Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paris: Day 1

So after leaving home on Tuesday, June 16 and meeting Becky in Charlotte, she and I had a flight across the pond to Paris! Let me say, it's always better to travel with a friend on long trips, especially one of my best friends! After a diet of whole grain Goldfish and Fiber One bars (note: these are full of fiber, as promised), it was nice to set down in Paris and have a real meal. But first, we had to take the RER and the Metro from Charles de Gaulle Airport into the 14th Arrondissement to our hotel. This would have been easy-peasy, minus the 200 lbs of luggage we brought. Did you know there are very few escalators in the Metro? Only stairs? I still have bruises on my legs from the suitcase. Next time, pack lighter!

After that harrowing adventure, we made it to our lovely hotel and in order to avert the jet lag, we changed clothes, grabbed the Metro map and our lovely Steve Franks guidebook and headed out to Versailles! Not a bad little trip, although I didn't realize there was graffiti EVERYWHERE in Paris, some of which was very artistic. Our first stop upon arriving was lunch at the only place we could easily identify...McDonalds. Not my first choice for a French meal, but when you're starving and in a touristy area, it worked. I still wanted a nice, leisurely French dinner, but that came later.

Versailles...what can I say? It was so much larger than I could ever have imagined. The scope was just incredibly vast. The golden gates definitely create an imposing sight. Although we didn't feel up to braving the lines and going inside (by this point, we were hitting our "up for over 24 hours" phase), we did decide to tour the gardens. I love gardens. I just find them so peaceful and serene. Even when they are filled with hundreds of tourists. They were manicured to a tee and just so intricate. It was like a huge park, really, more so than a garden. Foutains and statuary dotted every corner of the landscape and the weather was just perfect. Coolish, but not cold, and thankfully, not too hot for two tired and footweary travelers.

After our tour of the gardens, we decided to head back to our hotel in Paris and find a nice little place to eat dinner. We found this adorable restaurant packed with people on the sidewalk, although we had no trouble getting a table inside near the window. I ordered steak and mashed potatoes, which tasted lovely, but not quite like I expected. All in all, it was a pretty good day, but by this point, we were beat and wanted to get a little bit of sleep before our next adventure: Normandy!


Kara said...

Le Sigh. How wonderful! Isn't Versailles amazing?!

Savvy Mode SG said...

how wonderful. i didn't visit versaille last time due to closing for renovation.

Diana said...

I am seriously jealous! I would love to visit Paris. Have fun!