|Atop the Eiffel Tower. |
I don't know who the lady is, but I certainly love this place.
My first night in Paris was relatively uneventful. I got into my hostel late around 7:00pm, so there really wasn't much daylight to spend. I was exhausted anyway, so all I wanted was some food as I'd only had grapes for breakfast early that morning before I left Firenze. I caved and bought a California wrap at the hostel, inhaled it, and proceeded to meet some of my first friends in Paris. I had met a very sweet German girl while unpacking before my dinner, and she noticed a tipsy Canadian struggling with the washroom door. We giggled at him, and he proceeded to our table asking if I was Australian. Not even close, buddy.
I joined him and his friends outside soon after and we soaked in each other's company. It's really such a blessing to meet so many people while traveling. Whether I stay in contact or not, each person still holds a special place in my heart and experiences.
Around 2am, I was practically falling asleep at the table and the guys urged me to head to bed. I waved them off, saying I was fine, but about thirty seconds later I agreed and went up to get some much needed rest. I promptly passed out after cleaning up and brushing my teeth; I wanted to be ready to thoroughly explore the next day.
I woke up for free breakfast and found my German friend downstairs already eating. I joined her with a plateful of bread, ham, and cheese and a cup of English tea (forget coffee!). I was feeling quite ill with congestion in both my sinuses and chest, so eating seemed almost a chore, but I pretended not to notice. I have some wild infection now, but I regret nothing!
Since I literally had the whole day to myself with no one else's schedule to even consider, I thought the Notre Dame would be a great place to start. It wasn't too far, and I could easily walk wherever I wanted from there. I took the Metro, which I was getting really efficient at using finally and hopped off to a bright, beautiful morning filled with the sounds of tourists and French. I was unsure where to go, so I took a guess (which I'm apparently really good at). The ornate edifice crept into my view, and I hurried over. There was this great seating area, so I simply sat for some time and just soaked in the moment. I didn't go in as my shoulders were bare, and although I saw others going in without cover-ups, I didn't feel like fighting the line snaking half a kilometer back. I was content with just resting in the shade and staring at the exquisite architecture.
After what I felt was an adequate amount of time, I ran into an Egyptian guy. He offered to take my picture, so of course I accepted. He seemed nice enough, but clearly interested in more than friendship. Me being so passive, I just convinced myself he was just really friendly, so I allowed him to show me the palace nearby. It started to feel a bit claustrophobic as he asked more questions, wanted me to take his arm, bring me to lunch, and take pictures together in a lovey-dovey manner. This was my day, so I had to end it and end it fast. Quickest deterrent ever: "I have a boyfriend". I still feel terrible lying (thank the Lord, I'm going to church tonight), but it fizzled very quickly after that. Sorry dude, but I had a lot to see, and I really wanted a Me Day. It would've been counterproductive for both of us, and I didn't want to waste anyone's time.
Unsure what to do next, I thought "to hell with schedules and plans, I'm just going to wander around". What's the worst that could happen? Well, the worst that could happen was a perfect day. I ran into St. Jacques' Tower, the Louvre, the gardens, street dancing, the coolest Mexicans I've ever met, Arc du Triumph, and the Eiffel Tower. Being the curious weirdo I am, I calculated how much I walked. 14 kilometers (9 miles)! And that's just based on Google Maps! I know I walked even more in my aimless roaming.
|My photography skills are on point.|
|We even match.|
We headed up to the Eiffel Tower after checking out the Arc du Triumph. I loved getting to know new people. I feel like I could never do something like this back home. Or maybe I can, and I've just been too afraid. I've learned I really have nothing to lose because it may turn into something much more beautiful than a hello on the street. Though this one didn't, I'm still grateful to have met them; they were such kind people with great stories to share. Plus, we bonded over our Mexican heritage, which was cool.
|It's a masterpiece.|
Remember the Canadian guys I met? Well, I was supposed to go to the Louvre with them that morning, but thankfully I didn't wait for a response to my text because it was the first Sunday, meaning entry was free. The line was hundreds of visitors long, and I certainly wasn't about to waste an entire day waiting. Anyway, I met up with one of them at the bar that night, and we both happened to want to go to the Eiffel Tower at night. Well, the night turned out to be any girl's dream date: kisses on the metro, gazing at a sparkling Eiffel Tower on the lawn, walking around Paris.
|No Canadians here...|
I'd say that's okay, though. The next few days brought something far sweeter.