Monday, January 10, 2011

Pourquoi j'aime Paris

I'm not going to lie.  This city and I have had an interesting relationship.  There are times when I could swear that it wanted nothing more than to crush my very soul, but there are other times when I guess it felt sorry for me and let me experience things that would replenish the very soul it was trying to crush.  I've had some replenishing experiences as of late.

So after my final final, I invited my friend Allison over to have some wine and cheese with my roommate and I (well, I just had red grape juice, but I drank it from a wine glass).  The three of us just sat in my kitchen eating Brie and Goat cheese catching up on our winter break activities.  It was great being able to do that and not having to stress about anything.

I guess I am still not adjusted to the time change because yesterday I was up at 5:40AM.  My roommate was up then too, so we both kind of just hung around.  At 8:00 she skypes me and asks if I wanted to go see the sunrise from Sacré Coeur.  I was just planning on staying in my PJs all day, but I figured why not?  When is the next time that I would be up and ready to go to see the sunrise.  So we hopped onto the Montmartrobus and it dropped us off at the church before the sun rose.

I'm not sure why, but no one in Paris seems to get up and out of their house before 9:00AM.  Don't get me wrong, I would be right there with them on a normal day, but I thought it was weird that I was up before a majority of the population.  As anyone who has ever lived with me can attest, I am not a morning person in the least.  But it actually worked out in my favor that the Parisians were still asleep.  There was no one at the Church.  Normally Sacré Coeur is busy with tourists taking pictures of this marble basilica but not at 8:45AM.  There were maybe three other people there.  I got pictures with literally no one else in them except me, which is unheard of at any tourist site in this city.

After we were done at Sacré Coeur, we walked down to the Moulin Rouge.  Again, we wanted to profit from the fact that everyone was still asleep.  We got there, but they had turned the lights off and the windmill wasn't moving.  But it was fine.  We ended up seeing some guys sitting on the roof at the base of the windmill just hanging.  They saw us taking pictures and started waving.

We kept walking past the Moulin Rouge and ended up at the Cimirtère de Montmartre.  It may be because living in LA there aren't any cool cemeteries that I have been to, but I could spend hours just walking around and looking at all the old graves.  I had my camera and I took way too many pictures of that cemetary.  In this one, there didn't seem to be any famous people buried there, but it was still cool walking around.  Because Montmartre is a hill, by the time we got to the cemetery the sun was high enough in the sky to shine down on the tombs.  It was eerily beautiful.

After we finished there, my roommate suggested we go across the city to Père Lachaise.  It is the most famous cemetery in Paris.  You know, the one where Edith Piaf and Eugene Delacroix and Moliere and James Morrison are buried?  Well neither of us had been there before, so we hopped on the metro and headed over.  We spent probably four hours walking around but we saw everyone that was worth seeing at that cemetery.  And yes, I again took far too many pictures.

But all in all, I was thrilled to have actually done something in this city.  For so long before I left all I could think about was going back to the US that I forgot where I was.  I was deteremined to not do that when I got back.  That was the reason I walked home from school (a two hour walk) after my final final.  I saw parts of the city that I lived super close to but never new existed.

I leave tomorrow for Spain and it starts my three weeks of international travel.  I guess Paris will have to wait until February.  Now I am off to go explore the rest of Europe!

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