Our flight to Paris was scheduled for 1PM. It takes about an hour on the metro to get to the airport (and we were NOT about to pay for a 35 euro cab ride there) so we left around 10AM. Being the twenty-one year olds that we are, we woke up too late to shower and decided hats would have to do for the day.
We got on the metro and headed to the airport. I couldn't believe that we were about to be in Paris, France. How exciting! Before boarding we were both hungry and decided to stop at McDonalds (surprise, surprise) before boarding. I have literally been to McDonalds everyday in Europe. On one hand it's kind of sad-I am so American! But on the other-it's not really! The McDonalds in Europe is not the exact same as America. They offer different things (yes, this is me...justifying all my trips to McDonalds)
We boarded the plane and both of us immediately fell asleep. Waking up just as the plane landed. We got our bags and headed for the metro to our hostel. Jessica had printed out directions so we wouldn't have to pay for an expensive cab ride. The airport in Paris is ENORMOUS. People are everywhere. I kind of compare it to NYC. Everyone is in a hurry and there are SO many people. I kept running into people and once accidentally ran over someone's foot with my bag. I say "sorry" but of course they don't exactly understand me.
In the airport were three men from the army. They were fully dressed in their army gear and carrying MACHINE GUNS. Just casually walking...looking extremely scary...caring machine guns. It was nuts! I said to Jessica "wow, let's not do ANYTHING that would draw attention to us."
We tried to figure out which train to take...it took us a good 10 minutes to decide which ticket to purchase. We asked people-but like us many of them were tourists and had no idea which ticket they were going to buy either.
We ended up meeting a VERY nice guy who told us which train ticket to buy. He even carried my 50 pound suitcase down the stairs and into the train. He was so sweet. Of course, Jessica and I were a bit hesitant. The only thing we knew about Paris was from the movie "Taken" and both of us were a bit scared to be in France alone.
The nice man gave us directions after we got off the train. I almost feel bad for not being nicer to him. We both had our guard up. But we didn't want to get stolen! He spoke great English and I don't know how we would have gotten to the hostel without his help.
We got off the metro and began wondering outside. The directions the hostel gave us didn't tell us what to do once we got off the metro. It was freezing outside, but we were awe struck by the beauty of Paris. Every single building we saw was cute! It was amazing.
We went inside a restaurant to ask where St. Christopher's was (our hostel was right near it). The man spoke little English but gave us directions non the less. We followed what he said and still weren't at the hostel. Attempting again to get directions, Jessica went into a bar to ask. Luckily one of the men spoke Spanish and Jessica was able to get correct directions (I'm SO glad by best friend is fluent in Spanish! It saved the day!)
By this time we had been walking around for a good 20 minutes. We finally arrived at our hostel. It was such a cute hotel! It tried so hard to be hip, but was very clean and exciting. I had never stayed at a hostel...there were 8 girls total in our room.
Jessica knew a friend from Berthod who was meeting his 2 girlfriends in Paris for the weekend. We met up with him and had a DELICIOUS, very french, dinner. Complete with duck (french delicacy?) that tasted soft and more like tuna (I admit I wasn't too big of a fan), french onion soup (WOW! The best soup I have EVER had), and a lasagna dish.
After dinner we walked to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Now, let me remind you, we are all tourists who speak zero french. Which means we took the longest route possible to get to the Sacre-Coeur. It was absolutely freezing outside and we kept stopping inside small cafes to warm up.
The walk was 100% worth it. Leading to the Sacre-Coeur are about a million steps, so to keep warm we all decided to run the stairs.
WOW. The Sacre-Coeur is amazing. It is huge, white, and has indescribable beauty. From the stairs of the Sacre-Coeur you can see the entire city of Paris. Since it was late at night, the city was all lit up and the city looked stunning.
I wish pictures of the Sacre-Coeur did the building justice. Truth is, no picture could ever capture the beauty.