Blogging! Seems to be a task that I have completely forgotten how to do. Which is very unfortunate for me because there´s so much to catch up on and unfortunate for all of my avid readers. So quickly, so as to not waste any more time I want to apologize for being selfish and not sharing my experiences as much as I said I would be. From here on out I think I´m going to try for shorter posts, more frequently so I can make sure to share the things I really want to and really need to, in a timely manner:).

PARIS! Was beautiful, as I´m sure you can probably imagine. I will keep this short, as this was a while ago. We (friends Anne Marie and Katie) took this trip on the 2nd of February until Sunday the 5th. We did all of the touristy things that we could possiblty do in 2 ½ days. We saw:
La Cathedral de Notre Dame
L'arc de triomphe (both of them! Which was a crazy real life experience for me)
The Royal Palace
La Louvre (but bring the stereotypical students that we are, did not go inside because we didn´t want to/have the money to spend on it. We found out later that on Sundays before 5pm it´s free! Not sure if that´s just for students but by that time we were to be already grounded back in Spain in our hometown, Granada.)
L´arc de Triomphe du Carrousel – getting to visit THIS monument over all of them is what meant the most to me. My sister and I when we were young (how old?) we had to build a structure and this was what we came up with, with the help of our parents. And with the help of our dad literally to construct the monument.  What I remember the most were the horses and soldiers we had to put up on top. I never in my life imagined that I would see the actual architecture
L´oblelisque
Powerwalked Les Champs-Élysées – Tuvimos prisa (we were in a hurry) because we had to meet Katie´s friend at the bottom of La Tour Eiffel. Since I had to go to the bathroom and we couldn´t stop in any restaurant or café unless we bought something it was less than an enjoyable stroll. We had in the L´arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile in our view of the horizon to guide us there, for it was our next stop.
L'arc de triomphe de l’Étoile – until I traveled to France I had no idea that TWO of these existed. Let alone that this one was twice the size of the smaller scale one that my sister and I had made!
La Tour Eiffel – freezing and cold sweating because we had been running, in fear of arriving late, we made it! I could barely feel my fingers after 5 hours or so of walking around in the cold. Although dressed for warm weather with my layers of 2 jackets, gloves, earmuffs, 2 pairs of socks, and a scarf, the wind and weather got to me. It got to us all! I finally made it to the bathroom... and boy, did I need it.

We saw everything that we had wanted to/intended to see. We navigated the trip very well. After living and traveling in Spain I definitely felt confident to say that Paris was much easier to spend time in. The streets don´t wind and angle like the ones in Spain. They want you to find where you´re going with relative ease. So again, the navigation was without difficulty, but the trip was not without challenge, of course!
The weather was one of the hardest things to get over. We had a great time in Paris but the weather made some of it almost unbearable, namely the wind.
Although we were well-equipped, in my pair of boots at least, that Anna Marie happened to borrow for our long excursion day, did not do well in the cold, and we honestly thought that she had gotten frostbitten on her toes. We stopped in Starbucks to warm up with some coffee before making our way to the first L´arc and on from there, because we had already made a trek to get to the Lourvre. It was here at Starbucks that two boys with city maps or something of the sort tried to come to our table and play a trick on us. A typical method of stealing is coming up to them with a map, generally when they see something of yours that´s valuable on the table. Fortunately for me in this scenario, it was my iPhone. As soon as Boy #1 started to move his map to rest onto our table directly over my iPhone I recognized the scheme and pushed his hand away before any damage could be done. Maybe if they were speaking a language that exists in some part of the world I would have been focusing more on what they were saying, but o well. Rookies ;)
Next challenge, higher in level of difficulty ,was THE sickness. We had one full day in between returning from Marruecos and then leaving to fly to France. We took it easy during the day but made a point to meet some granadinas and students before an early flight. THE sickness seemed to only get worse as my time went on in France and I would have to find a bathroom anytime after we ate, anytime I had excruciating stomach pain (which was very often). It was unlike anything I´ve ever remembered experiencing in my entire life thus far. Maybe that´s an exaggeration but it was not an ideal situation for a trip abroad in the extreme cold, with a lot of walking and a lot of things to see.
And what was the only medication that I had with me? Tums, that tasted like...candy. They were left with my host parents from the girl who studied abroad previously with my family. They came in assorted colors and they literally tasted like sweets. Initially I was glad that I had kept them in my duffle bag that I had brought to Marruecos. But the more I consumed them the more I´m convinced that they were candy since they didn´t really seem to help me that much, or as much as I hoped they would.
I feel that I handled it as best as I could, besides the fact that I had to, I wanted to have a good time and make sure that my friends did too! We stayed in a really great hostel. It had wifi available to us in the lobby and occasionally in our room on the 5th floor. They provided free breakfast in the morning, and we were easily able to find a shuttle service back to the airport when we needed it at about 4.15 am on Sunday morning. Our second night our roommates in the dorm room were two German boys and an Argentinian. It was nice to be able to spend the night talking and listening to music with new amigos desarollarndo amistades nuevos. Katie´s father was also in town and he helped make sure that all the while we were in France we were well accomodated. For our last dinner on Saturday night Katie invited Anna Marie and I to her Dad-Daughter dinner and he treated us all! We had filling entrees with dessert too, while we watched a French soccer game in the background. For dinner on Friday, the night of our full day of excursions, we invited Katie´s friends mom out to dinner with us. We found a really nice Pizza bar and she ended up treating us too! We were very grateful and feel very blessed. Saturday night, since we had the shuttle service picking us up at 4.15 in the morning, we didn´t purchase a night for the evening since we knew that we wouldn´t be sleeping and we felt essentially would be a waste of money if we  purchased this. Our new friends, the two Germans, and Argentinian, were still in our old room for the night, with a Brazilian we had met earlier, and with an American. They let us hang out in their room and then we went out for a little while to a spot that they wanted to check out. Although we were tired, we went for the sake of enjoying our last night and opportunity to hang out in Paris. Our friend Rob had met up with us at our hostel because we all had the same flight to catch in the morning.
Our flight left at 7.20AM and we got there with more than enough time to spare. I´m glad we left when we did because I heard later from other students in my program that also traveled to Paris, that it snowed all day! And then later on I saw it in the news.

Overall a very exciting, brisk, detailed, and upbeat trip to Paris. It was a clean, fun, and lively city. I would without a doubt go again....in the summer.

 


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