Baguettes beget baguettes: DL's travel columnist makes a stop in Paris, the city of love...and bread
When I got the chance to go on Eurotour with the other Rotary exchange students in Denmark, we had all looked forward to Italy, but there was one other destination that we couldn't get out of our mind: Paris, the city that we have all heard about since we were children.
They say it's the city of love, and I can't lie—it does have that feel to it.
When the bus stopped in Paris, the first impression we got was that Paris was massive. I've been to Berlin, which has more people, but they aren't crammed together as they are in Paris. The city is sweltering with people, traffic, history, art, beautiful architecture, and homeless people. The first thing we were told when we got off the bus was to watch out for our bags, so they wouldn't be stolen.
We then had to find dinner. On a short notice, there is one obvious option, and that is baguette sandwiches with ham and butter. We didn't know it yet, but we would also get baguettes for every breakfast, and that it was also the easier option for lunch. After scarfing down our traditional meals, we knew we were going somewhere, but weren't sure where.
We weren't too disappointed when we had to work our way through the mass of Asian tourists to a boat that gave us a river tour of the city. It turns out that dancing on a boat in Paris is just as nice as the movies make it seem; it has a certain feeling to it, like anything can happen, but you aren't quite sure what. The Eiffel Tower is really quite magical when it sparkles in the backdrop of a purpleish blue sky.
We only had two days to explore Paris, which isn't nearly enough, but we made the most of it. I don't recommend going to Disneyland Paris—which we really had no choice about—but I do recommend going to the Louvre, seeing Montmartre (the art district), and going up the Eiffel Tower.
I have a decent appreciation for art museums, but the Louvre is something different. I could spend days lost in there and my fascination would never end. We saw mostly art from Ancient Greece and Egypt, and it left me at a loss for words to be surrounded by such history. It's the sort of place that I would set aside a day to spend with my parents.
My other favorite place in Paris was Montmarte, which my friends wholeheartedly loved as well. The art district is placed on a giant hill next to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. The views from there are stunning, as well as the street art. My friends and I loved it so much that we had to go and experience it again at night.
Of course, the art district is best experienced after an even better view. Our last night in Paris, we got the chance to go up the Eiffel Tower. The view normally is spectacular, but it was something else when the sun set. The buildings never seemed to end, only to meet the backdrop of a pink and yellow sky.
The next morning, we got to have baguettes one last time, and then left the bustling city to make a stop in Brussels. We had all been left in awe by the city of love, and though I had been charmed as well, I was secretly glad that I wouldn't have to eat any more baguettes. Paris is as charming as they say, but it is exhausting. The people aren't so grateful for tourists, and one must always watch out for theft.
Despite this, Paris is a must see for a trip around to Europe. There is so much to see, and someday, I must go back. I'll tolerate eating endless baguettes for the pretty sights and croissants. No, Northern Germany is not exactly Paris, but I still keep a little painting that portrays a boat in near the Eiffel tower with a pinkish lavender sunset.