My first few hours in Paris were less than magical. I arrived on the train at 10:30 at night, then spent the next hour weaving through the train station and metro. It was cold and windy and I had the worst cold, the obnoxious kind where your throat hurts, your head throbs, and your nose paradoxically runs when you stand and is so blocked when you lay down that you can’t breathe. We’ve all been there. Instead of being excited to be in Paris, all I wanted was to sleep. Vlad lives 1 block from the Eiffel Tower, but I couldn’t even muster up the excitement to walk the 4 minutes necessary to see it.
After a good night’s sleep however, the magic of Paris could finally reach me. Vlad had class Friday morning, so I got to sleep in and woke up to fresh pastries he bought that morning before leaving. I woke up and fixed hot tea, looking out the tiny window at the gray, lifeless sky. I pushed my face against the glass, craning my head and even climbing up on the bed for a better angle, but I couldn’t see the Eiffel Tower. My first few hours in Paris all I could see were the windows of Vlad’s neighbors.
I started eating the pastries and oh la la were they delicious! So delicious I forgot to take a picture. They were soft, fluffy and warm, the type you want to tear off in pieces and dip into coffee. I passionately hate coffee and really dislike soggy bread, yet I was temporarily overcome by this inexplicable desire.
Vlad came home from class after noon and we went to meet my mom and her husband at the Ecole Militaire, facing the Eiffel Tower. Outside was gray and cold, but this time it couldn’t dampen my excitement. The walk was so short, and yet the anticipation so great! I knew any second I would finally see what I waited my whole life to see. Finally we reached the corner and Vlad said “It’s on the other side of this building.”
A few more feet, and voilà!
I gasped when I saw it and then jumped up and down a few times. I really couldn’t believe I was seeing the Eiffel Tower! In a way it looks exactly like all the pictures, but in way it doesn’t. You simply must see it in real life.
After lunch we parted ways and Vlad and I went off to walk through Paris. This is when it began to rain, and I do not mean a drizzle. Do not believe Woody Allen when he says Paris is best in the rain. Perhaps he meant a light mist, or perhaps when you are inside watching the rain. Either way he should have specified, because Paris in the rain, especially when you have a cold, is not ideal. I saw incredibly beautiful sights, but all from under an umbrella with soaking wet feet.
Random event of the day: As we were walking through the Jardin des Tuileries, out of nowhere appeared a goat, munching happily away at the beautiful flowers in the rain. We have no idea where he came from, there is no petting zoo nearby and no one appeared to be looking for a goat. He had a leash but it wasn’t attached to anything. This goat just thought he ran Paris apparently.
After 2 hours of traipsing through the downpour, we’d had enough and went back to the apartment where I slept the rest of the afternoon and evening. We were both pretty miserable at this point – cold, wet and tired.
Vlad’s take on the weather: “Paris is just testing you. She’s not going to show her best side the first day, you have to prove yourself worthy of her.” That’s probably true, although she is still beautiful in the rain…
Around 9:30 it stopped raining, so we went out to see what I missed my first night: the Eiffel Tower at night. My poor shoes from the day were still soaking wet, so I wore Vlad’s running shoes.
We headed towards a bridge with a great view, and along the way I had my first glimpse!
Paris at night doesn’t disappoint. I had no idea the Eiffel Tower could be so beautiful.
I quickly forgave Paris for her petulance and bad mood during the day.
Although I only spent a few hours in Paris my first day, when you see the Eiffel Tower at night, you just get it. You feel like you know Paris. There’s nothing like it.
Day 2, with much better weather and more pictures, is coming soon!