Ah, yes. My final and best day in Paris has arrived. I woke up this morning having slept in the latest I have all trip. I managed to sleep until 9AM. This was a huge deal because when I am in a new place for a limited amount of time, my adrenaline is constantly pumping and I am all GO GO GO NOW NOW NOW. But today was a nice, calm day. I packed up my remaining items, took a peek at my schedule, and headed out to the train station to lock up my bag before I prepared to properly embrace my new friend, Tour Eiffel, properly.
Armed with lunch--a bottle of wine and a baguette--I commenced my tourist photo shoot on the lawn. The day we arrived the lawn was actually closed off to pedestrians and I noticed some rowdy tourists knocked over the barriers so they could hang out on the grass and take their pictures. Who was I to shun this opportunity?
|Paris has the most beautiful skies!|
After finishing my baguette and dying from the carbs, I prepared to do the thing I was most excited about: go to the Top of the Eiffel Tower. Many people choose to just go to the second level because the views are still spectacular and its cheaper, but I am go big or go home. I didn't climb it because my legs hated me enough and I actually walked over 105,000 steps on this trip--effectively giving myself tendonitis--so I chose to pay a little extra to take the lifts to the top. It was crazy! They're like their own weird little roller-coaster that you observe as you get higher and higher faster and faster.
Once at the top, I was absolutely freezing. It was cold and I was high up, but the views were so worth it. I spent a solid hour up there reflecting on life and taking it all in.
|It was really sunny and windy, as you can tell. Nobody will have a good hair day after doing this.|
See below for some amazing Parisian views.
After I got cold enough to leave, I said goodbye to Eiffel and made my way to Sainte-Chapelle. I
was in the last group given entry to the building this day because I showed up about 40 minutes before closing. It was free entry thanks to my Paris Pass, and I heard how gorgeous the insides were, so I knew I had to swing by. I was not at all disappointed. The interior of this Gothic style royal chapel is absolutely breathtaking.
The Louvre on foot to enjoy more of Paris. As a lover of museums, spending a mere two hours in here was not enough for me. I understand that the three girls I came with don't like museums as much as I do, so I knew I would be coming back on my own eventually to spend more time there. I think you could spend an entire day in that building, after all.
As it started getting a bit darker out, I headed out on foot and enjoyed some of the beautiful bridges in Paris. Walking over the water and looking out at the Seine is a great way to just relax and think. This was such a nice way to see the city and give myself to fall in love with it again while I erased all prior memories. I mean, look at this beautiful view to the right!
Eventually, I saw the sun was beginning to set, so I headed back to the Champs-Élysées to enjoy a pretty sunset and my last meal.
When I got back to Gare du Nord to board my train, I was notified my seat got moved. This is another thing the group bickered about when purchasing our train tickets. When looking at Eurostar tickets, you are allowed to pick your seats. ALWAYS pick blue seats because they are guaranteed. NEVER pick orange seats. Because someone insisted we pick orange seats, we all had our seats moved on our way home. Every single one of us were in a different car and nobody was together because our seats weren't guaranteed. While this almost seemed like a kiss of fate for us with a greater force knowing just how emotionally taxing this trip would end up being, people who have good trips are going to want to travel home together and I don't want them to make the same mistake we did. It is safer to just pick a row of seats across from each other in blue than to pick a table in orange. This is what my gut told me while we were booking, and I should have listened to it.
My Biggest Regrets
I regret not going to Versailles on this trip. I let someone talk to me out of it, and I really shouldn't have because it was something I wanted to do, and should have done on my own because I wanted to so badly. I regret not standing up for myself and then having it thrown back in my face later on in the trip. But because of this, I know I'll make a huge effort in the future to one day get to Versailles, and I will see its beauty in my lifetime. I also regret not being able to go to the Musee d'Orsay. It is a branch of The Louvre, but it has a beautiful famous clock and several paintings I wanted to see. It was in our schedule, and then the same aforementioned someone moved it out at the advice of her parents, and it ended up being closed the day it was moved to. I repeat a huge travel tip: check all of your plans in advance instead of just assuming that they are open. This came back to bite us several times this trip. I regret not standing up for myself and just going off on my own to do this because looking back on this trip, I 100% had the time to do so. And, thirdly, I regret not standing up for myself in general, for allowing myself to be dragged around emotionally for no reason. I am not a pushover, and I shouldn't let people walk all over me and strong-arm me the way I was strong-armed on this trip. No more. This Paris trip was a month ago and a lot has changed. And one of those things is the fact that I am not taking anyone's manipulations, but it took a nearly ruined trip for me to get to this point...that, I regret as well.
Learn from my mistakes as I have, and check out the places I didn't get to see so you don't have the same regrets as well.
I will say that, with everything in mind, I still enjoyed Paris. I didn't love the city as a whole because it just wasn't OMG worthy to me, but I enjoyed my time there drama aside, though I couldn't see myself spending an extended period of time there. And yes, I'd be lying if I said this drama didn't taint this trip for me, but being able to get my thoughts down on paper really helped me sort through some things emotionally and get past some hurdles that have been hindering me since this trip. I learned a lot, and I have no regrets because I rather know true colors than continue along blissfully naive. I'd like to see someone try to treat me this way again, because I am no longer a doormat meant to be walked over and for that I thank this person who temporarily turned me into one. I wouldn't be at this point if you didn't drag me down.