little while because Katie and Anna were freezing and wanted to buy jeans to change into because they were wearing dresses. In fact, the weather was pretty awful the entire weekend. It was wet and cold...very sad. They didn't find any shorts, but we grabbed lunch there anyways and then headed to the Ch√Ęteau de Versailles. Entrance into many historical attractions in Europe is free for EU citizens of a certain age, but I was able to get myself in for free as well by showing my international student ID card and claiming German nationality, which is somewhat true. The palace was beautiful and filled with gorgeous artwork, architecture, and gardens.

We were supposed to take an overnight train from Paris to Nice Saturday night, but that plan turned out to be a fail when we missed our train by less than a minute. So, after working with a very helpful ticket person at the train station, I was able to get Joe, Katie, and Anna on a train to Nice Monday night, which meant we would stay in Paris for the rest of the weekend, and a refund for my tickets. Unfortunately, we had no place to stay that night, but we went back to the hotel we stayed at previously and were able to get a room that night for free and Sunday night for the same reduced price we had it for on Friday. It was too good to be true. We decided to go out and enjoy the night life of Paris that night, which we paid for by sleeping in pretty much all day on Sunday. We definitely got our money's worth for our room. We used Sunday as a day of rest and just enjoyed each others company in our small hotel room. Unfortunately, I lost my cell phone sometime during our late night adventures. It's either in the taxi we took back to the hotel or somewhere in that room. I'm upset at myself for losing it because of all the money I had on it, but at the same time I'm not really surprised. I'm pretty good at losing things. Just ask my mom :P

I ended up sleeping in again Monday morning, so I got on a later train to Metz than I planned on. I at least got to spend some extra time with Anna and got to see more of Paris and didn't have to do the "wake up at 5:45 AM in order to get to class on time" thing that I did last week. But...overall it was a good weekend despite the mix of ups and downs. Either way, I had a great time and wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Good life experiences are always worthwhile.

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