Before I left for going abroad, I thought all of the places that I wanted to travel. Paris was my number one destination for a couple of reasons. First, my sister studied there for her study abroad experience. Second, my mom and dad visited there. They loved it.
Friday morning I woke up around 6 am to get to the airport. Barcelona had a huge technology conference consisting of people from all over the world, so I wanted to get to the airport before massive crowds started showing up. This was also the first time that I had travelled alone. Usually, I am travelling with my friends from IES. However, this time, I was travelling by myself to see Evk! I finally got to the Beauvais airport around 11:45. That airport, by the way, is extremely tiny. It’s also located an hour away from the city. Anyway, I soon gathered my stuff and made my way for the exit of the airport. I walked through the doors and immediately saw Evk. I actually ran through the airport a little bit to give her the biggest hug! That was the longest that we have ever been apart. It was so nice being able to see her!!!! We got our passes for the bus and sat down. We talked the whole way there. Once we figured out the metro, we got off at our metro stop for the hostel. We were starving and couldn’t wait to check in before getting food. So we decided to get food before checking in. It was all fine and dandy until I walked through a street performer playing cards for several people. I didn’t even know what was going on. I walked through it and an extremely large and intimidating man started speaking English. He asked where I was from and where I was going. Luckily, I’m extremely paranoid and immediately guarded my bag. I think if I had been completely oblivious he would have pickpocketed me. Being in Barcelona, I’m constantly watching my belongings. All of the street performers are on Las Ramblas, so I know where to absolutely avoid. However, this street performer was just on a simple street. It threw me off. Glad I learned my lesson, safely. We found a little place to eat with hamburgers and “frites” aka French fries. Delicious. We then headed back to our hostel and checked in. I learned that they had Wi-Fi in the ROOM! It was a treat. All of the hostels that I have stayed in only have Wi-Fi in the main lobby. Not this one! We quickly set our stuff down and headed out to explore Paris.
We decided to go to the Eiffel Tower. I’ve always seen pictures, and they are always beautiful. Pictures don’t do it justice. Once we got off the metro, we were about to start walking towards the Eiffel Tower, when it started POURING. We quickly found cover in a café. Conveniently, there were crepes at this café. I LOVE crepes. After it finished raining, we went to the Eiffel Tower. We decided to hike our way to the third floor. That was definitely a leg workout! Not going to lie, my legs are still a little sore from doing so!!! Afterwards, we walked by the Seine River and got coffee. We decided to head back because it was kind of dark and ominous outside. As we were passing the Eiffel Tower, I looked back for one more look. It was sparkling! I immediately hit Evk (maybe a little too hard) and said, “look!! Look!!!” it was absolutely beautiful!! It made me think of my mom. It was great. I took a video of it sparkling and sent it to my dad. He enjoyed it. After staring in amazement, we found a French café. We decided to eat like French people for the night. We ate croque-monsieurs with French fries. It was so delicious.
Saturday morning we woke up pretty early. We got crepes, again. However, they were breakfast crepes! Yum. It was ham, eggs, and chicken. With French fries? Whatever. We were being French. Afterwards, we went to the Louvre. There were SO many people. We got in for free because we had our student visas with us. I’m all about saving money. We went and saw the Mona Lisa! There were about a thousand people milling about in front of the picture. It was insane. However, I pushed my way through and got in front of all the people. (Yeah for being aggressive and yeah for not getting anything stolen. I’m so glad I’m about the most paranoid person you’ve ever met.) Afterwards, we decided to walk through the Champs Elysees. There were SO many people that it was insane. Here, there were street performers. I was more prepared for this one. We passed three street performers who were blasting American music and dancing. They got the crowd to be interactive and told people to move to the front. Yeah, no thanks. I knew that there would be pickpockets in the crowd so I conveniently stood as far as possible away. We then walked to the end and went up the Arc de Triomphe. My dad told me that we had to climb on top of it to look at all the cars coming from about a million different directions and wonder HOW they did not get in an accident. Incredible. Afterwards, we went to LaDuree. My sister told me I had to go here, so I followed her advice. This is a place that specializes in macaroons. Boy, it was delicious. I had a Marie Antoinette, chocolate, raspberry, rose, and pistachio. Mmmm, it was DELICIOUS! It was Evk’s first time having one, and she was glad that she got to eat it! I had one before when my mom ordered macaroons for my sister. They were SO good, even better than I remembered. Afterwards, we got on the metro and went to a….crepe place. Oops. This time, we split it. It was strawberries, whipped cream, and nutella. Boy oh boy oh boy was it GREAT! I was a happy girl. Then, we headed to the Notre Dame. It started to rain, but I didn’t care. I wanted to see it. It was so beautiful. We also got to hear the bells ringing, and it was awesome to experience. After the Notre Dame, we decided we wanted French food for dinner. Just kidding. We went to Chipotle (!!!!!!). I was SO HAPPY. I have missed Chipotle, and I actually RAN up the metro steps to the Chipotle. I truly have no shame. That night, we went to the Moulin Rouge area. That…was an interesting experience. Since I didn’t see that “aspect” in Amsterdam, I wanted to see it in Paris. Glad I did it, but I’m never going back to one of those places. There are so many creepy people just milling about. A couple came up to me and tried to talk but I walked away. I didn’t want to end up like the girl in Taken…(If you don’t know, this is where a girl goes to Paris, gets sold into the prostitution ring, and then her father, Liam Nelson (naturally), saves the day and gets her back safe and sound.) So, my paranoia was to the next level, but hey, what gets me back to America safely is fine by me. (I’m sure my dad is appreciating reading this)
Sunday morning we woke up quite early because of our hostel mates (thanks, guys). We decided to get brunch. Best. Choice. Ever. I had scrambled eggs (!!!!), potatoes, and BACON! I haven’t had bacon or scrambled eggs in God knows how long! It was absolutely great. I then got a pan au chocolat. (My sister told me I had to eat one for her, so I was just following through on wishes, okay?) It was delicious. I want about five million more. After brunch, we wandered around for a while. We went to a cemetery…(?) I don’t really know why. We thought it was the one where all the famous people were buried, but it wasn’t. We quickly got out of there. After the cemetery, we decided to go back to the metro and see the Seine River. Before that, you guessed it, I got a crepe. It was bananas and nutella. It was good, but I’m probably never going to eat again for the next five hundred years. We went to the Seine and walked along the river for a while before we had to go back to the airport.
All in all, it was a good trip. It was nice to be reminded of my family, who I miss more than words can even begin to describe. It was also great to be back with Evk once again. This week will be a busy one. On Tuesday, I have a media and politics midterm. Hopefully that’ll go well. On Wednesday, we have no school. However, I have to go to the doctor about problems in my neck, so hopefully that’ll be okay. Kinda scared about that whole thing, but I’m sure it’ll be okay. My host mom is coming with me, so that’s nice to have someone with me through it. On Thursday, Abroadfest starts. Abroadfest is held every year for the students studying abroad in Europe. It’s a huge concert. This year, it’s in Barcelona. How lucky! I’ll be going Thursday night. Friday morning, I’ll be volunteering at the soup kitchen for the homeless people in Barcelona. It’s for my Food as an Expression of Culture class! I’m pretty excited about going to the Soup Kitchen and helping out. Saturday morning, Evk gets here! She’ll be here until Sunday night. I’ll get to show her around Barcelona. I’m excited.
March 14-16, I’ll be making my last trip with my friends from IES. We’re going to Prague! Yeah! That’ll be fun. March 17th, one of my best friends Kristyn Schwartz is coming to Barcelona. Kristyn graduated a year ago and is in my sorority. I am literally so excited to see her. I haven’t seen her since November. Conveniently, she’s coming on Saint Patrick’s Day. Not sure if they celebrate that in Barcelona, but I’m sure that she will be. Then, on Thursday, we are headed to ROME! We’ll be there until Sunday. Absolutely can’t wait to travel to Rome. It’s also nice having a best friend who will literally travel across a continent to see you.
Until next time.