Yesterday marked another great day in Paris. We hit the high spots…..the Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower. Our apartment is just a tiny walk away from the Seine river, so we took one of the water busses that’s close by. The water bus was only ten euros with our student discount, included 8 stops, and you could use it as many times as you wish in a day. Paris so far is really gracious on student discounts, especially here in the Latin Quarter. We got a small discount for the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was pretty sweet too.
The water bus took us around to all of the stops, and we saved the Eiffel Tower for last. While we waited for the bus, we snuck in some photos of eachother and had a great time acting silly and enjoying the Seine. I really love my group!
I also just have to say…isn’t my roommate Amber (the blonde in the photo above) absolutely stunning? I love her. What’s great about this group is that we’ve all had the chance to get to know one another months in advance of our trip. Every other study abroad I’ve taken, we’ve all been thrown into a new city with new people, usually never having been friends or met before. This trip is special because since we’re making three 10-minute documentaries, there were a ton of meetings and preplanning before we departed. So being here with everyone is just super cool, and we all click really well. Film people in general are always just really easy to like.
The water bus was a unique experience for us. We made our way to the back of it, where it was open and uncovered, so we could take photographs. Big group of film students…yeah there are a lot of cameras floating around haha. MTSU is having a study abroad photography contest and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but…we’re probably going to win if we enter it. It actually might not be fair if we do, since everyone on this team is so talented and has vision.
The Notre Dame is within walking distance to our apartment, so we skipped exploring that too much because we can do that easily. We still snapped a few great photos from the water bus, though. It’s pretty epic to see in person.
But we knew that we’d have plenty of opportunities to see more of Notre Dame, so it was on to the Champs Elysees next! The boat moved somewhat slowly but it was amazing to pass under the bridges and canals and just soak it all in. I had this moment of…is this real life? Paris. The city that I’ve always wanted to visit, where my historical idols (Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso) lived and worked and had their lives changed forever by the magic of this city. I know I’ve only been here for 4 days…but I think I could live here.
The Champs Elysees was intensely beautiful. It’s this fabulous long street that’s famous for being…fabulous, really. Fun fact: Champs Elysees stands for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. I went to Greece a couple of years ago, so I find it so fascinating how when I travel the things just connect like that. The architecture was beautiful! Stunning, actually.
We hopped back on the water bus for our next stop…the Eiffel Tower. We could see it from the Champs Elysees, half of it, and I couldn’t help but gasp as soon as I saw it. I wasn’t expecting to hop off the bus and just see it, right there, in all it’s glory. But it was a partial view, and we had to see the whole thing. Our mission: climb to the top. It was raining off and on all day, and I was thankful that I layered in two pairs of leggings, a tank top, sweater dress, and my actual striped dress on top, plus my leather jacket. Part of me really wishes I would have brought more baggy, thick sweaters…but then again, it’s Paris, and I have to look fabulous. Where else could you get away with being stylish every day? When I get back home I know I’ll go right back to casual shorts and tank tops/tee shirts. But anyways, the Eiffel Tower! HOLY COW. I won’t lie, I had to step away from my group for a few moments and just take it all in. I got emotional. I’ve literally had dreams about the first moment that I see the Eiffel Tower in person, and I will never forget yesterday and the visceral experience of that first glace and gasp.
As I mentioned, it was only 13.50 euros to go to the top with our student discount. Even though it was raining off and on, we were still on a mission. By this point we were semi-freezing. We stopped at the little kiosks outside of the tower for some food before we headed to the top. I got a French hot dog, very different from an American hot dog. The bread was harder, but still really good. And there were two sausages inside of it with lots of cheese and tomatos. So good!
Yum! Once we started our ascent, the rain began to fall. Of course. But it was still incredible, and the view left me speechless. It almost seems surreal, like a dream, almost as if it didn’t really happen. Looking back on yesterday, I feel like…wow. Just wow.
We had the most amazing time. Surreal doesn’t really even cover it. The top of the Eiffel Tower…it’s safe to say that I can check that one off my bucket list now. Au revoir until next time!