Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't Rain on my Paris Parade

So Paris on the second day was less heat but equal amount of lines (or "queues"). We started off the morning with a trip to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the heart of Paris and also the location of Victor Hugo's famous novel. After touring the beautiful interior, we decided to climb to the tower to get a 360 view of Paris...well let's just say an hour wait and 400-odd steps later we were completely exhausted. The view was good, but not worth the workout.



By afternoon, the wind was howling, the sky opened up, and it FINALLY started raining. Not happy with the idea of being soaked, we hurried back to our hostel in Montparnasse and had the most phenomenal crepe dinner ever (after the rain stopped).

At night, we had a little mishap in that we bought a bottle of wine...and then realized we didn't have a bottle opener. Instead of giving up, we found a youtube video on how to open it with a key and then spent 30 minutes struggling to get the thing open. You might think that success makes it taste all the sweeter, but we all found that we were not fans of wine. Well at least now we know how to open a bottle...

I parted ways that night with my friends and spent Sunday running around in the rain trying to get to Versailles. I was glad I first took a detour, however, to the Victor Hugo house in Marais. Even though everything was in French, it was really cool to see the house interior (which Hugo designed himself) and the artworks and prints related to his most famous novels.

Versailles was both a huge letdown and a blessing...after an hour train ride I found out that they start closing the Chateau at 6:10, so I only had around 40 minutes to see the inside. They also didn't give me the free youth entry because I wasn't a citizen, even though other places did. So I sat outside brooding and kicking rocks for an hour until the gardens were free. What I didn't expect was the fact that the grandeur of the palace was just as prevalent outside as it was inside. The gardens were an enormous maze of trees, perfectly manicured lawns and shrubberies, and flowing fountains (and one enormous lake). I spent two hours just exploring every little corner and unexpected turn. I'm so glad I saved 15 euros and had my outdoor experience for free. ^_^

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