We're off again and headed to a new destination, Vienna, Austria! I'm currently seated in a tiny train compartment with six tiny bunk beds and six very cramped people. I always imagined train rides to be a very magical thing (thank you, Harry Potter), but there is nothing magical about this set up. Just another part of the adventure.
Paris was a beautiful and luxurious city and so much more than I could have ever imagined. I saw nothing of the dirty place often described by people. Every direction you turned there was something to be seen.
I think much of the reason I enjoyed the city so much was due to the fact that I had a guide who knew the city well and can speak French. Conner humbly acts like she is not very good at the language but she easily conversed with the native speakers and got us all that we needed with her abilities. That was a blessing since the French are not very keen to use English.
The architecture in Paris is almost overwhelming, but it goes well with the atmosphere of ritzy stores, restaurants, and museums. Everything feels like its the highest quality. I think it would be difficult to live in that culture and not get caught up in the materialism all around you. We enjoyed it for the week though, walking through the designer stores and snacking on Laduree macaroons, well a Laduree macaroon (singular).
One of my favorite things about traveling is trying the food of different places. While this week was an incredibly delicious one, I don't think I've ever eaten so many carbs in my life. So many beautiful and delicious carbs. Pastries a couple of mornings from the bakery down the street, baguette and cheese, tartines, croissants....Conner likes to appropriately use the slogan "Chub scouts".
We also visited a specialty coffee shop near Hotel de Ville called La Cafeotheque (the coffee library) where we chose our brew method and coffee origin from a lengthy menu. We went with V60 from El Socorro. It was pretty dang good. You can see a picture below of a note we left on behalf of Greyhouse in their guest book!
Our first stop when we arrived was the most delicious falafel which we took as carry-out to eat in a nearby park. Soooo good. We also enjoyed gelato shaped as a flower, coffee eclairs, and drinks at a few of the many cafes that line the streets of the city. One was particularly dear to us going by the name of "Indiana".
A personal highlight was our picnic in the park in front of the Eiffel tower. We brought wine, cheese, apples, and a baguette to enjoy in the beautiful weather. It was only slightly ruined by the young, American man sitting behind us who assumed no one in the vicinity spoke English while he vented about his sexual frustrations to his friend. Stupid Americans.
As the mature adult that I am, one of my other favorite moments was when the Parisian cops went gliding down the street in single file ON ROLLERBLADES. They were totally gliding in sync and everything, Olympic inline skating style. Unfortunately, I was too slow in recovering from the shock that overtook me to get a video, but I did, not-so-discreetly, snap a photo of them later. Ask Conner, it was a strange and humorous sight.
We also made it to many of the famous sites, including the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, Montmartre, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. These were all very worth visiting, but overwhelmingly tourist-filled. It was nice taking breaks from the business to lounge in the gardens while enjoying the nice weather and people watching.
I feel like this post was a lot of unorganized rambling, but there was a lot to see, do and eat within the extravagant city and a lot to write about. Overall, our time in the city greatly enjoyed and I look forward to stopping through again on our way back.