Monday, February 22, 2010

Je suis allé à Paris pour une journée

So here's the thing. I was supposed to go to Paris for a weekend to stay with two couchsurfers, but when I got to Frankfurt to change trains every single one going to Paris was booked until the next day, thus I ended up in Berlin instead. However, as my next HelpX was in southern France and I didn't want to be on the train for 16 hours, it made sense to stay the night so I posted on couchsurfing the night before I was to be in Paris and scored a place to sleep. You see, couchsurfing has an "emergency" forum for each major city where you post "omgzzzz I'm going to be here tomorrow and I have nowhere to sleeeeep!!!" and then mostly creepy people answer and some not creepy people as well. Luckily, I found the latter when Alix offered to host me for one night (on a Monday, too!). It was the first time I was actually hosted by anyone, and it was a great experience!

Alix lives in Montmartre, which is a cool little area that is basically a giant hill, so I got a lot of exercise lugging my suitcase that day. Right down the road from her flat is Sacré-Coeur, pictured above.

You can even see the Eiffel Tower from the hill!

Apparently these Space Invaders are all over Paris and they get points based on how big they are and where they're located. Pretty neat!

I've been to Paris once before two years ago, but it was with my parents and maybe one of the more stressful times of my life. Needless to say, we didn't go to Moulin Rouge, which is the red light district of Paris. Now I've seen it!

Alix cooked us an amazing dinner of Ratatouille with mashed potatoes, red wine and a pear pie for dessert. Mmmmmm. Best host ever.

The next morning before I caught my train to Toulouse, we literally walked across the entirety of Paris. No joke, we walked the equivalent of 15 metro stops or something. It was good though as I was only there about 24 hours. In any case, Paris wins for coolest metro entrance decorations.

Louvre Pyramid. I forgot to increase the shutter speed on my camera, also. It was very sunny that day, but not THAT sunny. Oops.

Paris really reminds me of Prague. I heard someone say that Prague is the Paris of Central Europe in terms of big, romantic cities. I agree.

And that, my friends, was my brief foray back to Paris! I'm sad I don't have any pictures of Alix, but it was a mad rush my last day as I almost missed my train (again). My last hour was spent rushing on the metro, running up steps and trying not to keel over due to the ridiculous weight of my suitcase as we attempted to get from Paris Montparnasse, to Montmartre and across to Paris Austeritz in one hour. Somehow, we made it!

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