Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Paris & Ireland: An awesome weekend!
This weekend I went to Ireland for a couple of days and then stayed a day in Paris. When will I ever be able to say words like that again? Ireland was great. We (Lauren, Daniel, and I) stayed in Limerick with Lauren's extremely hospitable friends Heidi, Rita, and Catherine. We went to a pub where we heard live Irish music (which was maybe my favorite part of the trip), visited Cork (including the Butter Museum and a beautiful, beautiful Hogwarts-esque college campus), and went to Galway. Ireland is beautiful. I wish I had been able to stay longer-- I definitely want to go back some day!
On Sunday Lauren went back to Caen, and Daniel and I met Mathilde in Paris. We went to Sacre Couer and had supper at this not-so-great restaurant where the waiters were very rude. Welcome to Paris! If you're going there any time soon, do research on good restaurants in advance. In the touristy areas it's really, really hit-or-miss with restaurants, and it's usually miss. Anyway, other than the restaurant, Paris was Paris was Paris and it was as lovely as it has ever been. The Vintage Hostel was a great deal.
On Monday, Daniel and I discovered Paris. It was his second time there, and I think it would have been my fourth. We went to Pere Lachaise, a very famous cemetery, where we visited the graves of Abelard & Heloise, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Moliere, La Fontaine, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison. While we were visiting Abelard & Heloise, a woman with short, spiky hair approached Daniel and asked him if he knew where Jim Morrison's grave was. For those of you who have read A Year in the Merde, you will know how tickled we were by this. It's very easy to spot the tourists who go to Pere Lachaise just to see Jim Morrison! There was a man there playing Stairway to Heaven on a guitar in front of the grave. I took a picture of him.
After that we took a little self-tour of the famous Opera house. We didn't see the Phantom, but we did see the famous stair case and the chandelier, which was even more beautiful than I had imagined! Had I not had such a hoarse voice I would have tried to sing to bring down the chandelier, but that might have been inconsiderate to other tourists and to the city of Paris.
Museums in Paris are now free for European Union students, and so we went to the Louvre. I finally saw the Venus di Milo, which I wasn't able to find the first time! Very impressive. It seems trite to say that, but really, it was gorgeous. I don't think I had ever really seen the details of her face before. And then we went to the Eiffel Tower, which I hadn't seen by day.
That night we saw my favorite band from the United States who is now on a European tour-- Anathallo. They gave an amazing performance in a suburb of Paris called Saint Ouen. It was so good to see them and to talk to them after the show. They're all very approachable and fascinating people to talk to. I really liked Toy Fight, a French band who opened for them, but I just feel so sad that French bands feel like they need to sing in English to be popular!
Weekends like these are running out! I'll be home in 22 days. I'm clinging to every moment I have left in France!