On 14 May, classes ended. By 16 May at noon, we had to be moved out of our apartments, keys locked inside, as if we had never been there.
That day I was flying to visit Alix, a friend who used to live in Greenville until she moved to France six years ago. My flight to Paris was at 6:40 in the morning, which means that The bus to Pisa left at 3:40. My roommates stayed up with me a saw me off. It wasn’t until I was in the stairwell, looking up at them waving, that I realized that I was going away for good. I would never go up and down those stairs again, never enter our incredibly yellow apartment. Suddenly all I wanted to do was curl up with them for a little bit longer.
But I did leave. With misty eyes I got myself to Paris. I got all the way to the metro before I realized something: I had left my luggage in the bus to Paris! I ran back to the bus depot, but my bus had already left. There was a very helpful attendant there who told me to come back in an hour and a half.
So I went back to the metro to go to Alix, and together we turned right back around to get my stuff. We had to wait about thirty more minutes, but the bus came back, and my luggage was on it! Now, I had been planning to put my suitcase in a locker at the place we met up, but since I didn’t want to waste any more time, I decided to carry it the whole day. That meant by the end of the day my shoulders, back, and hands were absolutely killing me. But at least I had it!
The first place we went to was the Arc de Triomphe. There was a huge French flag hanging off it. As we circled around to get a closer view, we came across some breakdancing streets performers. At the end of their show they pulled some kids from the audience and danced with them as well.
Then we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower and walked along its lawns. When I visited Paris five years ago, we visited the Eiffel Tower at night, so this view was completely new to me! We had to walk really far away from it to even try to fit it all in a picture.
Then we went to Notre Dame, where they were having a bread festival!
After we hit all the main sights, we did a lot of walking. We saw all the beautiful things that Paris had to offer, including a famous ice cream parlor, Berthillon. Normally the line is really long, but since it was cloudy and chilly there was only one couple in front of us. It was creamy and delicious!
For dinner, we went to Mamie Tevennec, a creperie recommended to us by Eva, one of my flatmates. That night, all the museums were open later for free. We wanted to go to a gallery of Picassos that also had a dance performance, but when we got there the line was actually insane. We went to Le Centre Pompidou instead, which is actually pretty famous and had no line. It’s a modern art museum, so some of the stuff was like, what, but other stuff was nice! There was a projection of the world that showed each year starting formalize 500BC and how the country lines changed.
I had gotten barely any sleep that night, so when we arrived at Alix’s house in Chateau-Thierry I fell asleep almost instantly.
The next morning we drove to Reims, a popular town in the Champagne region where Alix goes to school. The church there looks a lot like Notre Dame, but taller and skinnier. There’s an angel on it that’s famous because it’s so happy!
After walking around Reims, and visiting some champagne houses that were closed because it was Sunday, we went back to Alix’s house for lunch, and then back to Paris. We tried to go to the Louvre but they weren’t letting any more visitors in for the day. So we walked around for a bit in the huge park behind it, and saw the obelisk Napoleon brought from Egypt, the opera house, and got macarons from Pierre Herme, which is less touristy than Laduree.
After that we walked up the hill to Sacre Coeur and the Montmartre neighborhood. We spent the rest of our day there; exploring, visiting Sacre Coeur, watching a clown perform, and eating dinner.
On our way back to the hostel we stopped by the red light district and snapped a picture of Moulin Rouge.
Monday means Disneyyyy! We took a train that dropped us off literally right on Disney property. There are two parks in Paris, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios. Since we only had one day we spent it in Disneyland. It was so amazing! And the weather was great, until the very end when it started raining.
There was a parade that we had absolutely amazing seats for. I was like a little girl, waving at all of the characters passing by!
At the end of the night was an amazing lights and fireworks show, projected on Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
On the train back we ended up in the same car as some girls from HPU on a Maymester! They had a free day so of course they went to Disney.
The next morning I had to wake up early to catch my flight back to Florence; my last flight home!