Welcome to day 1 of my 8 days of posting! If you didn’t read my post from earlier, I’ll be posting daily about my Spring Break trips to Paris, Dublin, and London!
So my first day of spring break started with getting up early- 4:30 in the morning- and getting on a 5 a.m. bus to Dublin Airport for my flight to Paris, where I was meeting my aunt. Even though it was so early, I was as excited as I’d ever been. Once I got to my gate, my excitement faded when I saw not one, not two, but over twenty frustrated small children also waiting for my flight to Paris. Nevertheless, I tried to stay positive. I ended up falling asleep on the plane for a little while, which eased my grumpiness towards the screaming kids.
Finally, after what felt like 5 hours but was actually under 2, we landed at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. It took forever to get through passport control and get my luggage- they checked my carry-on due to the fact that it was a full flight- but I eventually managed to reach the end. I was meeting my aunt at the Starbucks on the second floor, but I couldn’t find my way to it for the life of me! After asking an airport employee for navigation, I spotted my aunt. It was literally like out of a movie; both of us squealed and ran towards each other, hugging.
The two of us hopped in a cab and headed to our hotel, the Ibis Styles Lafayette Opera at cinq Rue de Trévise, s’il vous plait! In true European style, we were stuffed into a tiny room with twin beds and a tinier bathroom, but on the plus side we had a gorgeous view and a balcony! One thing I noticed about Paris is that no matter where you are in the city, everything around you is gorgeous. The architecture is so uniquely Paris that it’s impossible to forget where you are.
It was only around 2 p.m. at this point, so after a change of clothes and some lunch we decided to walk to the Louvre Museum, which was a little over a mile from our hotel. To get there we walked through the Palais Royale and its gardens, which were beautiful and expertly manicured despite the lack of flowers, it being March. We arrived at the Louvre in only about 20 minutes, and we quickly made our way inside, where we were pleasantly surprised to find that as I am a student residing in the EU, it was free for me to go in. This is actually very common in the EU- students between 18 and 26 can get discounts to a ton of the major attractions and museums.
As amateurs, my aunt and I had no idea how big the Louvre is. It’s the largest art museum in the world and at the moment it holds over 35,000 pieces of artwork. To make a long story short, we walked a lot more than we expected to! Something that I had already known was that the Mona Lisa is seriously underwhelming. Like I mean ridiculously! It’s a fairly small portrait done in dark colors in a room surrounded by 20-plus-foot scenes done in vibrant colors and decadent frames. When it’s put into perspective, the Mona Lisa is one of the least impressive works in the Louvre. Personally, I don’t even think it’s the most impressive Da Vinci painting at the Louvre- that spot is reserved for La belle ferrionnère. Despite this relative disappointment, the artwork at the Lpuvre is breathtaking. There are wings for every type of art, from sculpture to jewelry, to paintings, to furniture! Eventually, the both of us were exhausted and made the collective decision to leave.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at an odd restaurant for dinner. It was an old train car shoved into a building and converted into a pizza restaurant, which was really too cramped of a space for much comfort, but the pizza was really good. Finally, after our long day of flying and walking, we decided to call it a night, with plans to get on a hop-on-hop-off tour the next morning to see all of the quintessential Parisian sights. Tomorrow night you all get to hear about the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, the Champs-Elysées, etc.
See you next time,