Friday through Saturday was La Nuit Blanche in Paris. I went with 5 friends from Rennes; Martin, Maire, Barbara, Rob & Nick and met up with two of my Tri-Delt friends in Paris; Jackie & Rachel.
There were enough ppl in our group that had never been to the Eiffel Tower so when we first arrived in Paris, we went directly there. It was only my second time going up (and my first time at the very top) but I hope I don’t go up again for a good long while.
I advocated for the elevator but my friends thought it would be more fun to take the stairs. So 1,665-ish stairs and too many hours later we had all “done” the Eiffel Tower. We also really wanted to go to Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise but there wasn’t enough time. Unfortunately we only had enough time for dinner at the Galeries Lafayette. Père Lachaise will be for our next trip to Paris- I can already feel that there will be several such trips, if not many :) Going to Galeries Lafayette was definitely worth it, though. The one in Rennes, although nice, truly does not compare with the flagship store in Paris. There are no words to describe it. Here is my meager attempt to capture the building’s beauty:
Afterwards, we went in search of programs for that evening because we thought it would be a good idea to plan out our course a teeny bit. This caused us to go on the most epic wandering of Paris. Ever. I think it was about two or three hours later that we collapsed at a café, ordered glasses of champagne and toasted to our comic defeat.
Next up, we met Rachel and Jackie at Notre Dame. It was so great to see them! We chatted a bit & I introduced them to the group and then we got in line to enter. There was an organ concert going on inside and an artist’s exhibit in the alcoves around the cathedral. I found it absolutely amazing, although the organ music was a little too reminiscent of Frankenstein for my liking lol. Can you even imagine being able to say that you had an exhibit in one of the most famous religious buildings in the world?! Check out these awesome colored light crystal thingies that were part of the artist’s exhibit. There were crystals of different sizes and shapes, although I just now realized that I only took pictures of the pinkish ones lol.
We did so much, its hard for me to put it in chronological order…Instead of doing the rest in paragraph form, here are a few highlights of the evening:
1. Waiting in a line for over an hour to see an enormous disco ball hanging from a crane.
2. Meeting a semi-drunk French guy outside Subway and watching him try to get a bite of Jackie’s crêpe & then talking to him and his friend for a good 30 minutes afterwards.
2.5 The excursion into the Louvre parking lot. LOL
3. The time warp at the Irish cultural center (really, I have no idea how long we were there) and the nervous breakdown that followed.
4. The creepy gas mask things at the Irish cultural center that appeared to be mice or horses from afar, but it turned out that they were meant to be wolves.
5. Witnessing what appeared to be a fire from near the Pont Notre-Dame.
6. Also witnessing a beat-down taking place and quickly turning the corner.
7. Finally finding programs (Note how happy we look lol):
8. Overpacking my Longchamp bag to the extreme.
9. Continually losing each other in the crowds- Thank God for cell phones!
10. Bloody Mary around 4am.
11. Almost getting screwed over by a waiter and witnessing one of his teapots being stolen ;)
12. Walking through Pigalle aka Paris’s Red Light District at 6am. Let’s just say that was an experience!
13. Witnessing the steps of Montmartre being power-washed of their filth.
14. Struggling to keep our eyes open during the 7am Mass in Sacre Coeur.
15. Sunrise in Montmartre.
16. Big omelette breakfast at an awkward restaurant near the gare (train station), that was decorated to make us feel like we were eating on an actual old school style train.
17. Swapping out our 2pm train tickets for 10:05am tickets.
18. Falling asleep on the train and then waking up in a panic because I thought I’d missed the Rennes stop.
19. Getting back to Rennes, dragging my body through the station, on the metro, off the metro, through three parking lots, into my dorm, up two flights of stairs and into my room. Dropping my bag, shedding my clothing, wearily updating my facebook status to “Ann-Charlotte has not slept in 31 hours” and then literally falling into my bed only to finally wake up 21 hours later.
There are so many little things that I don’t have the energy to incorporate into this post that made the trip really great. I doubt I’ll ever “do Paris” again without getting a hotel or a hostel, though. It was definitely a one time thing.