Eurotrip teens discover Paris, a beautiful city
October 30, 2012
Matthew Benson, Andrew Baer and Justin Kay are traveling through Europe before getting jobs and living in “the real world.”
We have left the British Isles and have made our way into Paris. While the weather on the night of our arrival was similar to October in Washington (rain), for the next few days we had warmer temperatures and sunny skies with random rain showers mixed in.
Paris is a beautiful city with much to see and do, though the cost of living is significantly higher than we are used to. Luckily, the main attractions such as the Louvre museum and ascending the Eiffel Tower are relatively affordable adventures, costing little more than 10 euros. Other important sites, such as the impressive Catholic cathedrals of Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur Basilica (Montmartre), offer free admission.
One of the more memorable things we recommend is to climb the stairs to the Sacre Coeur Basilica for its impressive views of the Parisian skyline, and then continue west along the narrow cobblestone roads lined with shops and restaurants with markets interspersed throughout. This is a good place to find all kinds of souvenirs ranging from basic magnets to original art pieces, though if you are looking for authentic French artwork, it may be worthwhile to make sure there is no “Made in China” sticker. This route also takes you past the café from the film “Amelie” and the Moulin Rouge.
If you want to have a nice meal anywhere near the center of town, it will likely run you 15 euros or more. While we would recommend trying the local cuisine, as it is deservedly a source of pride for the French, we could not afford to do so every day. Others trying to travel cheaply would benefit financially from buying ingredients from the grocery store and cooking for themselves as we have. We also had a difficult time relaxing at bars after a hard day of tourism, as we are not used to paying more than 7 euros for a mostly full glass of beer.
We were fortunate enough to be in town for an annual event called the “White Night,” which sees the people of Paris exploring late-night museum openings as well as a varied range of organized and unorganized performances. The people of Paris come alive in an odd appreciation of art, drinking and Parisian life.
We saw an electronic trio blasting music from the second floor of the Pompidou Modern Art Center while hoards of museumgoers swayed to the beat. A flurry of bubbles was unleashed upon the courtyard of the National Archive, a small film festival in an alleyway displayed short films from all of Europe and a street band rehashed the Inspector Gadget theme song.
We’re leaving now and we know we have only scratched the surface of a wonderfully vibrant city. We’re off to Berlin!