Friday, January 1, 2016

Paris // Travel

With the start of the new year I'm excited to bring a new section to my blog: Travel! 
I recently went on a three-week long trip to France, Amsterdam, and Spain. I'm going to do these posts by locations, otherwise they will go on forever. 

I'm also thinking about doing a post on how to travel cheaply because I think I've become pretty good at it over my past trips. 







My friend Shane and I arrived in Paris at 8am on a cloudy Wednesday morning. We hadn't slept much (if any) on the plane so we were pretty exhausted. Tired and hungry, we took the advice from the receptionist at our hostel and walked the canals of St. Martin. It's a pretty short walk but it's along some very beautiful canals with nice cafes along the way. It was definitely the perfect activity for those suffering from not sleeping for almost 24 hours.

We went back to the hostel for a nap but quickly decided that wasn't the best plan as we would fall into a deep sleep. We decided to go climb the Arc De Triomphe.  The view was breathtaking. We were in Paris only 2 short weeks after the attacks and they had projections of the victims names on the Eiffel tower that week.






One of the best parts about visiting Paris (Or Europe for that matter) in December is because everything was so lit up for Christmas! All the streets were beautiful and there were decorations everywhere. After climbing the Arc Du Triomphe, we walked along the Champs Elysees until we were too exhausted to move.

Some people really hate traveling when its cold but Shane and I found it to be one of the best decisions we've made - no crowds, the weather wasn't too bad, and everything is decorated! No, the flowers aren't in bloom but I think I'll trade that over crowds and sweat!


The next day included the Louvre and walking to the Eiffel Tower.
But let's start with the Louvre - absolute insanity. As a recent graduate from a studio art program, The Louvre was definitely a dream come true. But it was also pretty overwhelming. There was just SO much to see. We spent most our time in the 19th century painting wing and in that wing alone they had over 1,000 paintings! I found I enjoyed other museums more in Paris (Musee d'Orsay for example) just because I found the Louvre so vast and .

Walking to the Eiffel Tower along the Seine was an absolute dream though. Even though I was traveling in December the weather was perfect.







The next day we went to Saint-Denis - a suburb on the outskirts of Paris. Very easy to get to via metro and on Friday mornings they have a very fun market that sells everything you could ever imagine! The best part of Saint-Denis though is the Basilica. As you can see from the photos - its huge, beautiful, and there are tons of Kings buried there!









The main reason I chose to go to France in the first place was because my best friend is teaching ESL there and I knew I wanted to come visit her before she came back to the States. She came up to Paris to visit Shane and I, which was so much fun! We went to the catacombs, the Musee D'Orsay, the Luxembourg Gardens,  Galaries LaFayette to see the ornate Christmas tree (seen above) and went to a cabaret show in Montmartre!

I could go for days about Paris. I loved it. It was beautiful, busy, and everything I imagined it to be. Paris really is a beautiful city and if you have the chance to go - do it.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments down below!
Have you ever been to Paris?

Lee
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