Since we had 5 days off in between our national exams and university exams, doesn’t it make more sense that I traveled around than sat at home and studied? Yes, I think so.
Yes, I was back in Paris. No, I didn’t want to be. Not after all of my terrible experiences there. (Am I being a little overdramatic? Perhaps. But seriously, Paris was not in good standing with me at the moment.) Nevertheless, Paris is a necessary connecting point to basically anywhere when I’m traveling outside of Caen. Jed & I got off of the train and found ourselves bombarded by a ridiculous amount of snow falling from the sky and deep gray slushy stuff all over the sidewalks and streets. We crossed the street from the train station and stopped in at a local fast food restaurant for the free wifi so we could look up a hostel to stay at for the night. After a few minutes we had our location and headed that way on the metro. I will admit that the metro is something I really like about Paris – no, not the creepy people and smells – because it is so useful and can take you basically anywhere for really cheap. We got to the hostel with no problem (besides soaking our feet in the unavoidable slush), checked in, and dropped our stuff off in our room where we met some of our roommates, 3 crazy guys from Seattle and Australia. Jed told them that he was wanting to go out and explore a bit before the night was over, and we all laughed at him, especially me. It was pretty cold outside and I was perfectly comfortable with just staying in the hostel for night. Eventually, I agreed to go with him after a few pleading words and our roomies wished us luck (or called us absolute idiots for going out in that weather).
We hopped on the metro and got off at the Arc de Triomph stop. After climbing the stairs, when we exited onto the street, BOOM: there it was. I had never actually seen the Arc de Triomph before, and the up-close view was stunning. We continued on, and within five minutes, both of my feet were soaked. I had bought boots about a month and a half ago, and somehow they both had huge gaping holes on the back of the heels already. I was trying to ignore the fact that my money had been wasted on not-so-great boots, but couldn’t anymore when my feet felt like they were inside a freezing cold squishy worm rolly-thing. Does anybody know what I’m talking about? Jed, being the great travel partner that he is, insisted that we go into H&M and see if they had any cheap boots there. Of course they did. I bought some new boots and was happily on my way in less than 20 minutes for less than 25 euro. We wandered over to the Christmas Market on the Champs Elysées and indulged in some yummy Asian food, vin chaud, and tartiflette. We walked the length of the whole market and found ourselves at Napolean’s obelisk (with a festive ferris wheel right behind it). It was pretty, and it was also cold, so after a few pictures and Jed’s history spiel we headed back to the hostel.
We knew that we had to be up at 6am the next morning to get to the airport, so we had the genius idea to go downstairs to the hostel bar with our crazy roommates until 3:30am. Karaoke and fun was had by all, and yes… we woke up late the next day.
pictures: (1) me in front of the Arc de Triomph (2) dropping off my old boots on the Champs Elysees (3) obelisk and the ferris wheel (4) funny proportions (5) my view of the Paris metro