This past weekend I ventured to Milan on Thursday via train (my first solo train ride) to meet up with Jennifer, who is studying there for the semester! Although I was nervous about taking the train alone to a new city and THEN navigating the metro in Milan, I managed to survive with zero problems and I made it there in the knick of time to wish her a happy 21st birthday!
Friday, Jennifer and I went to California Bakery, an American breakfast/brunch cafe in Milan and ate BAGELS! In the past few weeks my American food cravings have been growing stronger and stronger.I have been acting “hangry” even when I am not, just because I wasn’t getting to eat what I was craving (Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, bagels, mac-n-cheese, etc.). After breakfast we went on the metro to Milano Centrale train station and then to the airport because we were Paris bound!! I was SO excited to finally get out of Italy and see another beautiful part of Europe. Italy has been so good to me, but I have reached that point here where nothing feels new and exciting anymore (even though it technically still is). I had been itching to “get-out”, which sounds awful, but it was refreshing to leave and come back, as it refreshed Perugia and Italy for me. Jennifer and I fortunately made it to Paris with just a little turbulence but no other problems
We only had a little of 36 hours in this wonderful city, and we made the most of every single minute while we were there. Our Air BnB was easily accessed by a 30 minutes bus ride and metro ride. It was this wonderful little flat…and when I say little, I mean LITTLE. It was a small room with a bathroom; the kitchen and bedroom and living room and dining room were all the same room, with a pull out couch to make it versatile. Some might have complained about such a small space but I loved it. It made me truly feel like I was in Paris and like I was a young person actually living in Paris.
On our way to the tiny apartment, we stopped to get a small baguette as we were starving. Let me tell you a little secret…DONT eat the baguette in Paris. Okay…just kidding…you MUST eat the baguette and LOTS of it, but it will 100% ruin any carb you ever eat in your life again because it is absolutely the best form of a carb I have ever eaten in my life. Add some jam or honey and you’ve got one of most AMAZING things you will ever eat. This was one of 3 baguettes that Jennifer and I scarfed down in the 40 hours spent in Paris…and trust me, I wish we had eaten about 10 more.
After enjoying our baguette, we bundled up and headed out to explore the city for a few hours. We perused through a few shops, stopped and snapped a few pictures at the incredible Opera House and then went to fulfill yet another craving…Chipotle. I know it seems to be a sin to go eat Chipotle in a city that is known for their incredible food, but like I said- my cravings had been intense and it seemed completely necessary. To my dismay, however, Chipotle in Paris did not live up to my expectations…and it cost me a good old 10 euro for a veggie bowl. Oh well, you live and you learn.
Following our Chipotle adventure, Jennifer and I on a whim decided to go check out the Louvre. I was blown away. I can only imagine what this wonderful palace was like in the 1700s and 1800s. It was absolutely incredible. It was hard to imagine that once upon a time, people lived there! We did not originally have plans to actually enter the Louvre that night and explore all of the art inside, but we decided to check it out and happened to be there for free admission night! As a study abroad student, the word “free” is irresistible so of course we couldn’t wait until the next day to explore. After exploring there, we headed out for what we thought was a 15 minute (turned into an hour and 10 minute) walk to meet up with a couple of the soccer guys who were visiting Paris that weekend, too. It was so great to see other Wofford students, yet in a way it was difficult to be back with a Wofford “crowd” because it did cause a few feelings of homesickness and a longing to be back at Wofford. It truly is so hard to leave the Wofford family for a semester. Not sure what I am going to do about that when I have to leave them forever in a little over a year.
Saturday started slightly early because we had A LOT to accomplish that day. After another baguette at a cafe on the same street as our Air Bnb, we made it to the Arc De Tiromphe (we went to the top of this- wonderful views of the city). We then ventured to the Notre Dame, walked all along the river, captured a few shots of the Eiffel Tower, and went to Angelina’s Tea Room, the oldest tea room still around in Paris. Angelina’s was such an awesome experience, and they are known for their rich and world-renowned hot chocolate (yes, it was worth every cent of the 8 euros it cost me). Saturday night we went out for a traditional french meal and headed to bed at a reasonable hour for our super early flight the next morning! We walked about 8-9 miles on Saturday, but we saw just about everything we set out to see and more. I desperately want to get back to Paris one day as it was so majestic. I could actually see myself living there one day (in my dreams), but hopefully I’ll at least get back one day!
Sunday I once again had to expect the unexpected. I had plans to return to Perugia but unfortunately there was a train strike from Saturday night to Sunday night so I was stuck in Milan for Sunday and until Monday morning. Fortunately, it was not problem for me to stay with Jennifer that night so all was okay!
Overall, this was an absolutely great first weekend of international travel. I just wish we had more time to spend in Paris! This weekend, I am in Perugia because I have a field trip to go hiking and have a meal at a sustainable farm in Dario, but this weekend is my second to last weekend that I will spend in Perugia (how crazy is that?) so I am ready to just relax and take it all in before the craziness of traveling begins!