Paris was the third stop in my tour de Europa. Admittedly, this was the city I was most excited about visiting prior to actually leaving the US. I've always been a bit of a Francophile, and I wanted to be overwhelmed by riverside walks and crepes and art and macarons. I experienced all of those things and more:
|the Seine River on a windy day|
|inside Notre Dame|
Following my time in the cathedral, I took a little (long) walk to the Louvre and spent about an hour there. If you know anything about that museum, you know that it takes DAYS to see everything inside. Needless to say, I returned there two days later.
|da Vinci's 'La Belle Ferronière'; better than the 'Mona Lisa', in my opinion.|
|more Botticelli. sigh.|
|Michelangelo's "Rebellious Slave"|
Following my brief visit on the first day, I took a train over to the Rodin Museum. Rodin is one of my favorite artists, and I was not disappointed by the well-curated collection of his works.
|A view from the gardens of the Rodin Museum.|
|The original "Thinker"; there are many reproductions that exist and they are often scaled to a larger size, like the version in the photo above.|
|"The Crouching Woman"|
|Arc de Triomphe.|
|on top of the world.|
|On Champs-Elysees. This is the LINE to get into ABERCROMBIE & FITCH. Unreal.|
|Macaron heaven. I had three mini macarons: salted caramel, chocolate, and gingerbread. All delicious.|
On my last full day in France, I decided to head to Versailles. After seeing the palaces of the Medicis and Hapsburgs, I honestly didn't know what to expect. But man, oh man, was I ever surprised by how strikingly beautiful Versailles is:
|Hall of Mirrors.|
|my finger makes another appearance!|
Once you're done with the tour, you have the option of touring the gardens...miles and miles of gardens, each of which is different in character from the one you saw before. I spent almost two and a half hours walking around outside without even noticing that time was passing. On this particular day, they were playing classical music throughout the gardens. It was basically the most idyllic way to stroll about gardens; I felt like a character from a BBC version of some Jane Austen novel (without a corset, obviously). It was amazing, and I didn't want to leave.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my awesome host, Simon, who let me couchsurf in his beautiful 5th floor walk-up in the 10th Arrondissement. He took me out on the town with his friends, took me to an African club, and even begrudgingly ate Tex-Mex with me (which was awesome!).
|This is our best look.|
|Barbocoa taco and a cactus and queso blanco tostada. YUM.|
|I think one of my friends summed this up perfectly when he suggested that Hemingway would be proud of me for hanging out here. Hemingway would be proud and DRUNK off of the straight pour of rum that they hand out here.|