It’s been a couple days since my last post and I blame that completely on full days followed by instantaneous exhaustion upon sitting down in the apartment. Yes, I know I “have it really tough” perusing the streets of Paris, meeting new and interesting French natives, and all together seeing things I thought I’d have to wait years to see. However, by the time I get home at night, I am pooped. I have a little video chat with my family, followed by another with Matt, and once I’m finished, I’ve completely gone over the day’s details twice and am ready for relaxation of both body and mind. So, without further delay, I give to you the previous 2 days of my Paris adventure!
I’ve mentioned the Musée d’Orsay as a must-see in my past couple posts, but that I hadn’t found the perfect time to go. I woke up on Tuesday with the museum in the forefront of my mind, so I walked out the door and headed straight to the Orsay. There was a line, of course, but it moved quickly, and I received a discount for being between the ages of 18 and 25. I entered the main hall and was immediately blown away by the structure. The building is an old train depot that has been converted into a museum with tall, rounded, gold ceilings and a huge clock at one end. The entire museum is very open, stretching from one end to the other, with side wings for smaller paintings. It is very different from the Louvre in that sense; the Orsay is one big building, the Louvre is a long series of separate sections. Though the building itself is incredible, including much of its artwork, at the time I went to see it, the Monets had been moved to the Grand Palais, and some of the VanGoghs were gone as well. Unfortunately, those were the main things I wanted to see, so after an hour, I left feeling only halfway satisfied.
The La Conciergerie was the next stop in my agenda, because it was the home of Marie Antoinette’s imprisonment. I was dying to see the old cell they held her in, and the dark, eerie tunnels. Disappointment #1 of my time in Paris; it was so lame! It took me about 20 minutes to get through the exhibit where they only have replicas of the cells, include Marie Antoinette’s. The only reason I took pictures was to prove to others how silly it would be to spend the time to see this exhibit. Let this be a lesson to you…
That evening I wandered down Saint Germain and onto a side street with side-by-side cafes and shops. The weather was cooperating, so I grabbed a seat outside for dinner, and enjoyed a pasta. I was reading the third Millenium Series book when a handsome young Frenchman, sitting directly next to me, leaned over and struck up a conversation. He and his friend had thick French accents, but spoke fairly good English, so we sat for 2 hours talking about books, authors, young Parisian nightlife, and their thoughts on the “real” Paris. I had such a good time talking with these guys, but I couldn’t help but think how unfortunate it was that I was sitting there and not my single sister. 😉
On Wednesday I had a clear plan for my morning. I went over to an open-air market that Nancy (Matt’s mom) recommended with large displays of fish, meat, pates, vegetables, fruit, etc. I took a moment to order a banana and chocolate crepe and watched as they made it right in front of me. Looking back, I should have purchased a scarf or bag, because they were all so inexpensive, but I just wanted to saunter and enjoy. After the market I made the worst decision of my trip. Disappointment #2, going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I should have just gone halfway up, which is an option and provides spectacular views as well. But I decided to go all the way up, and got stuck waiting in an hour long line in the middle of the tower, in the middle of a group of obnoxious German students on a tour (ages 12-15), only to end up at a crowded precipice, where the views are pretty much the same as the middle of the tower, followed by another line to descend. Ugh! Needless to say, I immediately made my way to a cafe for a stiff drink following that experience.
After the most delicious bowl of cheesy French onion soup, I called it an early night in preparation for the arrival of Matt and his parents the next day. And so my four days alone in Paris came to end. I saw so many sights, walked a million miles, and met the friendliest and most interesting people (it’s a good thing I’m not shy). I ate way too much delicious food, but I’ve just decided that I won’t get this food in Ireland, and while I’m here I’ll be as gluttonous as I can! The best thing of all, it’s not over; I have the whole weekend to continue this experience. Tomorrow I’ll have to add to my “Game Day” category with a pre-game analysis of the OU/Texas game, but after that keep an eye out for a play-by-play of the rest of my trip.