Friday, February 18, 2005

Paris Day 1

Well I'll start this post with yesterday, Thursday, since both days have kinda combined into one mass-day. Yesterday I got up early, had a nice quiet time and then had breakfast with Liz at 8:30. Had a blah PolySci class from 9-12, but Liz and I had a nice talk in the garden during the break at 10:15 and that was cool. :) After class had lunch then made finalizing plans for the Paris trip. It was very stressful trying to figure everything out. Liz and I took a train over to Mendrisio a little after 2 and we made train reservations for the night. It was a fairly nice day outside so we decided to make the hour-long walk back to Riva from Mendrisio. This was a terrible idea because it ended up getting really windy and cold and I think I got a relapse to my illness. I was feeling a lot better early on yesterday, but after that walk I felt like crap again. :-/ Anyhow, we got back to the Casa and chilled for a bit, then went up to our rooms in Pabiana and packed up. I took a nap for almost an hour to try and recoup and then we went back to the Casa and ate our bag dinners around 8. Also got to chat with the architects Robin and Andrew who I actually knew through Cru and friend connections years ago so that was really awesome. It's really encouraging to find two more Christians on this trip with us! :-) So the chat was nice with them, then I did some last-minute MapQuesting and then we all left as a big group on the train around 10pm. When we got on the overnight train in Chiasso, Liz and I were in a little room on the train with 6 seats that were extremely uncomfortable and they reclined just slightly. There were also 4 other Italian people with us- 2 guys who kept strangely staring at us and one who thankfully later left and then 2 women who talked for like the first hour or more when I wanted to sleep. Plus the train was so inredibly loud and I couldn't get comfortable. And we got woken up 4 different times throughout the night by train people checking out tickets and passports. So I got about an hour of decent sleep maybe. It was the worst night ever and definitley didn't help my sickness. :-( I think Liz got some good sleep, though I don't know how. We transfered trains around 5am and the second train we just got normal seats and they were so incredibly comfortable! They were all cushy and the train was smooth and quiet and awesome. :) I got about 2 1/2 hours sleep right away on there. Got into Paris about 10:30 in the morning, then milled about the train station as all the people in the group aimlessly tried to figure out their return trips and their logic was making my head spin. And also nobody had any clues about what they were going to do and were willing to make any plans to meet up, so we finally just all split up and Liz and I headed off to find our hostel. We decided to walk there and just amble the streets of Paris along the way since we had nothing better to do. So, we did that and made the 4-mile+ walk to our hostel. We got to get a nice feel of the city and it was a nice, but very tiring and long walk. We actually "fell" across a huge, famous cemetary that Liz had wanted to see. It happened to be on the way to our hostel and we just accidentally walked into it before realizing what it was. I think Jim Morrison and Chopin and some other famous people are buried there. It's huge and has it's own streets and stuff, kinda like Arlington National. Oh, and coolest memory of the day was along this one street, we watched this tall guy on roller blades roll his way through town. He was soo chill and cool. He had headphones on, was eating bread and rolled his way through traffic, up a curb, around people and around some poles on the sidewalk, seamlessly without a care in the world. I wish I was that smooth, haha. :P Anyhow, we finally found our way out of the huge cemetary and then found our hostel around 2:30 in the afternoon. Checked in and threw our stuff in our rooms and then had a quick snack lunch of peanuts and water and chocolate. :) We left the hostel a little before 4 and went to find the metro near us and then took that back into the center of Paris. The metro here is so nice. It is clean and easy to use and the trains are smooth and not too crowded and they are fast and on time. I love it. :) So, we made it down to the center area by the Louvre. We walked down towards it and walked all around the area of it which was really neat and the Louvre is beautiful. It was starting to rain a little, so we decided we'd check to see if it was open late by chance. And we found out that it has special Friday extended hours until 9:30pm and people under 26 are free after 6pm! I was so pumped, this was just perfect! :) It was just after 5 then, so Liz and I walked around down by the river some, then cut back up into town, visited a church which was kinda cool and then got back to the Louvre just after 6 and went inside. The Louvre is huge, just massive. It's hard to explain to how big it is. There is art just all over the place. So, we had to decide what we wanted to see in not too much time. We wandered around a little and then made our way up to see the Mona Lisa. Of course we had too, you're obligated to see it if you go to Paris. :P It was cool, but whatever. I saw many cooler paintings all over than it, but I guess its famous, so yeah. We saw some other paintings and tons of sculpture, then went over to an exhibit that had lots of Mesopotamian artifacts and Egyptian stuff. It was really cool and I enjoyed it a lot. There was a ton of old stuff there, including the Habburabbi Code. Cool stuff. Then we ventured to a section that was an increbible long room that was just ordained in beautiful paintings and scuptures on the walls and ceiling and it was some crowns and beautiful jewels and stuff. It was really neat. That was the last thing we did before leaving a bit before 9. We made our way towards the metro stop and then realized we were very hungry and happened upon a cheap Chinese place. After debating the craziness of eating Chinese food in Paris, we decided to suck it up and go for it. I'm so glad we did! It was great and warm and filling. :) So, we had a nice dinner there, then caught the metro back to our hostel across town and made it in by around 11. I'm so exhausted now. I think my body has realized that I got less than 4 hours sleep last night, I've walked like 7 miles today, and I'm extremely dehydrated. I've never been so excited to go to bed!

No comments: