My trip to Paris
09/10/2013 § Leave a comment
So last week and during the weekend before I haven’t been active since I was getting ready for a trip to Paris and I never had the chance to tell you. I thought you might want to hear how it was, and don’t take anything personally, I did have a few culture shocks that I’m going to tell you about.
This is quite a long post, you have been warned!
Thursday the 3rd of October
I woke up at four in the middle of the night and caught the bus to the airport, on the way everyone pretty much just slept, we had a huge schedule so every time we had the opportunity to sleep we used it that morning!
The flight went well, especially since one of the guys, Þorsteinn, I was traveling with didn’t seem to have an allergic reaction, since he was highly allergic to nuts. And I mean highly, he has to take those special shots. The stewardess warned about it in the speakers and I glad everyone on the plane seemed to respect that.
After landing we had to take the train to our hostel and Icelandic people are not used to metro systems and trains since there aren’t any in Iceland. My teachers luggage was almost stolen, she was able to grab her luggage from the thief, he ran as fast as Bolt when she caught the bag and she cursed a lot in French and was just able to get on the train before the doors closed.
It was the biggest wake up call ever for all of us…
After arriving to our hostel which is in the first district of Paris (Le 1er arrondissement) and dividing ourselves into the rooms and changing clothes since it was incredibly hot (for us at least, the weather was around 25°C) and we took the train to the Eiffel Tower. Since the line for the elevator seemed to gone on and on and on, we decided to take the stairs, and we walked to the second floor (third floor in Iceland=þriðja hæð) and the view was amazing! I’m, however, incredibly afraid of heights so I waited while everyone went up to the top and thankfully some of the guys respected that and waited with me which was very nice of them.
While we waited on the ground later in the evening after the rest of the people, we noticed a lot of soldiers walked around with guns, we witnessed it as well in the metro, it scared us a little bit, especially when they looked angry. Our two teachers that were with us in this trip explained about why so much security is needed.
It was late when we took the train to the Arc de Triomphe, or the Triumphal Arch in english, Sigurboginn in Icelandic. It was a beautiful memorial in my opinion, especially the unknown soldiers grave for all the soldiers in WWI that died, there was a fire burning and flowers surrounded the grave. It was quite a beautiful thought, we ended up walking down the street after we sung Champs-Élysées since our teachers made us. I find situations like this a little embarrassing…
We also went shopping in H&M before heading home.
Friday the 4th of October
Me and Kobba (Kolbrún) went to breakfast and seemed to be there before our teachers so we had a little awkward morning there alone, well for me it was awkward with the lady that asked what we wanted to drink. Kobba was about to grab a bowl that was by her for her cereal when she scolded her and pointed towards the cereal close by us, there were smaller bowls there. When I finally understood her that she was asking what we wanted to drink I asked her for tea and grabbed a tea bag from a bowl by her she handed me a bowl with hot water. I didn’t understand why but I felt so awkward that I didn’t question it and grabbed some cereal in the smaller bowl. There was a whole class of kids speaking french so it was very loud, I found an empty table in the corner and I drank tea from a bowl, which was weird…
We walked towards Seine and went sight-seeing. We checked out Notre Dame and went inside, me and Jeanne checked out a shop when we finished while waiting for the rest of the people. We then walked towards the bridge Pont Neuf where we took a boat tour on the river Seine. After the tour we all had a free period and we said goodbye to our teachers. Me. Jeanne, Björk and Una were a group and each group had a project in this trip, we decided to try to finish it in this free period. We had the Quai Branly Museum (Musée du quai Branly) and the street Montaigne (Rue Montaigne). The museum was quite nice and we took an interview with the guards, since we had to practice our french. The one that we talked to first was extremely nice and helpful, but very shy so he kept getting more of his friends that worked there and finally one of them reluctantly did the interview, which we had already told them was just three questions.
Then we walked down the street and “licked the store windows” as the Icelandic phrase says, basically we went window shopping. After asking a few people to do an interview we finally found a once girl who was french, since we seemed to be only asking tourists accidentally.
After returning to the hostel before 18:00 PM the teachers took us to the Louvre museum and we split after checking out the Mona Lisa first. A few of use went straight to the Egyptian section and then tried to find the Icelandic art piece, since our teachers told us there was an Icelandic piece in the museum. Only we found out that the section it was supposed to be in was closed, and our feet were aching so badly in the end after all the walking we had been doing all day.
It was late when we finished and a few of use went out for drinks (non alcoholic for me since I don’t drink) which was quite nice, it was a beautiful night, the architecture is very beautiful in the district.
Saturday the 5th of October
We met an Icelandic guide in the morning, Kristín Jónsdóttir, and she walked us through the Latin Quarter (le Quartier latin), our teachers bought us sandwiches from a bakery since they owed us some money since we took the stairs instead of the elevator in the Eiffel Tower and the sandwiches tasted AMAZING! We ate in the garden Jarden des plantes by the Museum of Natural History and then we checked out le Marais.
After that we had a free period for the rest of the day, so we went shopping at Champs-Élysée and we took the phrase “shop ’till you drop” seriously. We went back to H&M, we Icelandic women tend to lose ourselves in H&M…
We had an incredible dinner at the Café George V and had a wonderful evening. Kobba tries snails, she was very brave in my opinion. She said they tasted amazing. Ólöf actually pulled Una’s (There were two Una’s in this trip) chair accidentally away when she and Una came back from the toilettes. The thing is, we had to move the table so Ólöf could get through and she thought Una was going to move the table so she moved the chair, Una forgot they had to move the table and that Ólöf wanted to get to her seat and you can guess what happened… The waiter laughed, but stopped himself and tried to look professional. It was much funnier then it sounds. People probably thought they were drunk, which they were not.
Sunday the 6th of October
We checked out the Montmartre district which was a lovely neighborhood where Amelié had a few scenes. We saw the shop where the shop owner and shop boy worked as well as the café Amelié worked at, though they seemed to have changed it during the film since it was a little different. We saw a wall which had the words I love you written in over 200 languages, we found the Icelandic one, it was written in a weird writing though. We also saw a vineyard and the famous church Sacré Coeur, which in my opinion was one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been in, Notre Dame being one of them as well.
Some of us went with our teachers to the Pompidou museum (musée Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne) and we checked it out after eating. Some of us didn’t quite enjoy modern art like me so we went downstairs again and checked the shop. I bought a pack of moleskin books, since they’re so cheap outside of Iceland. We walked back home and got ready for our final evening together.
We had dinner at a cute little restaurant with our teachers. However, sadly, the food sucked. It was a huge disappointment since I had amazing food the evening before and most of us were very annoyed.
We had a few drinks and walked by the river Seine, I left early and walked back to the hostel.
Monday the 7th of October
The whole day I just was traveling home, we packed and left and took the train back to the airport. On the plane I wanted so badly to eat my m&m’s but I just read to distract my cravings since my classmate has the nut allergies that I mentioned before.
Came back home and it was freezing, why did I ever leave Paris!!!!