Laura and I woke up at a stupidly early hour and headed to the airport to catch our ScaryDiscountAir flight to Paris, where my attempt to nap was thwarted by a middle seat and flight attendants selling everything from lottery tickets to perfume, caught the bus to Paris, and the metro to our hostel – all of which was miserable with a giant bag. There’s a reason people backpack through Europe and not giant rolly bag through Europe. Our hostel was in an ethnic, largely immigrant neighborhood, so there were amazing, cheap food choices everywhere and a little market set up on the street when we arrived.
The hostel’s shower, toilet, and sink were all in different rooms, and our door didn’t have a doorknob and had to be closed with the key, which needed to be turned some magic combination of times that I never figured out to get the door open. But, it was cheap and we had an adorable little Parisian balcony.
After eating the most amazing cous cous I’ve ever had in my life, we walked to Montmartre and visited the Sacre Coeur. The clouds were white and fluffy, the lawn was perfectly green, and after battling the army of very aggressive panhandlers and street merchants, we climbed to the top where a violinist played La Vie en Rose. We paid the extra few euros and hiked to the top of the dome, which was terrifying, beautiful, claustrophobic, and totally worth it.
After a sudden downpour caught us off guard, we stumbled upon the Dali museum, where we saw the original melting clock statues and all sorts of amazingly weird and totally Dali things.
The Louvre is open late Friday nights and free for people under 26, so naturally that’s when we went.
Though we had a plan roughly titled “Laura and Allison do the Louvre in 30 minutes,” which involved us running through a lot of fancy art - it was extremely overwhelming and we definitely should have devoted more time to seeing it. When they made the “get out, we’re closing” announcement, we hadn’t even seen the Mona Lisa. As if we needed an excuse to come back to Paris!
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