Tuesday, March 31, 2009
paris je t'aime
I just got back from a great weekend in PARIS! I took the TGV, the train de grand vitesse, all the way to the city of lights. It was only a three hour ride through the beautiful countryside. Lots of sheep and cows! I was so happy when I arrived - all of these amazing memories from last summer came flooding back! There really is no place like Paris. I met up with Kiera's best friend and Tony's girlfriend, Ashley, who is studying abroad in Barcelona. We stayed in a hostel in the Marais, which is an absolutely amazing section of the city. It is where the Jewish quarter is, so it was full of delicious Jewish bakeries. We went to a famous falafel restaurant; L'as du falafel has the best falafel in the world - even better than Israel! Falafel is a pita with veggies in it - shredded cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, carrots, grilled eggplant, and these fried balls of chickpeas. It also has a special yummy sauce on it. It was so good!
Although it was pretty cold, we went on a night bike tour of Paris! I was laughing with sheer joy when we first got on our bikes and rode down the Champs du Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower - I hadn't ridden a bike for fun in such a long time. Plus, I was in PARIS! It was amazing to be able to see all of the sights at night time, when they are all lit up. Even better, our tour guide was really knowledgeable and taught me a lot of interesting things that I didn't know before. The only negative was that I nearly died a few times due to the heavy traffic and stubborn Parisian drivers. Although we were well equipped with large green reflective vests and lights on our bikes, I guess small bikers are usually in the blind spots of large buses? Needless to say I survived without a scrape and the tour ended when we got aboard the bateau moche on the Seine and had some wine with the people in our group. It was a great night!
Other highlights of the trip were seeing an excellent Andy Warhol exhibit at the Grand Palais, eating delicious fondue in Montmartre, and watching people leave the opera on Saturday night dressed in their finest clothes! tres chic :) The weekend ended on a great note when I went back to Sartrouville to visit Estelle and Michel, my host family from my high school exchange! And not to mention the infamous Antoine, whom many of you met. He is currently sporting a new do, "the Jackson Five" as he likes to call it. And no, he is no more mature than before! But his parents were so sweet to Ashley and me, and I was so happy to see them. They made us a big four course meal on Sunday night and packed sandwiches for our trip in the morning. They are really generous people and I was happy to get to see them again. We had a great time looking at pictures from three years ago. I was happy Ashley got to meet them, and she is excited to show me around Barcelona when I go for a visit in a few weeks. Can't wait :) I am so lucky to be able to do all this traveling...I am soooo addicted :)