Bonjour, Paris & Versailles! (Spring Break: Part IV)

Spring Break in Northern Europe

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Paris

Bonjour from Paris!

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Paris felt very similar to NYC between the way it's laid out, the way the people spend their time, and the Westernization. The Eiffel Tower was certainly the main attraction for us. We spent very much of our day lounging on the green beneath it.

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rawr

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At sunset, we went up to this building where people congregate outside to watch the sun set over the city. The atmosphere was like a giant, relaxed party for the community. People brought their wine and baguettes, guitars, soccer balls, etc. It was like sitting among a bunch of friends you've never met.

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Although the sky was hazy, the view was quite nice. Check out the guy showing off his tricks with a soccer ball while he climbs up that lamp post!

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At night, we walked around the area of our hostel in search for a good, chill bar. Along the way, some French guys asked for a cigarette. While we couldn't provide their request, they were kind enough to provide us with a suggestion of a great bar near our hostel. There, we befriended a large group of Parisians. I had been warned before going to Paris that the French are not friendly to Americans at all. However, I found them to be very welcoming and friendly--whether it was a shopkeeper, restaurant waiter, random woman walking her dog, guys we were talking with at the bar, or people sitting next to us in a restaurant who helped us translate the menu. Most young Parisians speak English very well, too. So, this was all a nice surprise that added warmth to our experience in Paris.

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And of course, we saw the Eiffel Tower do its sparkle (happens every hour). It's hard to appreciate just through a picture, but the sparkling lights were very over-the-top.

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Versailles

We spent almost an entire day visiting the great palace of Versailles, which was absolutely incredible.

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"CARTWHEELS IN EVERY COUNTRY!"

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Every room of the building was unbelievably lavish. Here, we're standing in the Hall of Mirrors. I wanted to put on a ball gown and dance away to piano music!

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The outside was decorated with elaborate gardens that I've only ever seen in movies.

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...Impressive backyard.

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You could literally spend hours walking through the kilometers of roaming space behind the palace. Many people rent bicycles so that they can actually explore it all. We ventured out by foot though.

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It was like I was in a Jane Austen novel. All of a sudden, I was Elizabeth Bennet, rendezvousing through the simple, quaint woods beyond the extravagant palace.

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"Oh, Mr. Darcy! Come meet me at the gazebo!"

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Here, we enter the idyllic estate of Marie-Antoinette's cottage.

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It was almost surreal to be back in time like this...

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Well, that concludes my Spring Break series. Since then, I’ve also visited Fiesole, and will be visiting Siena tomorrow. I am very excited because my family is visiting me in Florence this weekend for Easter and my 21st birthday! Unfortunately, the weather is not ideal for this–it’s raining for the first time since I moved to Florence in January! But, hopefully it’ll clear up, and we’ll nonetheless have a great time. I’m excited to share this experience with my family, and to watch them relive my first reactions to the overwhelming buildings and atmosphere in Florence that I’ve grown accustomed to by this point. So, ciao for now!

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