Go to Paris, they said. Eat good food, they said. See art and breathtaking architecture, they said. Oh wait, no, it was me who said that.
Starting off the week (technically this was Monday, I simply forgot to include it in that blog post), I ate a crépe caramel beurre salé (salted butter caramel crépe). While I thoroughly enjoyed it, I have to admit it just didn't taste as great as the chocolate one I had last time.
After we arrived in Paris, we enabled fiscally responsible student mode, and mostly made our own food:
And the most French meal anyone could ever imagine, some McDonalds before we went to Versailles...
Despite the recent fire, our first order of business upon arrival in Paris was to visit Notre Dame. And even after that fire, it's still a sight to behold!
We took some time to explore, and after grabbing some food from Monoprix we settled down at Le Jardin du Luxembourg to eat lunch.
Shortly after, and with our feet already hurting, we went to see some of the most beautiful art in the world at the Louvre:
And see beautiful art we did:
To finish off the day, a beautiful sunset near the Arc de Triomphe. How we got there is a little hilarious. As we were leaving the Louvre, a couple of us became separated from the group and made our way for an hour here before realizing the other four members of the group had gone to the Eiffel Tower. Regardless, I have absolutely no regrets, especially as Metro stations in the area closed the next day due to protests by the gilets jaunes.
The next day, we took a couple metro lines and a train to the Chateau de Versailles, just outside of Paris. And what do you know, more art:
Of course, after every location we visited, add another hour of browsing the local souvenir shops and not buying anything (in my case, at least).
And of course, shortly before I took the train back to Lyon, I made an obligatory visit to the Eiffel tower:
Luckily, I had been primed by a classmate's stories of street vendors and their tactics, including one vendor who will simply grab you by your wrist, immediately start making a bracelet, and demand you pay for it. I ended up avoiding this by simply keeping my hands stuffed in my pockets the entire time, which also helps prevent pick pocketing in the crowded areas I was in. It also helps as a tourist to have a RBF put on whenever you're in a tourist location where you don't want to get messed with.
Last but not least, a quick photo of the Seine, the river that runs through Paris near the Eiffel tower:
And this is unfortunately where things turn south. In the afternoon Sunday, just a few hours after visiting the Eiffel tower, I started feeling some symptoms of sickness, like a sore throat and a mild headache, and it only went downhill from there.
- 7.00€ for the caramel beurre salé crêpe
- 4.55€ to pay for a friend's cereal when they almost lost their wallet
- 4.85€ for a poulet crudités for lunch Tuesday
- 4.40€ for a thon crudités for dinner Tuesday
- 8.40€ for another Avengers: Endgame ticket and 5.30€ for a tub of popcorn Tuesday night
- 50€ for a Carte Jeune from SNCF to reduce train ticket prices, that is still in the mail
- 102€ for TGV tickets to Paris and back over the weekend
- 6.99€ for a new water bottle from a store in the Lyon Part-Dieu mall to bring with on the Paris trip
- 9.90€ for a burrito shortly before leaving to Paris
- 60€ for my share of our Airbnb cost
- 2.00€ for a bus ticket upon arrival in Paris (I didn't have the right coins for the 1.90€ price, so I had to use two Euro coins)
- 14.90€ for Metro tickets in Paris (four 1.90€ t+ tickets and two 3.65€ regional tickets)
- 5.20€ on Friday for a sandwich from Monoprix
- 6.10€ for water while we were locked out (I had to buy more to meet the credit card limit, and completely forgot I had cash on me)
- 19.15€ for a large bag of mixed candy from a bonbon shop that we shared
- 7.67€ to buy some parts of a dinner we prepared one of the days in Paris
- 18€ for my ticket to the Versailles palace (technically, I paid 108€ but I'm being paid back by everyone else)
- 10€ for my first ever McDonalds (or McDo, as they call it here) near Versailles
- 4.15€ for a thon crudites club at the Paris Gare de Lyon train station before returning to Lyon
This week was very pricey, coming in at a whopping 352.56€! Unfortunately, there isn't even any chocolate I can deduct from that total. Of that, a full 228.90€ was dedicated to travel-related expenses (including the Airbnb), and there's no arguing that food expenses also went up since meals weren't provided by my host family.
This post was a day late, but I have an excuse: I'm still sick. After leaving class early, I slept almost all day Monday, and when I woke up I was still too tired to even be able to pick up my laptop. After some Advil and a hot tea with honey today, I'm feeling well enough to write this, but I hope to feel even better on Thursday, when classes resume.
I believe I'll unfortunately have to cancel my plans for a day trip to Vienne (a small ville just south of Lyon) tomorrow during the fête de huitième mai/jour de la victoire 45 (World War II Victory Day festival), and continue to rest to feel better. Unfortunately, that means that next week's blog post will likely be a little less exciting, but I'll see what I can do over the weekend to make it interesting. See you then!
Edited 5/8 to remove incorrect reference to the rose window.