Bonjour, mes amis!
WOW. I am actually in Paris, France. This first week has definitely been an experience for me. The week started off with me getting lost as soon as I got off the metro coming from the airport, but thankfully, I found my way by calling an uber. The metro is actually super easy to ride but I was sleep deprived and hangry so that's probably why I was confused about the location of my host family. During the first few days it was definitely difficult to adjust to the time change but after a week of on and off sleep, I have finally slept through an entire night!
The first week was a lot of fun but it was kind of stressful having a completely new schedule. I am so used to my normal routine at home and it was hard to adjust to this new one in France. At home, I would wake up at 7am, go to work from 8am to 4pm and workout or do school work after. Here, I wake up at around 8am (which is nice) and go to school from 9am to 1pm, explore or go on a group trip with my school, have dinner with my host mom, do homework and go to sleep. My class isn't too bad since most of the classes I took during college were about 3 hours long. I wish the classes weren't a little shorter but I only have to go for a month! I have a lot of nice classmates and my teacher is great.
France has definitely been an amazing experience so far! I love all of the old buildings, museums, and parks. I really like that my school plans trips every week because I get to spend time with my classmates and see some amazing sites. One of the things that you always here people raving about is French food. I'm not really a bread and cheese sort of gal so the food has definitely been something I'm trying to get used to (they eat bread and cheese with every meal). It's delicious, don't get me wrong, but I'm trying to not gain 100 pounds. However, I can't stay away from the crêpes, ice cream, and macarons!! Pastries are a REAL problem for me. I am definitely a fan of the sweets here in Paris!
A few other things I've noticed about Paris:
- Dinner- 3 courses
- Snacking is not a thing :(
- Dark at 10pm (whattt)
- Walking everywhere, gets so hot but good excercise
- Small apartments, tiny kitchens
- Very simple lifestyle
- Lots of relaxing, reading and outside activities at parks
I have posted a lot of pictures below and have a few short summaries of the things I did during the first week! Hope you can experience France with me through the pictures I have taken so far!
I'm going to be very honest. I am NOT a fan of flying whatsoever. However, the trip from the U.S. to France was about 8 hours and honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had two glasses of red wine beforehand and thats probably why it wasn't so bad. I definitely suggest doing that if you have flight stress.
The apartment that I am staying in has beautiful windows where you can see the neighborhood from. I keep them open at night and during the day, unless it's raining. The windows in my room are my favorite!
These are what some of my breakfast meals have looked like. Very simple and quick, which I like. Everything is so cute and simple here and I love it.
Jardin du Luxembourg:
I got really lucky because the apartment that I am staying in is basically across the street from the Jardin du Luxembourg. I usually go there for a run or to hang out with my friends after class. Jardin du Luxembourg has tennis courts, lawns to sit on, paths for running, and a lot of options for kids. It is one of my favorite places so far!
Welcome Dinner at Georgette:
As I mentioned before, dinner has three courses. I love all the food but the amount of time it takes can be a problem since dinner usually starts at around 8:30 pm. This was our welcome dinner with all of my classmates and it was such a fun time. It only took three hours haha.
- Soupe de pastèque à la menthe fraîche (watermelon soup)
- Volaille pattes bleues, purée maison au beurre noisette
- Mi-cuit au chocolat noir, chantilly & glace vanille
Galleries Lafayette is a beautiful shopping center with a ton of amazing stores and cafes. It not only stands out because of the shops, but also because of the inside beauty! I decided to stop by the Longchamp store and get a tote bag that I had wanted for a very long time. They are cheaper in Paris and if you are going to buy a bag you might as well get one while in Paris!
On the top floor there are some cafes and you can go up to the roof for some great views!
Seine River Cruise:
This cruise was so relaxing. We boarded the boat at around 8:30 pm and grabbed seats on the top level. This cruise goes down the Seine river and you get to learn about all the amazing buildings and the history behind them. The Notre-Dame and the Eiffel tower were amazing to see from the river.
The Notre-Dame is a beauty! The detail is so impressive and intricate that it's hard to believe that humans actually built it. The inside had many murals and paintings and was just as beautiful as the outside. The crêpe place next door was not so bad either. Hehe.
Shakespeare & Company Bookstore:
This trip to the bookstore was dear to my heart because I am such a book nerd. I absolutely love books and any sort of bookstore. Before going on this study abroad trip, I had seen so many photos of the Shakespeare and Company bookshop and knew I had to go! The first floor is full of new books that you can buy and the second floor had old books out on display. There was also seating upstairs and the entire place was so cozy and peaceful. I have been to this bookshop two times in one week! I guess you could say I'm in love.
The first thing I did when I arrived in Monmartre was explore the Sacré-Cœur. I didn't go inside because there is a separate trip scheduled for our class in a week or so. The walk up to the top was a bit of a hike but the view was amazing!
We also walked around and explored for a few hours. There were some really cool places to eat and once again, I visited another bookstore.
One of the first things we did as a class was take a tour of the Pigalle neighborhood. This tour was interesting because we got to learn about the emergence of the jazz community in Paris. I love the Moulin Rouge movie so it was nice to stop by this famous building!
Angelina, TuileriesGarden and a Book Shop:
Before leaving for Paris, I had read online that the Angelina cafe was the best place to buy hot chocolate. I decided to go to this cafe with a friend and everything was seriously SO amazing!! The hot chocolate was basically liquid chocolate. It was so thick and rich that I could't finish the entire thing. We got our hot chocolate and macarons to go and sat at the Tuileries Garden to hang out and eat our treats. We also stopped by a few bookstores that were beside the garden. All of the bookshops in Paris are so unique and fun.
And that's a wrap of my first week in Paris, France! I will be posting something every week so if you are interested in my France adventures, make sure to stop by!