So you know that scene in "The Devil Wears Prada" where Anne Hathaway is in Paris and a little drunk and talks about how people always say they're in love with this city and now she understands why, then sleeps with that skeezy guy from The Mentalist? Of course you do. That's totally what I was like while in Paris (minus the drunk off wine *coughstorycominglatercough* and sleeping with creepy blonde men parts) I mean, I pretty much AM Anne Hathaway anyway, right? RIGHT?!
Wow, that's two totally relevant chick flick movie references in two days. I'm on a ROLL.
So Paris. It's awesome and gorgeous. Let's chat about it.
Despite getting very little sleep the night before, and spending the majority of that time listening to my friend sleep LOUDER than anyone I have ever met in my life, I woke up psyched for France. And France did not disappoint. For the most part. To begin with, the hostel provided breakfast for free. YESSSSS. So we woke up at about 7 in the morning, ate quickly then headed out to beat the lines at the Louvre. The museum opens at 9 and we were in line at about 8:30 and there were only about ten people in front of us. Now I have a very limited amount of patience for art, but the Louvre was awesome. However, it was obvious most people were only there for the few famous works, EXAMPLE: the Mona Lisa is in a room off a corridor, and when we were done staring at Da Vinci's male lover, we kept going down the hall. The density of people between pre and post Mona Lisa was ridiculously noticeable. Pre-ML people were plentiful, walking quickly forward and looking excited. Post-ML... there was pretty much no one. Even though the works down there were just as worthy of notice as the others on the other side, people just don't care about you if you're after the Mona Lisa. Sorry Raphael.
We also saw the Venus De Milo, this one really important cylinder thing from like Mesopotamia or something, a sphinx and some really old rocks the Louvre is built on top of. Oh, and Napoleon's apartments are at the Louvre too. Do people know this? Because I had no idea. And they were pretty awesome. Dude knew how to decorate. "More chandeliers. NEVER ENOUGH CHANDELIERS."
After strolling through the mall that totally exists inside the Louvre, where SHOCKINGLY stuff is really expensive, we walked down the river to Notre Dame. On our way, we were sort of ambushed by two pretty adorable boys with what looked like petitions. It was only after starting to sign the thing that I realized (of course) they were taking "donations" for a "center for the deaf and dumb." But because my heart BLEEDS I put down that I would give 5 Euros, only that wasn't good enough for little Rodolpho (that's what I just named him in my head). I only had 20's left, but oh how sweet of him, he had change for me. So I gave the fake deaf kids 10 Euros because apparently I'm FREAKING MOTHER THERESA.
But Notre Dame... that might have been one of my favorite parts of the trip. Now I'm not a particularly religious person. I mean, I do have quite a bit of Relient K and Hawk Nelson on my Itunes, but I hardly ever go to church. For me personally, my religion and identity as a Christian is a very personal aspect of myself. But for some reason, I just really love cathedrals. And not for the gorgeous architecture and art (although that doesn't hurt). It's really the feeling of purpose that exists in all churches, and is especially prominent in older cathedrals. I mean, these buildings are still being used for the exact same purpose they were built for centuries ago. And these builders and artists from a completely different time created these works for the sole purpose of expressing the love and dedication they felt for their faith. That's just incredible to me.
Notre Dame itself was beautiful. All around the walkway, there were places to pray and light candles, and my friend who just happens to Jewish, lit one. I love that we live in this time when religion can be universal like that, and you don't have to be of a specific belief system to interact with the practices of faith. Because honestly, different religions aren't even that different.
Ok, when did this turn into a lecture on modern religion? SuperSeriousTimes is done now.
After Notre Dame, we decided it would be fine to walk to the Eiffel Tower, because someone saw on a map that it was right down the river in a straight line from where we were. FALSE. You'd think, considering it's a fricken TOWER it'd be easy to find, but that is actually incorrect. When we got kind of close, we would be teased by a glimpse of it, then we'd lose it amongst the plethora of buildings that I'm sure are prime real estate, but block any view of the tower like jerks.
We finally got to the tower after about an hour and a half of walking, and found out it's actually brown instead black like I'd always thought. So, you know, learning.
I put my fear of heights and falling on the back burner like a trooper to join my friends as we took the elevator up to the top. I was mocked a little bit for being nervous, but honestly, elevators should not go that high. But the view from up top was pretty great, when I wasn't imagining falling to my death. Waiting to go back down though, took much longer than going up, and while in line, my friend Emily and I treated everyone in the vacinity to an awesome duet of "Total Eclipse of the Heart." It was awesome.
We then headed to the Arc de Triumphe and the Champs Elysees, but on the way we passed a statue of George Washington. Between that, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, and a Franklin Roosevelt underground stop, it's obvious France is trying to steal our most badass presidents. NO FRANCE. If you want cool leaders, you have to put away your man scarves, hunt some bears instead of quail, and grow a pair.
So yeah. Arc de Triumphe and Champs Elysees. They were pretty cool. This day was so long even writing about it is making me exhausted.