Monday, November 5, 2012

Paris: Days 48-50

Late on Thursday night, the friends with which I was heading to Paris and I went to the bus station at Victoria, in London near where my school meets to begin our journey.  The bus took us to a ferry service in Dover where we crossed the English Channel to France.  The ferry was massive, probably 600 feet in length and wide enough to carry buses and cars 20 across.  The crossing took around 90 minutes, but the best part was that as we were leaving Dover to get to France, the moonlight was such that we could see the famous white cliffs of Dover, which were shiny even at night.  In the distance, we could also see storms in the open ocean.
We got to France at 3 AM local time, and got back on the bus to sleep until we arrived in Porte Maillot on the western side of Paris at 8 AM.  From the bus station in Paris, we walked around for a little while before having breakfast and checking in to our respective hotels.  After checking in, we went on a walking tour of the city despite the rain, making stops at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, different parks, Napoleons tomb, and Notre Dame.  By that time it was around 3, and we went back to our hotels to rest for a bit before meeting for dinner at 8 in Bastille.  We found a really nice and inexpensive restaurant in a back road, which had delicious food.  After eating, we went for a walk around the Bastille square and had real crepes before heading off to bed.
I slept in until 9 on Saturday morning, planning on meeting some friends from high school for the day - one of which was in Paris studying abroad and another who was visiting.  Luckily, it was an absolutely beautiful day despite a bad forecast, which was a substantial improvement from the day before.  I met them for lunch in the Saint-Michel part of the city, near Notre Dame, and we had a small lunch in a nice cafe before going on another walk.  We saw Notre Dame again before visiting Saint-Chappelle, the lock-lovers bridge, and Pont-Nuf.  We then walked all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, stopping at the famous Laduree bake shop and having some French macarons which were delicious.  After finishing our walk along the Champs-Elysees, we went to the Eiffel Tower again to see it at night, which I had not done, and go up. The top was closed, but we still were able to go to the middle, which is pretty high, and got some good pictures and views.  By the time we came down, it was time for me to go back to the bus station and go home.
I arrived in London at 7 AM Sunday morning and slept for a bit before going for a run and relaxing after a tiring weekend.  I closed the day, and the week, by watching some football and then heading to an early sleep.

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