Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paris, part 2

Yes, there is a part two to Paris! It includes about a million more pictures of the Eiffel Tower, another bike tour, and endless pain au chocolat. Some of my favorite parts of this jam-packed few days included a nerdy bike tour complete with high-lighter yellow safety vests and a cruise down the Seine, visiting the bakery by our hostel at least once a day for pastries and baguettes (completed by gruyere cheese from the grocery store next door), and taking in the views of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe (where I took the photo in my header!). We also went on a tour of Montmartre which, typical of our trip, we barely made it to 30 15 minutes late. Visiting Versailles was just as unreal as I always imagined it to be, and also about 20 degrees hotter (actually almost melted). We also made it to the Musee d'Orsay, which is hands-down one of my favorite museums I've been to, ever. I'm not much of an art buff (read, at all), but I almost died over all the Monets. 

Got confused about if we were on a bike tour or the Tour de France. 

Oh, stop it, Paris. We get it, you're gorgeous. 

The vaguely underwhelming new fountain show at Versailles. 

So hot Jess turned into a human fountain with the help of a water bottle. 

View from the Musee d'Orsay. 

Gruyere and French bread; the only two things I really need to be happy in life. 

I miss you already, Paris! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Paris, part 1

Hello again, friends!

I'm back to share some photos of one of my new very favorite cities in the world: Paris. Because I loved it so much, I'm sharing the city in a couple different posts to split up the 32982 different views of the Eiffel Tower many artistic photos with which I captured the city. Sometimes you have to just embrace being a tourist.

The first thing I thought when we got to Paris was "I want to live here." I know, I know, who doesn't? But I instantly knew it was a city I wanted to get to know better than was possible in the five days we had planned to stay. Do you know that feeling, when there are a million things to see, and you just want time to relax and soak a place in? I'm still hoping I get a longer time to enjoy Paris in the future, but we definitely crammed in as much as possible while we were there.

A few favorites from the first part include: reading and writing in Luxembourg Gardens, seeing the Eiffel Tower twinkle for the first time, a walking tour with a hilarious English guide, stumbling upon the beginning of the Tour de France parade, eating crepes and pain au chocolat every day, perusing the little shops along the Seine to pick up interesting postcards (always my favorite souvenirs), and, of course, climbing up the Eiffel Tower for incomparable views of the city.

Our first day, we couldn't check into our hostel until 4, so we headed to nearby Luxembourg Gardens to read and relax. Can you believe Parisians get to hang out here all the time? 

With my minimal photography skills, it turns out it's practically impossible to capture a good picture of the tower twinkling, but it's just as beautiful simply lit up. 

Our hilariously sarcastic guide told us that these heads are actually based on the king's drunken friends after a night of raucous partying. Kind of like Facebook before the digital age? 

How does the water get that green?!

The dancers on the Tour de France parade floats were hilarious.

How does one city manage to enchant so many people? I felt like such a cliche for being so blown away by it, but it really is a city unlike any other. But, I also have friends who have gone and been pretty unimpressed by it. Have you been to Paris? Do you think it lives up to the hype?

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Ah, the city that stole my heart as well as my iPhone: Barcelona. There are not a lot of places in the world that I would consider a fair trade to spend time in in exchange for my phone, but Barcelona, apparently, is one of them. The weather was beautiful, the architecture stunning in a totally unique way, the beach immaculate and enormous, the nightlife lived up to its ridiculous reputation (we went to a beautiful club right on the beach), and I even liked the Spanish food (although we might have had pizza every day too. Oops). 

The views from Parc Guell were incomparable. 

Look closely; I'm hiding in the bottom of the picture :)

We went on a bike tour! Debatably recommended. The sights were gorgeous (tons of Gaudi architecture), but biking uphill in 80something degree weather, it turns out, isn't ideal. 

La Sagrada Familia...absolutely unbelievable. The detail on the building is mind-blowing. Also, I might be the only person who didn't realize that it's still under construction. 

Gaudi architecture around the city...I'm in love. 

Biking Barcelona.

Endless stretch of sand and sea. Apparently, they imported the sand from Egypt for the Olympics back in the 80s -- fun fact!

On our last night, we went to see flamenco dancers -- I didn't know people could move that quickly!