In just a week, I visited Venice and in Paris. It was all a dream at first, you know, the whole visiting two of the most historic places on earth. I thought that reality could not be staring me in the face at that moment, but it was. I kept thinking that Venice and Paris were two lucky strikes on the old matchbook. How could I strike gold like that, I thought quietly.
We left on Wednesday, the day before the worst holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. We started on a two and half hour train ride to Rome, where we then took a shuttle from Roma Termini to Roma Ciampino, an airport about one quarter of the size of Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass.
Checking through security for the first time gave me the butterflies. On one hand, it was my first time in a European airport since I landing in Italy on January 7. I had the feeling of disbelief, too. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be flying again before returning to the United States in May. And on the other hand, I was nervous about flying \, especially to another European country that I didn’t know.
We landed at an airport outside of Paris that charged 16 € just to shuttle you to Paris. So we took a deep breath, swallowed our disdain, and bought the ticket that would take us to the city of lights. By the time we got to our apartment, which was located at 158 Rue St Charles, it had to be about 12:30 a.m. We were all tired from the flight, hungry from the lack of food intake, and excited about the next day’s adventure.
Sarah, Caleb, and I left the apartment around 1:15 a.m. in a desperate quest to fill our bellies with grub before going to bed. After running about two miles and covering the entire surrounding area of our apartment, we returned empty handed. Disappointed, the three of us joined the four other in the apartment for what would later prove to be a very difficult night of sleep…
I woke up an hour before everyone else fresh off a dream about food. I dreamed that I was having Thanksgiving dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower. Though this dream turned fantasy would never happen in real life, it was at least pleasant even though it made me a hundred times hungrier.
It rained the entire day on Thursday. So much for a perfect holiday in Paris, right? I can’t honestly say that I didn’t care as much as the others did, but I didn’t exactly enjoy the day either. I rained, it poured, and the old man snored while we all got soaked to the bone. We took refuge in the subway, which we used to get us to one of the shopping districts in Paris. From there, we had a light lunch. I had a banana, nutella crepe and a cafe Grande. And to protect from the rain, we hid inside every store that we could for as long as possible.
When we finally returned to the apartment, it was still raining and we were all soaked. We quickly changed and headed to a sushi restaurant down the street from the apartment. There, I met a friend from UMass who amazed us with her nearly fluent French. Side note: she was literally my interpreter for three days. Thank you, Savannah!
Afterwards, we hit the streets and jumped on the first bus that would take us to the Eiffel Tower. We saw it sparkle and we saw it light up. We saw how beautiful it looked in the wide-open park — much less crowded than usual and packed with peddlers trying to sell key chain replicas of the Eiffel Tower. We stared at the tower for what felt like days, amazed, entranced, bound by the crisp, yet cleanly lit tower behind a pitch-black sky.
Unwilling to let that moment slip away, we missed the first bus back to our apartment, so we happily waited for the second bus while we shot Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece a couple of touristy glances.
Check back tomorrow or the Day Two recap of Paris and also take a look at my pictures from Paris!