October 17, 2010

France - Versailles

I almost gave up on documenting our trip on here, it's pretty time consuming going through all of these photos and editing them, that and since I have a new blog, I didn't know what to do with all of this travel/personal stuff, since it didn't really belong on my website, which is meant to be a bit more professional. Also, I didn't want to have more than one blog or website. However, no solution has been made so I am just going to stick with this blog that I've already started and hopefully finish up with my entire European trip. I will try to go lighter with the photos, I think I've been posting way too many. Also I'm going to try to sprinkle in more current posts about what's been going on with Seth and I.

So to kick things off again, I'm going to tell you about our trip to Versailles. Thanks to Sophia Coppola, and Stuff you Missed in History class, I happen to know a bit about ol' Marie Antoinette. Now we had already been to some pretty impressive palaces in Russia, so our main objective was to see Marie's cottages. When we got to the museum we asked for passes to both, however the man informed us that there wouldn't be time, since it's closing. Well, we were not about to pass up seeing those cottages, so we basically ran through the palace (been there, done that, nbd) and through the fountains and gardens and finally to the cottages. Afterwards, we were able to relax in the gardens. We got crepes, took a boat ride, it was one of our favorite and most memorable days of our trip. Knowing the history helps a lot.

Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.43.05 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.46.30 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.46.39 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.46.46 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.27 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.47.16 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.50.08 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.47.23 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.47.29 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.47.35 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.47.44 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 6.47.50 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.00.12 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.00.23 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.00.33 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.00.53 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.00 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.13 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.19 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.36 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.42 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.49 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.01.56 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.02.06 PM
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 7.02.13 PM

June 13, 2010

J'adore Paris

Ahhh paris, where do I start with you? I had some misgivings about Paris before coming, only because I've been building this place up for my entire life. I've always had an interest in all things french, I'm sure this is due to the fact that I was named Madelyne Dufresne. I've dreamt of going to Paris since I was a little girl and finally getting here was surreal, I couldn't believe it was actually happening, I could actually say the words, I'm in Paris! Anyway, I am here to tell you that it is impossible to build up Paris.

So yes, Seth and I love this city, but our first night wasn't great for me, I don't know if it was culture shock or homesickness or what, but I felt really strange when I first got in. About 3 days before leaving Moscow the girl who's apartment we had planned on staying at said she wouldn't be able to rent it out to us anymore. I was so worried about finding a new place I didn't really have time to get excited, we ended up staying in a hostel for the first two nights, a crappy hotel one night, and then we found another apartment for the rest of our stay. The hostel was in a fabulous location, Montparnasse. We could see the Eiffel tower from our room. I knew I would like Paris, but I was feeling kind of lost in a big city and it took us a while to find the place, the hostel had given us directions on how to get there and we must have got off at the wrong stop, we were really close to where we needed to be but we had a hard time finding it. Here is a view from our room, the sky was really red that night.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.17.02 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.17.12 PM

Walk to The Eiffel Tower

It only took me one day to get over my homesickness and fall in love with Paris. Since we hadn't figured out the metro system yet we decided to walk to the Eiffel tower. It looked pretty close but it was actually a lot longer than we thought. It was okay though because it was a beautiful walk and we really enjoyed it.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.17.24 PM
We see our first of several protests, not sure what this one is for but everyone was dressed in scrubs.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.18.15 PM
I love the little European cars, so cute!

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.18.04 PM
Lots of trees!

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.19.10 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.18.36 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.23.03 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.22.54 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-14 at 12.56.32 AM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.18.29 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.23.13 PM
Postcard pictures.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.20.40 PM

Once we (finally) got to the tower, we both were surprised at how massive it was. It's always hard to tell how big something is until you see it. I remember when I saw Mount Rushmore I thought it was really small. When we got there, we ate brie on a yummy baguette, grapes eclaires, paid 7 euro for water, was begged for money, all that good stuff. It was kind of cold and windy that day, and there was a long line to go up the tower so we went to the Museum of Modern art, which didn't really have any pieces we liked, and after that we went back and decided to go up, since who knows when we would do it later. We stood in line for a very long time and it was freezing. But it was worth it, we went up to the top and it was scary but awesome, it was even colder up there than when we were on the ground.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.54.09 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.15.31 PM

So that was our first day seeing Paris and we love love loved it. It was all greens and pinks and cream colors, so beautiful!

Screen shot 2010-06-14 at 1.07.01 AM

One of the best things about Paris has to be the metro system. I love it. It's so easy and convenient it's almost ridiculous. The best way to figure out the metro is to get a metro map and just start using it, you'll quickly realize how easy it is and when you know where you want to go you just look on the map and find the nearest metro stop. I wish every city had one of these.

Screen shot 2010-06-25 at 9.33.41 PM
I took this shot at one of the metro stops

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.15.41 PM
This is a fountain we saw on our way to Il de Cite, which we found in our guidebook later on, of course I can't remember who it is now.

Il de Cite

Il de Cite was my favorite place in Paris, there are two little islands on the seine, one of them has the Notre Dame and the other one right next to it has expensive apartments and lots of little cafes and bakeries.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.16.16 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.16.28 PM
So I think this makes my blog like, totally legit right? What's a blog without a picture of macaroons? But in all seriousness, and this is a serious matter, macaroons are the best little treat imaginable. I never thought macaroons looked that good, I just thought I'd try one since we saw this little bakery, and I was totally blown away when I took my first bite, I thought, that was really good, like really really good. After that point we kept our eye out for macaroons and whenever we saw someone selling them, we got them, Seth even went on the internet to find the best ones, and we went to this shop to get them. But these ones we got on Il de Cite were the best. We have a few hours before we fly out of Paris and we are making it our mission to go back to this bakery and get more of these macaroons to bring home and share with people.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.53.33 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.54.37 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.54.48 PM
I wish I had bought some of these Little Prince postcards, how sweet.

Notre Dame

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.18.56 PM
Notre Dame is not my favorite church (I don't really like the gothic style) but it was still really amazing, and cool to see since it's so recognizable.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.16.01 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.19.41 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.19.49 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.19.59 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.16.40 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.16.50 PM
I love how morbid this is.

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.20.17 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-13 at 11.20.07 PM

Champs Elysees & The Arch de Triomphe

Screen shot 2010-06-25 at 9.34.48 PM
We saw these guys right by the Arch de Triomphe, they were really good and I would have tipped them but we only had 50 euro and I'm not sure they were that good.

Screen shot 2010-06-25 at 9.34.38 PM
Seth is triumphant, standing under the arch of Triumph. These next two are blurry, because I shoot with a 50mm 1.8 lens, and it's a difficult lens to focus if you don't know how to use it, so a lot of the picture taken of me are out of focus (that is until I taught seth how to focus better). Seth also has a habit of taking pictures of me as I'm walking towards him, this super blurry one of my face is probably my favorite.

Screen shot 2010-06-25 at 9.34.08 PM

Screen shot 2010-06-25 at 9.35.00 PM
I can't get over how awesome this guy's expression is, like he just overheard some crazy gossip or something. These are the stairs we climbed up, we have climbed so many stairs on this trip!! I like it though, gotta burn those carbs right!?

Screen shot 2010-06-25 at 9.33.56 PM
View from the top of the arch.