Andrew and I had a two day "weekend" which started Monday morning, bright & early to catch our train to Rotterdam. We had decided to take these couple days off and visit Paris since we were so close in comparison to our normal distance. Our journey would be by train for two hours and then we had to catch our bus to Paris which was a 6 hour bus ride, plus a one hour stop in Brussels. Once we stopped in Brussles Andrew and I shuffled out of the bus and into the station for a bite to eat and a restroom run-- please allow me to elaborate on the latter here: So we found the restrooms which was all fine and dandy until we tried to get into one. The stalls were all locked unless you put a token into the slot. So, we found the machine that gives you a token in exchange for 60 cents and we really didn't have that much change so I said why not just go into together. Easy peasy-- problem solved. Luckily I made that suggestion because there weren't any coat hooks for my purse and giant light tan jacket (was I supposed to put that on the floor? Idk man, I'm not down) and the toilet paper was so far from the toilet I couldn't reach it! OH, and there was no toilet seat so good luck with that! Haha! Then we couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet, turns out it does it when you open the door but who would have guessed! Some of you may be laughing because this is probably normal to you but it was not like any bathroom I've ever used before. As we left the bathroom together, a group of older ladies gave Andrew and I quite the look so I guess it's not normal for people to share a flush there! HA! Ok, enough about our bathroom break-- We went back to the bus and got all settled in for the long trip ahead when the two ladies who were sitting near us went to sit in their seat only to find a bag in one of their seats. Andrew told them just to move it to the seat behind them since they were assigned seats but the owner of the bag was not interest in a seat switch. This man came out of the water closet on the bus and began speaking in an angry tone to the women who pointed and Andrew and drug him into it. The funny thing was all of us (the two ladies, the man, and Andrew & I) all spoke in different languages so no one really knew what we were saying to each other. Andrew even said "Oh roight, we all speak different languages! Great!" and finally the guy decided to sit down and just take the open seat.
Photo highlights are placed individually but to see more there will be a gallery after each paragraph with a lot of smaller photos (may be cropped slightly from the gallery setting)! I took so many but how could I help it?
This was our "Ooh la la! We are in France!" face
The bus route from Rotterdam to Paris.
Here's the gallery for this set! Click through to view em all!
Finally, we arrived in Paris! The two of us walked into the station after leaving the bus to load our map and so I could change into my boots because it was very very rainy! We walked all the way from the station to over near the Bastille which was where our AirBnB was located. When we arrived at the apartment building we followed the instructions left for us to retrieve the key for our room. To be honest, at this point we both started to get freaked out thinking about how this was someone else's house and that we did't have WiF or cell service to get in contact with someone should we need to. The building was old, as expected in Paris, and was getting some cosmetic renovations inside which also added to the strange situation, nevertheless we continued up the stairs until we came to our door with a small "10" in the top left corner. Andrew unlocked the door and had to shove it open just barely missing the countertop that blocked 1/4 of the entrance. We shuffled into this tiny room with a fold out couch against one wall, a balcony on the opposite wall from the door & kitchen (although not really. Just two doors that opened up to a ledge with a fence), and then a bathroom in a closet sized room on the same wall as the door/ kitchen. I must say, these people know how to maximize their space! The bathroom consisted of a little square on the ground with a drain in the middle and no walls for the shower, a toilet, and a sink which you could be sitting on the toilet and wash your hands at at the same time! We decided to unpack our things and munch on some snacks before heading out for a bit of night adventuring in the city! We pulled out all of our junk food and a bottle of champagne that one theater gave to us while we searched the apartment for a WiFi password but no luck! No worries though, we decided this was sort of a blessing in disguise since then we wouldn't be distracted by our phones at all and we could just enjoy ourselves! Once we had rested up a bit and finished our glass of champagne (neither of us really drink so ya the rest of the bottle went down the drain-- I know we are wild) we decided to go out for a walk. It was still raining and really nasty out but we didn't want to waste a moment! Andrew and I started off walking to try and find the opera house from Phantom of the Opera but sadly didn't get to it. I guess we will have to go back ;) Anyway, we did see the Bastille that evening and the apartment building Jim Morrison passed away in! It was very surreal to walk along that street and think that that is where he and Pamela Courson once walked. Walking around and looking at all the beautiful buildings got us hungry again so we had to stop into a restaurant where we ate bread and shared some amazing pasta! Andrew and I thought the coke bottle was really huge compared to the ones we had gotten in the Netherlands! Then for dessert we stopped at a street vendor as we walked home for some churros with nutella!
Don't be fooled-- it was too cold for the window to be open.
Cheers! Stay classy. Our champagne, subway cookies, some Dutch cookie, dried banana chips, and pringles. A little refueling sesh before some adventuring.
WHOAH! Look at the size of that coke.
We are both pretty light eaters and I think the French thought we were ridiculous sharing a meal and leaving after just that... no appetizer, no dessert, no coffee. Dining in foreign countries is a very different experience than in America! We were stuffed though, honestly!
Tuesday morning we woke up early to get a good start on the day and hunt for some crepes! Our plan for the trip was to walk along La Seine river until we reached the Eiffel Tower, stopping at places we saw along the way that looked interesting. First things first, we swung into a cafe for a cappuccino to get the ole brain a working (coffee first, always coffee)! Our first big monument that we came up on (besides the Bastille) was The Notre-Dame and let me just tell you it was indescribably beautiful. I love the French architecture and art because it was all so ornate and detailed! The closer you got to the building the more you could see in the design... I probably could have walked around that building all day attempting to soak in every bit of its features. However, we were chased away when a big group of people came into the Square Jean XXIII as we were taking photos and started harassing us, asking if we spoke English and trying to make us sign something and give out our information. It started with two young boys which we spoke to at first not knowing but it got intrusive very quickly and as we tried leaving the square there were more and more! It got so overwhelming we ran out of the square laughing and saying "Don't go in! It's a trap!" to those we passed on our way out. Once we got to the front of the cathedral we took some photos and stood in awe of the building until a group of about 6 men in military uniforms with big guns walked into the crowd of people taking photos and that is when we decided to peel. I get that they're watching for actually insane people who want to start something and I appreciate the precautions but also it was not something I wanted to be around. Very off putting...so we continued on and stopped at the Fontaine Saint-Michel which was lovely as well! After walking for a while more, we finally found ourselves a place that was open and made crepes! We both had the same thing (typical Dev & Andrew)-- nutella crepes with strawberry ice cream! I know we have a terrible sweet tooth, but when in Rome right? We also got some fries for a little substance. While we sat and ate we watched a little local news and learned that there was some seriously high water going on at the time which we had been wondering about since there were trees standing in water and trash cans too! After eating we kept on walking, stopping for photos and to look at all the sites that Paris had to offer until we finally reached the Eiffel Tower! We had been on the look out for it in the sky all day but we couldn't see it until suddenly there it was! Right in front of us! We stopped into a restaurant for some pizza (again they thought it was SO weird we only wanted one pizza... European people: why is this so strange? I couldn't even finish my 1/2) and then we took off to hike up the stairs of the tower! The view was amazing and being so close to the tower was really an breathtaking. If you have the chance to go it is a must! & It was even better because I got to spend the time with my hunny.
Ready for san adventure filled day!
Right before we were harrassed by some children asking for our personal information.
A very cute boy I found, ooh la la!
Laughing at the group of guys saying "cheeeeese!" as I was trying to take a serious, sultry photo ;)
Looking out over the city
Perfect photo spot!
There's that cute boy again...
I thought something was funny apparently!
Once 4pm rolled around we went on a hunt for WiFi to call an Uber so we could make it to the airport on time. Our driver was super great (from what I could tell.. I was asleep most of the ride) but what we learned while leaving Paris was that when it comes to driving there it seems like there are no rules besides "don't hit anyone". We made it to the airport safely and had a short one our flight back to Amsterdam where we caught our train back to Nunspeet... or so we thought. We got off in Amersfoort like usual to switch trains but as we looked around for the train headed home we noticed there wasn't one. The only trains running were to the bigger cities! After talking to some employees (one from Washington! Man oh man were we glad to see her and her fluently speaking English self) at the station we learned the next train was at 6 am! They offered to let us sleep in the heated room at the station that they usually kept locked but we weren't really feeling like that was a good option since Andrew had a radio interview that we had to leave Nunspeet for at 9am! The lady kindly tried to help us find a hotel to stay in that night but after she gave us directions and we walked over the man at the front desk said there were no available rooms ANYWHERE in Amersfoort for the night. Without knowing what else to do, we asked the man to call us a cab which we waited for outside for 30 minutes! Not to mention... it cost a pretty penny for that taxi ride. The cab driver was like, "You have that much cash on you?" I replied sleepy and a little irritable, "Yes. Do you want us to pre pay?" and so we did just to prove we weren't pulling his leg. After which he took us home and we ran straight for bed knowing we would have to be up and smiling for the world in just 6 hours. What a trip!