I met up with Monica at 6:15 outside her house (we lived 5 minutes away from each other (which is handy at 6:15 in the morning) so that we could go to Gare St. Jean together, where we were meeting up with Jackie and Candy (we would meet up with Valerie in Paris, because she had opted to take an even earlier train). Nothing too exciting there. Except that I got angry because in between our naps on the 3 and a half hour ride from Bordeaux to Paris, Monica and I would occasion talk/squeal about how excited we were for this trip, and I don’t think the girl in front of us appreciated it, as evidenced by the flick of her hand over the back of her seat, which kind of silenced Monica and I abruptly, because she could have just as easily turned around and said “Pardon moi”, which we totally would have understood as “I’m so sorry to interrupt you, but it’s not even 8AM and I would love to just sleep a little more. Perhaps you could keep your voices a tad lower?”. Because 1) I seriously don’t think Monica and I were talking that loudly, and 2) We were really excited!. But she probably should have thought about it before she silenced us so rudely, because she might have realized that I had the power to kick the back of her chair for the next hour, while she wouldn’t have been able to reciprocate. Not like I took advantage of this, or anything, but basically, I REALLY hate rude people, and it made me mad.
Our day in Paris was relatively uneventful, but still a lot of fun. We decided ahead of time that because we had all either already spent a lot of time there, or because we were going to be back in the future, that it was going to be a relaxed day. We decided to take advantaged of the GLORIOUS weather by heading straight to the Eiffel Tower (which I had actually never even SEEN in person before), where we lounged by it on the grass for literally two hours. It was such a nice break from the coldness that is Bordeaux. And we saw a puppy! So that was good.
Jackie, Me, Valerie, Candy & Monica.
The Seine! Valerie & I are big Les Miz fans, so needless to say, we were excited to be there.
We ate lunch, went to Notre Dame, DRANK STARBUCKS FILTERED COFFEE, and eventually went to Montmartre towards sunset so that we could go to Sacre Coeur (which was pretty awesome, if you like basilicas and stuff). My opinion is definitely, however, that as cool as Paris might be, it’s definitely the seediest place I’ve ever been. Rome might be touristy too, but neither of my trips had the same seedy feel that Paris emitted. Like, there are Eastern European women EVERYDAY asking for money, and when you don’t answer their French, they come armed with a bunch of languages, so that you really have to ignore them until they go away. Also, the thread-bracelet scam guys were all over Sacre Coeur. And we definitely had to fend of drunk guys as we sat on the steps waiting for the sun to go down. I never felt afraid, or anything, and I liked all of my time in Paris, I just think that this characteristic sets it apart from the other cities that I’ve visited for me.
Our hostel, Le Village, was really nice – the four of us had our own room and bathroom and shower. Not that it really mattered, because we were barely going to be there because we were going to have to leave so early in the morning anyway to get to the bus to the airport in order to go to Rome (!). We knew where the official Aeroport Beavais bus was supposed to pick us up on the map, but we didn’t actually know where we were supposed to find it. Once we were all back in our room at night, Candy and I sat down to choose the fastest metro route to Port Maillot, where the buses left from. We had to be there by 6AM, so we were nervous about getting there in time, because there was no way we were NOT getting on that plane. To make a long story short, after one discussion with the guy at reception, a quick trip to the closest metro station to confirm that his advice about when the metro started running was correct (it wasn’t), another conversation with him about the best way to get a taxi in the morning, and an extra-early wake-up by me and Candy before everyone else just to ensure that there WERE taxis running in order to leave enough time if we were going to have to call one, the four of us (Valerie was staying with her aunt) were up, checked out, and in a taxi on our way to Port Maillot. All was well. Until we had been zooming through the dark streets of Montmartre for five minutes, when Monica apologetically realized that she had accidentally left her cell phone under the pillow in the hostel…….
Next Time: Rome?