This past week since my dad had two trips in a row to Paris I joined him on his layovers and spent the 3 days between layovers wandering about Paris on my own.
I could go into detail about each and every site that I visited, but suffice it to say I visited anything that could be considered a “must see” of Paris. I finally visited the Louvre (it just seemed a shame that someone as into museums as I am had never been there) and oddly enough they were the only museum that allowed photography (without a flash of course).
Some stories from the trip:
People do the craziest things on the metro! Instead of waiting outside and performing to get money (like I’m used to) they actually get inside the metro cars and perform! The first performer was this old guy who was singing opera, and then he would sing out the name of each stop. He was the strangest because I’m pretty sure he wasn’t even asking for money, he was just singing for the heck of it! The second performer was an accordion player. He was really good! If I had more money I would have given him some change as he walked around with his cup in the end. He changed cars after one stop though. =( The third performer was so weird! He set up a little sheet between two poles and hid behind it while he did a little puppet show! He also didn’t walk around asking for money, so I don’t understand where these people get the time to ride the metro performing!
The second day that I was on my own, there was a transportation strike in France! I didn’t really know that much about it since my little hotel I was staying at didn’t have a tv in the rooms, but I heard that only 60% of air travel was still working and that they were thinking of extending the strike to last a week, so naturally I was worried about my dad coming back to get me. I found a phone and used the emergency credit card to call him, and my card was rejected! So then I used my debit card to try to call; again, rejected! By this point I was freaking out because neither of my cards were working and I was afraid to use any of the cash I had because my hotel was only paid until my dad came back and I was worried he wouldn’t come back in time and I wouldn’t have money to pay for more nights! Luckily, the next day the strike was over so I just waited for my dad to come back. Of course, I pretty only ate bread because I was still afraid to spend my cash in case I had an emergency and my cards still weren’t working. Meanwhile, back in the USA, my dad was worried because he got an email from the credit card company saying that my card had been stolen! The moral of this story is: always tell your credit card company and bank when you are leaving the country or they will assume your cards were stolen and leave you stranded and moneyless! (The transportation strike also made it so I couldn’t leave town to go to Versailles, but at least that leaves me something to do the next time I’m in Paris!)
I spent a lot of time in Paris visiting burial sites of various famous people such as Napoleon, Victor Hugo, Chopin, etc . . . One such grave was Jim Morrison’s (lead singer of the Doors). Hanging out near his grave were a bunch of kids smoking with some old guy who seemed to think he was still in the 1970s. I thought it was really weird that someone would come this far to see an old musician’s grave until I realized that I was doing the same thing! =) At least I didn’t hang out there for hours (which I’m sure they had been).
One thing that was funny is that everyone I met thought I was Italian or Spanish! The Spanish was kind of understandable since all the French I was speaking was accidentally littered with Spanish words, but I don’t know where they got the Italian from. . . maybe just having a brother in Italy makes me seem more Italian. haha. I did talk to one British guy who said that American girls don’t really travel alone as much as European girls so that might be part of it. Also, I don’t have dyed hair and I noticed all the French women had their original hair colors and all the American women I saw had tons of highlights, so that might also be part of it.
Anyways, all in all it was a great trip!