Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 6: To Paris

Author: Phil

We arrived in Paris around 10am at the famous Gare du Nord train station. Well, famous if your a Jimmy Eat World fan like I am. There are some song lyrics "as the train approaches Gare du Nord" and it was really meaningful to arrive at this beautiful train station. We politely avoided the beggars that were asking us to sign documents proving something. Ketan had a difficult time turning them down which was quite humorous (NOTE: don't sign the papers people will ask you to sign outside of train stations and museums). Our hostel was a short seven minute uphill walk from Gare du Nord. We put our bags in the hostel storage and head out to the O'rsey museum.

Waiting in line at the O'rsey we get stopped by a 20-something year old American looking fella whom the other guys met at the Delirium pub in Brussels, though no one remembers meeting this guy who seemed to be from New Jersey or somewhere up north. We chat with him for a while in the long line into the museum and purchase our 38 euro museum pass good at nearly all museums in Paris. I studied art (took art appreciation last summer at MSU) and having some background knowledge about the paintings and sculptures that we saw in the trip really has made going to museums some of the highlights of my trip. Having studied different artists, styles, and periods of art has made me want to spend a lot more time than we have in these museums to enjoy the art. The O'rsey has a huge collection of Van Gogh and Pointilism paintings. We spent a solid two or three hours in the O'rsey until we needed to leave to make it to the Rodin museum and Daniel, Scott and myself walked around the entire museum for a good thirty minutes trying to find Ketan. He always seems to run off at the worst times. But we decided that we weren't going to miss the Rodin museum and ended up leaving him in the O'rsey to head to Rodin which was just around the corner. We spent the last 45 minutes the Rodin was open checking out his famous sculptures and the beautiful rose garden and of course his most famous piece, The Thinker.

We then hurried back to the O'rsey to try and find our lost friend. Just as we (kinda) planned, Ketan walked out of the museum right at closing time and we gave him a hard time for getting lost at the O'rsey :) though he just had an extra 45 minutes in the O'rsey which im sure he didn't mind too much. After the museums we headed to the Eiffel tower which was a solid 30 minute walk from the O'rsey. We picked up some sandwiches and a bottle of wine on the way. We arrived at the base of the tower and sat in the gardens and ate our sandwiches and passed the bottle of wine around.

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After sitting down for a brief minute we got in the long line for the tower and rode the tram to the second of three levels. This was about 300/400 feet up and had great views

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We then rode the next tram (after waiting in another long line) to the very top. The views from up here were absolutely beautiful. We intentionally got there at sunset so we could watch the sun go down over the city and then watch it light up at night.

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We spent the next 2 hours 'Ooh-ing' and 'Aah-ing' over the beautiful city of Paris as seen from 900+ feet up. At 10:30 we took the tram down so we could watch the tower light up. After countless stairs and breathtaking views from the second and first level (400 & 200 ft respectfully) we made our way back to the gardens and talked our way into 2 cheap bottles of champagne from some street salesmen (read: pesky ripoff entrepreneurs) and relaxed in the park and watched the 300+ strobe lights all over the tower sparkle for a solid 5 minutes. It's gonna be hard to top a DJ light rig thats 1000 feet tall and lined with 300+ strobe lights. We sat in the park for a while but had to catch the last train home before midnight as the Eiffel tower was a solid hour walk from our hostel and we did not want to miss it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Paris, FR

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