Paris trip august 2007

Paris, the city of love. I don’t know if it’s really the city of love but I sure can tell you that it plays tricks with your mind. I know Wade, Jan-Willem and Jolanda will say something different but we had a few really weird conversations. Actually the whole weekend was one weird conversation but we had so much fun! We left for Paris on Friday the 3rd of august. Jolanda, Jan-Willem and I had to work that Friday morning so we left at around 2-ish in the afternoon. It took us about 6,5 hours to reach Paris due the fact that traffic was just crazy near Antwerp. Also we experienced some trouble with getting LPG/GPL (gas) because we found out that every country has its own way of putting gas into a car… But we made it to Paris! When we arrived there, we found this amazing parking spot just outside the city centre, near our hotel. The best thing was: free parking! As we are cheap Dutch people we booked a cheap hotel near Pére Lachaise; the cemetery where Jim Morrison is buried. The hotel was cheap and the rooms were tiny but we couldn’t really complain because we didn’t pay much for it. The subway was right next to our hotel so we decided to go to the Eiffel tower. Seeing the Eiffel tower after being in a car for so long is just amazing! It was beautiful to see Paris by night!

The next morning we woke up early to leave and to explore Paris. First we hit the catacombs, an underground burial place in Paris. The bones of around 6 million people are stored there. From what I’ve understood was that a lot of graves were emptied in the 18th century and the bones were placed in these underground tunnels. It was a bit strange to see all these skulls and bones, but in a way it was interesting too. After the catacombs we took the nearest subway to Napoleon’s grave. Napoleon is buried in the Church of the Dome at Les Invalides. The church is just amazing, it has these beautiful paintings and the top of the church is covered in gold. The gardens around the building are very pretty. Les invalides was near the Eiffel tower so we decided to walk up to the Eiffel tower and take an elevator up to the top. We weren’t the only ones who wanted to go to the third floor of the Eiffel tower that day so Wade and I decided to get in line and Jolanda and Jan-Willem walked up to the fountain to relax a little bit. It took us 1,5 hours to reach the ticketboot and when we finally reached it they changed the sign and we could only go up to the 2nd floor because it was very crowded! I’ve been to the 3rd floor before but I was a bit sad for Wade. Here's this American who comes all the way from the United States and now he can’t go to the top of this building. Although we were only on the 2nd floor, the view from the Eiffeltower was amazing! After we came down, Wade and I walked up to the fountain and met up with Jolanda and Jan-Willem again. It was really warm weather so I decided to get into the fountain to cool down. The next thing on our list was the Nortre Dame. The Norte Dame was amazing too, I love seeing old churches and this one has a great architecture! Having seen the Norte Dame and all the other places we were all very exhausted and decided to go back to the hotel to take a shower and to change into fresh and clean clothes.

On Saturday evening we went up to Montmartre to have some diner there and see the Sacre Coeur. We missed sunset but still it was an amazing view from the Sacre Coeur, you could just overlook the whole city. My all time favorite place is Place du Tertre, the place where all the painters are situated on the street and draw or paint portrets. Such a romantic place and so beautiful. (If I ever find my mr. right guy I would definitely want to go there with him!) After Montmartre, Sacre Coeur and Place du Tertre we went to the red light distric of Paris; the place where people buy love. We wanted to see the Moulin Rouge so we walked up the building and took some pictures. Then we decided to go back to our hotel to drink some beers and get some rest.

Sunday morning was Louvre-time. We took the tube to the museum and while it has free access on every first Sunday of the month there were lines and lines everywhere. But as I already mentioned we, cheap, Dutch were excited about the museum entrance being for free so we couldn’t really care about the lines. It didn’t took long to get into the museum and so we went straight to the 1st floor to see the Mona Lisa. You just have to see the Mona Lisa when you are in Paris. It’s this tiny painting on a big wall and about 1000 asian people are making pictures of it…You just can’t miss it! After visiting the Louvre we walked on the Champ Elysées to the Arc du triomphe walked passed place du concorde and the American embassy. Wade wanted to make a picture of the embassy but the security in front of the buildig got really angry. Arc de Triomphe is amazing too, it’s nice to see the everlasting flame and to walk around the building. We were all too tired to climb the thing so after we had seen it we decided to go back to the hotel, get our stuff and head back to Holland. The bad thing about the whole day was that it was around 32 celcius outside and we were in a car without airconditioning. But we survived and we arrived safe at home that evening. Paris was amazing. I would like to go back again!

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