France · 4 Days · 8 Moments · July 2018

Nahil & Justin's adventure in France

7 July 2018

Today was perhaps my favorite day of the trip so far. We woke up early and took a 1.5 hr bus ride to see Monet’s house & garden. It’s difficult to put into words how beautiful this place is. I won’t even bother trying to describe it because I can’t do it justice. It’s like something out of a fairytale. After seeing the gardens & pond it was obvious to me why he would move out of Paris to a quiet rural area. Once we got back, we headed to Musée d’Orsay to see some of Van Gogh’s art. While we were disappointed that Starry Night was in NYC, we were happy to see some of his other pieces. We saw Starry Night over the Rhône, Self Portrait, & many more. Nayo had a smile plastered on her face the entire time, as I expected. After viewing the impressionist display, we made our way around the museum and saw some of Rodin’s work. We then started doing one of our favorite things—coming up with new titles for art. The last picture posted is one of our favorites. We call it “Please mom, pleeease!?
C.R.E.A.M.= Cash runs everything around me. This was the theme of the day since we visited the infamous, extravagant Palace of Versailles. Dripping of gold, there it stood surrounded by tall, black iron gates and guards. All of the movies and stories didn’t do it justice. With cameras ready, we just stood in silence admiring this excessive, yet magnificent symbol of absolute monarchy from crevice to crevice. It truly is a treasure. I can’t help but feel guilty for the “other” economic classes that had to suffer at the hands of these monarchs and their lavish expenses. Bougie doesn’t even cut it. Nonetheless, we toured all over the palace and loved every second of it. Very well organized, decent audio tours, and good crowd control. I loved the Hall of Mirrors and the gardens. I wonder how long it’d take to jog the entire garden scape? Justin and I fell in love..hard.. with Paris. We just can’t bring ourselves to leave, let alone plan for the next leg of our trip. We made a pinky pr

5 July 2018

Today we left our Airbnb and checked into a hotel near the city center. Long story short, there was no AC although it was listed as an amenity when we booked the unit. We’re both pretty easy going, but the lack of sleep due to the heat/humidity became an issue. Anyhow, we are enjoying our hotel room. After getting cleaned up, we found a nice crepe spot nearby. We both had sweet and savory crepes. Mine had bacon and Nayo’s had salmon. She was really impressed by hers, but I think mine was better. We met a nice young man from Chicago (I feel old saying “young man” but it’s an appropriate label, so I’m going to go with it). We exchanged stories about the places we’d seen and where we’re headed. He just finished school & decided to travel by himself, just like I did when I graduated from college. It made me reminisce on how much I learned about myself & the world when I visited foreign places without anyone to truly guide me. It forced me out of my comfort zone and made me try new things
The tower was originally red and Parisians despised it. They planned on dismantling it after twenty years. That’s until the engineers installed an antenna and helped intercept communications during war times. We decided to walk down the tower and admire the view from the inside. I highly recommend this to anyone that goes. It’s takes time, but you can see the smaller mechanisms that operate the lift and holds the structure together. Once we reached the bottom, we decided to head back, grab some food, and get to bed. Another exhausting, but fulfilling day completed.
that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It was the single greatest learning experience of my life. Back to the crepes. The sweet crepes were drizzled with delicious dark chocolate. Makes me drool just thinking about it. After brunch, we walked around for a bit until it started raining. Well, it wasn’t quite rain— more of a drizzle really. We took a nap and then made our way to ascend the Eiffel Tower. We timed it so that we would catch the sunset (around 10 PM) as we reached the top and it didn’t disappoint. One of the best sunsets we’ve ever enjoyed. We tagged along with a tour guide we met in the queue. He was from Paris and really loved his city’s history and architecture, as he should. A few fun facts that he relayed to us: The tower was constructed in a little over two years as part of a world wide architecture competition by 250 workers. 250!? One of the engineers that designed the tower also designed the Statue of Liberty.

4 July 2018

Continued... We were only able to finish a few floors due to timing and crazy crowds, but I felt that we saw a LOT because of how well organized it is. We’re pleasantly surprised by the pockets of busy restaurants and foot traffic there is throughout all hours of the day. Doesn’t quite matter which part of the Sienna you’re on— everyone is out and about! This is totally my kind of place— lots of people, historical landmarks every where you turn, and a peacefulness even though everyone’s hustling and bustling through the day/night. For dinner we tried a place that was recommended to us by many, L’As du Fallafal. We enjoyed our lamb shawarma pita pockets followed with delicious gelato. Paris, you may have the crêpes, but Italian gelato still takes the cake in my book.
Our first full day in Paris was lots of fun with exploring & walking TON as usual. We hopped on the Sienna River Boat & took it to the area near the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. We walked from the Orsay (it was closed😔) through the Latin Quarters, Place du Panthéon, Norte Dame, & Place de la Sorbonne.The Norte Dame is absolutely stunning. Every time we passed by it from any distance, I was in complete awe. The intricate details, modern renovations, & tremendous architecture just from the OUTSIDE will make your jaw drop. We’re planning on touring the inside, Musée d’Orsay, & Rodin this weekend! We also visited my girl, Mona Lisa, & the gang at the Louvre. I'm not sure it’s possible to describe the Louvre accurately. The sheer scale of the place is not something comparable, the vast amount of art treasures, overwhelming. To see the work of the Renaissance artists, Italian paintings, Greek sculptures, & Egyptian pottery was some of our favorites. We were only able to finish a few floors.

3 July 2018

Yesterday we took a train from London to Paris, where we’ll be spending the next 5 days. Taking the metro was an interesting experience. Lots of warm armpits and very little room. Can’t say I blended in, since I always stay fresh with Degree. Nahil turned green, but she made some smart oxygen choices. Once we put our things down and got settled, we headed straight for the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t realize how massive it is until I saw it from several hundred yards away. I had to lean back and fully extend my neck to see the top. Afterwards, we headed to Arc de Triomphe. It’s a monument dedicated to those who fought and died in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. I thought it looked like a pair of LEGO legs or like Napoleon’s pants. Nayo agreed. We decided to climb to the top and check out the view. It did not disappoint. You can see the city layout so clearly from up there. We decided to end our night with a well deserved bottle of rosé and creme brûlée. Didn’t even feel guilty.