Netherlands, France · 4 Days · 12 Moments · July 2018

13 July 2018

Said goodbye to Paris (after a myriad of selfies). - peonies cafe before heading to the airport. Matcha pink latte for Alvina. Lavender cafe latte glacé for me. - Alvina missed her plane, so we ended up on the same flight.
Spent the morning and afternoon at the Louvre. Delacroix exhibition — what a prolific painter! - Focused on the main highlights: Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo, but had time to explore Greek sculptures and the apartments of Napoleón III.

12 July 2018

Night Eiffel. - Got the youth ticket to the top of the summit - some 334 meters. - enjoyed the windy and chilly view of Paris. Could see the arc clearly and the River Seine.
- quick stop at arc and champes-elysées for some selfies. - It was getting late. Arrived at the Eiffel at 7. Met a random girl from Peru who was traveling alone and felt unsafe because of all the pick picketers. Indeed, two men followed us and tried to chat.
Currently waiting in line for the Catacombs. Have been waiting for over two hours now... will it be worth it?

11 July 2018

After our brief detour in Versailles, we returned to Paris. I explored the local area around the Bastille (which doesn’t exist anymore — its only a monument!), full of local culture and small art galleries. Ratatouille
This is why the French Revolution started. People starved on the streets, scrounging for bread crumbs, while the King feasted on exotic foods as his team of female servants watched him eat. The Palace has over 700 rooms and 67 staircases, and can (and likely did) host around 20,000 people. The Palace was home to the royal family, nobles, and government offices. The Palace tour included views of the King and Queen’s apartment. The most egregious display of wealth was the Hall or Mirrors (pictured with the chandelier), a room with really no purpose that was commissioned to display a mural timeline of Louis XIV’s life. The staircase pictured is that leading from the Queen’s chambers to the main hall. Otherwise, there were ball rooms and meeting rooms (quite small) galore. Notably, the king’s bedchamber was surprisingly small in comparison.
While the Palace of Versailles and its gardens boast many gorgeous views, I luckily had plenty of time to explore the grounds. Unfortunately, the famous rose garden was not in bloom, but I enjoyed frolicking among the hedges and admiring the gold-plated fountains that adorned the area. The garden extended perhaps a mile out, with a lake and accompanying paddle boats towards the outer edge. I imagine the garden is not as trimmed as it was during Louis XIV’s time, but it’s beauty and magnificence can’t be understated.
Enjoying the largest Palmier I’ve ever seen, while I take the train to the Palace of Versailles. I accidentally took a train in the wrong direction, so now I’ll only get there half an hour before closing.

10 July 2018

The only disappointing part of traveling through the convenience of the EU is that my passport never got stamped more than once! Only from London to Amsterdam. #Brexit We arrived in Paris quite late, at around 5pm, leaving us little time to check into our quaint and ancient apartment building. The facade of the building was built in 1624, and it sure showed, as the stairs creaked while we dragged luggage up 10 (?) flights of stairs to the penthouse. Both Alvina and I were missing Asian food at this point, so we immediately sought out boba, thankfully close by. From there, it was an easy walk to Notre Dame Cathedral. I had a “holy shit” moment here, as I recognized the famous cathedral from my favorite movie, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Other highlights included: River Seine views, crepes for dinner, and Paris’ victory over Belgium in the World Cup. Parisians painted French flags on their cheeks, formed mosh pits in the streets, and even clung on to beeping ambulances and cars.
Technically, we took the Ouibus from AMS to Paris Bercy Station.