For a rare extra-long weekend, the roommates and I took a spontaneous trip to Paris, France. The travel there was relatively easy and cheap, just a 2 hour train ride on the Eurostar. Closed my eyes in London, opened them in Paris! The only thing that hampered this amazing weekend was our hostel. Because we booked so last minute, we took what was available, and that was Blue Planet.
Attention world: Never EVER stay in the Blue Planet Hostel in Paris. You'll thank me later.
The whole place has the weirdest smell. Almost like fish left to rot, mixed with a little garbage. Add that to the bed bugs, suspiciously stained bed sheets we had to rent, and lock out during the day, and I think you get the picture. This place could have been a brothel... But I guess we got what we paid for, considering that our triple private room was ridiculously inexpensive, so I really can't complain too much. Our unbearable hostel was good in a way because it encouraged us to spend as little time as possible at the hostel, and instead explore the beautiful city of Paris.
Now, I have been to Paris once before, but somehow this trip was different. Everything seemed more romantic, more Parisian, more fantastic than I remembered it. I love the cafe culture that is heavily prevalent in Paris. Lounging outside a cafe, bar or restaurant simply people watching or maybe talking to friends while sipping wine, maybe an espresso. It got me thinking, when does anyone work in Paris? Seriously though, all I saw people doing was enjoying themselves. But hey, maybe they have it right. The United States could sure use a little more of this relaxed mindset.
Because my friends had never been to France before, we made sure to see almost every tourist hotspot. The Eiffel Tower, Arch du Triomph, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre, Champs Élysées, Moulin Rouge, Sacre Coeur, you name it, we saw it. Because days were spent criss crossing all over the city, by the time night hit we were absolutely exhausted. After a failed attempt to go out dancing the first night in the Bastille area, we spend the rest of the weekend's nights joining the Parisians at bars and restaurants, drinking whatever was cheapest on the menu.
My favorite part of Paris, as always, was the food. While I did not have the opportunity to try frog legs or escargot, I did dine on amazing truffle rigatoni, onion soup, colorful macaroons, cheesy hotdogs, and some pretty good anchovy olive pizza. Of course, my favorite food in Paris is hot crepes, fresh from a street vendor and wrapped in paper. That and a nice espresso (or three) in the morning. Mmm.
One weekend really wasn't enough time in Paris, but that just means that I'll have to come back another time. Someday, if I actually commit to learning some French, I would love to live in this wonderful city. I would go have a picnic and watch the lights sparkle on the Eiffel Tower, sit for hours at cafes, and never look back.
Photo via fabaudrey.com