For my first weekend getaway during my time abroad, I felt that a trip to Paris should be the start of my adventures! On Friday, my friends and I hopped on a bus for an overnight trip to the “City of Lights”.
We arrived early in the morning where the coach parked next to the Eiffel Tower. What a dream it was to wake up under one of the city’s most famous monuments! We then set off on foot for a walking tour of the city. Our first stop was Notre Dame that sits along the side of the Seine River. The intricate detailing on both the interior and exterior took architects nearly 200 years to complete.
Our group made our way through the city and we crossed over the Seine River on the Love Lock Bridge. This modern day monument is covered with thousands of padlocks that symbolize the dedication of love from lovers around the world. Once a couple attaches their lock to the bridge, they toss the key in the river representing a bond that can’t be broken. The bridge has acquired so many locks in recent years that part of it collapsed a few days before our arrival. Fortunately it had been restored and ready for pictures again!
Finally, we walked along the river to the Louvre, one of the most famous art museums in the world that boasts over 35,000 pieces of art. Our group walked through the museum but I don’t think we managed to see a tenth of what the galleries hold. We did, however, see world famous paintings such as Mona Lisa and Liberty Leading the People. Not only was the artwork extraordinary, but the building itself was a work of art. Each room was incredibly detailed without a single corner untouched.
Later that afternoon we walked along the famous Champs Elysees, one of the most popular shopping boulevards in the world. Much like London, Paris is a melting pot of people from all over the globe. As I walked down the street, I noticed so many cultural differences between the people that passed by. People spoke in many different languages and dressed in ways specific to their culture. I enjoyed interacting with not only the French, but those who came to visit the same beautiful city I did!
After a long weekend of walking throughout Paris, we made our final stop on the metro in the northern part of the city to meet with our tour guide and head home to London. As we emerged from the underground metro station, we found ourselves in a market surrounded by street vendors selling anything and everything under the sun! Used Doc Martens, old Polaroid cameras, watches without proper batteries and worn French children’s books were everywhere.
As I searched through the market for little treasures, I saw a store to my left called ‘Kati’, which coincidentally is the exact spelling of my nickname. I quickly grabbed my friend and asked her to take a picture of me standing under the awning. What are the odds of finding this? Sadly, the tour guide began calling our names because our bus had arrived and we had to make a quick departure. I don’t quite know when I’ll return to Paris, but I can’t help feel that I left a little piece of me there.