Some friends and I decided to break free from England our second weekend studying abroad in favor of checking out Paris before we left.
I had never considered visiting Paris before because the language barrier frightened me, but we ended up having a great time. We scheduled an English-language guided tour, which started off with us heading to St. Pancras station to catch the Eurostar train at 7 a.m.
I hit a little snag in the road when I discovered that the travel company booked my train seat in a different coach from my friends, so I was riding solo during the trip there and back. I was appeased, though, when Eurostar offered Americans a complimentary hot drink in honor of our Independence Day. I never felt more happy to be an American in Europe!
The train took about two hours and once we stopped in Paris we quickly found our tour guide and hit the road in our coach bus. We drove around Paris to do some sightseeing, including the Arc de Triomphe, before making our way to the Eiffel Tower.
The day was overcast and a little rainy, but that didn’t ruin the spectacular views we saw from the top of the Eiffel. Paris stretches for miles in all directions, a stone and plaster forest into the horizon. The elevators were freaky, though.
After getting back to ground level, I bought the most delicious crepe I have ever eaten before heading out on a sightseeing cruise on the River Seine. Luckily the rain had stopped so we got some great views of the Louvre and Notre Dame from our boat seats.
We headed to the Louvre to check out some of the incredible works of art housed within. It is undoubtably the greatest museum I’ve ever visited and the most beautiful building. As you often hear about the Louvre, I only scratched the surface of what it holds, but I did see the Venus de Milo and other wonderful pieces.
I was surprised at how many people wait in line to see the Mona Lisa when you can pass by its side and see it just as well. It’s a shame because there are some fantastic paintings surrounding it in the same gallery room.