Since Paris was such a busy weekend, I am going to post two blogs about it. For starters, I had to wake up at 4:40 am in order to get ready and make it to the stop to catch our bus. We proceeded to take a minibus until we got to the actual bus that was going to take us, we then picked up a school group that was going to Disney the next day.
We got to Paris and one of the first views was an entire hillside full of trash. I was not impressed. Then there was a lot of graffiti, something I am not used to at all. We came to a group consensus that because the buildings are made of limestone, it is difficult to scrub off. Our tour guide was absolutely amazing, he told us all about the different things in Paris, and could answer any question we had. Plus, he reiterated the most interesting or important parts of the histories.
My favorite story was that at one point people believed the monarchy and Christianity went hand in hand so they were on a mission to destroy all the churches in Paris, but Victor Hugo (of course an author had to be in my favorite story) wanted Notre Dame to be saved so much he wrote a story about it, and it worked. Notre Dame is (obviously) still there.
We went on a boat tour down the Seine River and saw 22 different bridges, each with their own unique story, the name of the oldest bridge is actually translated into “New Bridge” because all the ones before it were made of wood and this is the only one that is still standing. Then we saw one that reflected the Belle Epoch, when it was built.
One thing our tour guide told us about was the way people try to get people to give them money. There are the bracelet guys, and as you’re walking up the hill they stop you and try to put a bracelet on your wrist and then claim you owe them €30. Don’t fall for it, just avoid them or keep walking. Sometimes the police are there and make them leave, sometimes they aren’t. We went on a day the police weren’t but they did not bother us.
The second group is the petition girls. They pretend they’re deaf and try to get you to sign a sheet and then claim you owe them €20. He did not tell us this one until after we got back on the bus, but when we saw them they did not bother us. Also, I don’t know French and I told one of my friends that I would probably accidentally sign my life away if I signed a random piece of paper here. I’m really glad we don’t have anything like that in Wisconsin.
We went into a couple different churches, but in the most beautiful one , we weren’t allowed to take pictures. Of course, there still were some people taking pictures, but I will say the ceiling was gorgeous. This was the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Then you think it can’t get any prettier and you turn around.
This may have been my one of my favorite views yet. The city stretched on for miles and miles, it was like an ocean of buildings and each one had it’s own history. Our tour guide pointed out the Eiffel Tower could not be seen because this Basilica is older than the Eiffel Tower. That wasn’t surprising to me because the Eiffel Tower is relatively young.
The days all blurred together in one long weekend. The churches were actually the second day and then we had a walking tour and Versailles, which I will put up in the next post later this week.