How do you spend a weekend in Paris? For me, it included lime scooters, a boat ride on the Seine, an overnight train, and very little sleep. But it was one of the best weekends yet! I knew when I decided to study in France I just had to get to Paris at some point. One of my friends from Villanova who is studying in Copenhagen texted me a couple weeks ago and said that we should meet somewhere for a weekend. After we decided on Paris, I found out two of my friends from my program also happened to be going to Paris the same weekend so we found an airbnb for the four of us, booked our train tickets, and off we went!
Something I didn’t realize was how expensive it is to get to Paris from Montpellier. The best deal was to take a train Friday afternoon through Avignon and then take an overnight train on Sunday back to Montpellier. The first train from Montpellier to Avignon on Friday was running late which meant that we almost missed our train from Avignon to Paris. As we were running through the Avignon train station we could here the train conductors laughing at us and yelling “courir!” which means “Run!” in French. Thankfully, we made it on board with a minute to spare and we were able to relax for a few hours before arriving in Paris.
After making it to Paris, we checked into our airbnb which was near the 13th arrondissement. The apartment was on the 7th floor of the building with two bunked double beds. It was one tiny room with a little bathroom and shower, but it worked perfectly for us for just two nights (and it had an amazing view from the small balcony). Friday night me and my friend just explored the city and found a little café for dinner. We went to bed relatively early as we knew the next day would be very busy.
Saturday: We woke up early and planned on grabbing a small breakfast on the way to our first stop. In typical French fashion, our quick bite at a café turned into an hour of sipping coffees and watching the bustling Parisian street. I always forget how long food in France really takes! Our first stop for the day was the Cathedral de Notre Dame. After walking around the inside of the church, we agreed that the outside was much more interesting to look at. We left the Cathedral and because it was such a beautiful day, we decided that we wanted to take a boat tour along the Seine. The boat took us to all of the famous monuments and we were able to secure a spot on the top of the open-air boat. After the boat, we stopped at another café for a lunch of crêpes (which also took over an hour because nothing is fast in France). Then, we headed to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and some of the other artwork on display. We didn’t stay too long as we both agreed that the art in the Louvre was not our favorite and we wanted to make it to the Eiffel Tower before the sun set.
On our way to the Eiffel Tower we stumbled across some lime scooters and thought it would be fun to ride them the rest of the way. The scooters are all over Paris and are fun to ride because they are battery powered so they don’t take much energy to ride them! After we got close enough to the Eiffel Tower we just had to leave the scooters on the street and take a picture so the next people could find them. We were hungry again so we picked up a baguette and some cheese (because what else would you eat when in Paris!). We enjoyed a beautiful picnic while the sun was setting. There’s just something magical about watching the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle at night.
Sunday: We woke up a little later as Saturday had been such a long day, but we still had a lot to see. We started at the Mussé de l’Orangerie which I think is my favorite art museum in Paris. The museum itself is very small compared to the Louvre but it houses Monet’s famous paintings which fill the entire length of the walls in two rooms. We were also able to get into all of the museums for free in Paris with our European student ID’s! Definitely a plus! From there, we walked through the Jardin de Tuileries and along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. After spending some time browsing in all of the stores on the Champs-Élysées, we decided we had enough time to do one more thing before my friend had to head back to the airport for her flight to Copenhagen. We hopped on the metro to the area called “Le Marais” which is a smaller historic part of Paris where we found some of the best ice cream ever. Shortly after we headed back to the apartment and my friend left for her flight. The day was not over for me however, because I had an overnight train from Paris to Montpellier that night. I left Paris at 10:00PM on Sunday and got to Montpellier at 9:00AM on Monday but I was asleep for most of the night so it wasn’t bad at all!
I had just enough time to catch up on sleep this week and pack for my next adventure. Today marks the start of my first 1-week break with my program. Currently, I am on my way to Vienna, Austria and then will be traveling to Budapest, Hungry with some friends from Villanova. I will end up in Toulouse, France at the end of the week where I will meet up with my parents. It should be a jam packed week of sightseeing and traveling but I am very excited! I am signing off for now, but I am sure I will have many stories to tell after I get back from my break! Au revoir!