Yesterday was probably one of the best days of my life so far. I wasn't able to post because right when I got back I fell asleep thanks to such a long and amazing day.
I woke up around 3am on Saturday morning to pack a few things and get ready for our trip to Paris for the day. Myself and another girl in the apartment met downstairs with five of the other study abroad students going on the trip as well. We waited outside of our apartment for awhile waiting for our driver to take us to St. Pancras station. It was a quick drive and right when we got to St. Pancras we sat down and ate breakfast and the next thing we knew it was time to check in, go through security, and board our train to Paris! We were all seated together and right when the train started to move I fell asleep.
I think it took us about two or so hours to get there and the time changed as well, we lost an hour. We got off of the train, met our tour guide--Michael, who was awesome!, and got to know the other families on the trip as well. We got on a charter bus and toured around the streets of Paris and were able to see a lot of landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and so many other places.
We got out of the bus and walked to a doc not too far from the Eiffel Tower to get on a river boat tour on the River Seine. It was incredible. We saw the Eiffel Tower from afar, the Louvre, beautiful bridges, Notre Dame de Paris, and a lot of museums. It was funny too because there were people tanning on the sides of the river and even a couple taking wedding pictures over one of the many love lock bridges.
After our river boat tour that was about an hour long, we got off of the boat and walked to the Eiffel Tower. It was so much bigger than I had expected and it looked like it changed colors from when I was far away to up close. When I was far away it looked like a dark green color, and then when I walked up to it, it was a beautiful dark beige color. It was massive just standing under it was a sight to see.
We then got to take the elevator up to the second level which was a perfect view to see all of Paris. It was amazing seeing how all of the buildings and houses were plotted, all of the landmarks, and just being up there was surreal. We took a few pictures together as a group and realized we'd only have about 45 minutes to sit down and eat lunch.
We left the tower and found a little cafe for lunch--which we had to eat quickly even though the French waitress didn't like that we had to rush. I had a club sandwich and it was probably one of the best club sandwiches i'd ever had. We left and rushed back to meet our group and walked to our bus for our tour of the Louvre. I fell asleep on our 20 or so minute trip there and it was huge. There were so many things to see and right when we got there we rushed to see the Mona Lisa. The painting was not as big as I had expected but people were practically fighting each other to get the perfect picture.
I walked around for about 30 more minutes and then exhaustion hit a few of us. We decided to go outside where the glass pyramid was to get some fresh air. We took a few pictures and enjoyed how nice it was outside--did I mention that we had perfect weather when I was there?? The Louvre had a lot of shops and places to eat inside of it so it was very convenient to just hang out for a little while before we left. We headed back to our meeting place with our tour guide and took the bus back to the train station.
We said goodbye to our new friends and headed to check in and security, where I officially got "Paris" stamped in my passport!! We were kind of early for our 8:13pm train back to London so we all got sandwiches and talked to a few other American families that we met. We got on the train and were sad to leave but ready to get back and hit the hay. The trip was going well but about half an hour into the trip, the train stopped and we were told that one of the parts was having some issues. We weren't told how long it would take to be fixed so we all just enjoyed each other's company for about 15 minutes. The train started to work again and a few of us decided to head all the way to the food cart to get a snack. We walked about 5 carts to where it was and immediately we were hit with the smell of alcohol. There had been a tour group of older adults who used the train ride to their advantage and were all having a good time. We quickly left and got back to our seats and spent the rest of the trip home talking about how much fun we'd had all week and what we wanted to do when school started up in the fall.
It was about 9:30--I think--London time when we got back and took the tube back to our Baron's court stop near our apartment. I got back to the apartment, sat down on the couch to watch the Hunger Games, and before I knew it I was fast asleep.
Yesterday was just so amazing and I wish everyone could experience Paris at least once in their lives! If you ever have the chance to go, go! (Just learn to speak a little bit of French before you go)