To be completely honest, I had no plans to re-visit Paris on this trip to Europe, but of course, the boy who I am currently obsessed with said he wanted to go, and so I immediately dropped my Greek-Island-hopping plans and booked my flight to Paris. Not surprisingly, he ended up canceling, however it ended up working out even better, (at least that's what I keep telling myself) as two of my best friends from NY–Andrew and Carolyn– came with me!
The first day it was only me and Carolyn. We arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and took a train and subway to our hotel, which ended up being in the middle of the ghetto; so far I've had pretty bad luck with my hotel choices here in Europe... although this one really wasn't that bad. We freshened up and took the subway to the center of Paris, where we ate panini and walked around from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower. It was raining and we were freezing, but that's the thing about Paris, it didn't look any less beautiful. We did our obligatory picture-taking tourist routine before breaking down with exhaustion. I know we were in Paris but we had spent the last six hours on three different forms of transport so it was hard to look alive. We stopped by a supermarket and bought fruit, granola bars and 1 Euro sandwiches which were surprisingly good (#LifeOfABrokeStudent) as well as some Orangina, my favorite parisian soda. As soon as we got to the hotel and ate absolutely everything we had bought for the next few days, we fell asleep. So much for exploring Paris.
Day 2: Carolyn and I woke up extra early today, mostly because we felt guilty for going to sleep so early yesterday on our first night in Paris. Our first stop was the infamous Chanel store in 31 Rue Cambon. I have been reading and obsessing about it for years and although we could not go in, it was a dream to finally see it. Next, we went to the Louvre. I thought I would remember more of it from my past visits to Paris but it all seemed very different to me. I actually enjoyed the city much more this time with Carolyn and Andrew, for I felt like I knew so much more (especially about the art in Louvre, which I studied for three somewhat boring years in college) and could appreciate everything on a deeper level. We spent about four hours in the Louvre and when we left, Andrew was outside waiting for us! We all walked to Zara, the store, because as per usual, I did not bring weather-appropriate clothing and so I had to buy a jacket. They ended up shopping too so I didn't feel that bad. After that –also my fault– we made a Starbucks stop. If there's something I learned about myself in these past few months in Europe, it is that YES I do adore Italian and French coffee, but sometimes I just need my Starbucks. I apologize. Our next stop was the Orsay museum. I had never been there, and I loved the strange collection the had, as well as the beautiful and extremely decorative architecture of the building. Every floor and room in the museum contained a different type of art, from antique furniture to illustration to my all-time favorite Ballerina Collection by Degas. The day was very long and as you may imagine, I was wearing inconveniently high boot heels, so after the Orsay I was dead. I was immediately revived, however, when we arrived at the famous Parisian fair, midway between the Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. We bought huge French hotdogs and delicious chocolate ice cream, and then decided to go on a terrifying ride that made me wish I hadn't eaten. FInally we rode the ferris wheel, from which we were able to admire all of Paris at night, and see the glow of the Eiffel tower when the clock stroke 11:00. I had almost forgotten how beautiful Paris can be. After that we walked all the way to the tower and arrived just in time to see it shine at 12:00. We sat on the grass, drank champagne and watched the glow of midnight. It was without doubt one of the best moments of my entire trip.
Day 3: Carolyn went to sight-see on her own and Andrew and I took a train to the Castle of Versailles. It was so much bigger than I remembered, and the gardens were as lovely as ever. Luckily, the day was sunny and gorgeous, so our walk in the gardens was perfect. To be honest, we spent a lot of time taking selfies, but we really did enjoy the historical part as well. We ate tuna sandwiches and coffee for lunch, and after about four hours visiting the castle and admiring the absolutely stunning hall of mirrors, we set out for the city. Of course, we stopped for a Starbucks break before boarding the train, and unbelievably, ran into a girl from our college! I have no idea how these things happen but it was a huge coincidence and a very welcome surprise. after about an hour on the train, we arrived at our hotel again and met Carolyn. We all then took the subway to the beautiful Champs-Elysees. We walked around and then sat down for a well-deserved fancy dinner. Later we went to another restaurant so that Andrew could eat dessert. It was a great day.
Day 4: Today we woke up very early and had a wonderful French breakfast of: croissants, omelette, coffee and orange juice. We chatted, took selfies and said our goodbyes and then Carolyn and I took our flight home to Milan. It was a great ending to an extraordinary trip. I've truly had the time of my life.