Logbook: 5/20

My Last Week in Europe 

Abstract: Can you believe that it’s already been four months since I’ve arrived here in France? Unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye. For my last trip, I went to Paris before returning back home to the United States.

Introduction: Paris really is an amazing city. It deserves all the fame it gets! Unfortunately, it rained the entire time I was there. But this didn’t stop me from exploring the incredible beauty of this city. The city’s streets, gardens and monuments carry an immense charm that I haven’t found in many other places that I’ve visited. I know I will definitely keep coming back to see more of Paris.

 TRAVEL NEWS

Local Time: 12:32 am          

Time Zone:  UTC+1:00       

Location (Latitude, Longitude): 48.8742° N, 2.3470° E

How far did I travel this week? 580 miles

How far have I traveled on your journey so far? 6,355 miles

How did I get around this week? I took a train from Menton to Paris. Although the train was very fast, it took about six hours to get to Paris! I also took the metro around the city.       

Notre Dame Cathedral

What was the most interesting place I visited this week?  My favorite landmark in Paris is the Arc de Triomphe. It is a huge arch that was built to remember all the soldiers that fought for France during many wars. It is located in the northeast corner of the city, but it is built at the intersection of eight streets! The circular street surrounding the Arc de Triomphe has a lot of cars on it all the time, and can be dangerous to cross. We took the tunnel under the street and climbed up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. We were able to look all around the city. We could see the Eiffel Tower and many other monuments, churches and buildings of Paris. It was beautiful!       

Other travel news: Traveling is not always easy, especially if you have a lot of luggage! My friend and I left Menton together to visit Paris before going back home. He is originally from Germany, and stayed in Menton longer than I did (one year). Because he stayed in his own apartment, he had to bring more of his things from home than I had to. He travelled with seven bags to Paris, while I only had three. It was very difficult to move all the bags at once across stations, into the trains, and across Paris to his cousin’s apartment.. At the train station, we almost had to pay 45 Euros for each extra bag, since you’re usually only allowed two bags per person. But thankfully, we were able to convince the train crew to let us go on this time without paying!

 

NATURE NEWS

Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):

Sunny: 0

Cloudy: 7

Partly cloudy: 0

Rainy:  5

Snowy:  0

Windy: 0   

What is the air temperature right now?  59ºF. It is as cold as Menton in the winter! Paris is not the warmest city in Europe, that’s for sure.

How was the weather this week? Ever since I left Menton on Saturday, the rain has never left us. It has been either cloudy, rainy or both for the entire week. I miss the sun!

Paris Skyline

What animals did I see this week?  There aren’t many wild animals in Paris, just dogs, a few cats and lots of pigeons. There are many parks around the city, but I haven’t seen any animals.

What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week?  Paris is an incredibly green city. There are parks scattered everywhere. My favorite park is the Luxembourg Gardens. I love the tall trees surrounding statues, fountains and sandy paths!

Other Nature News: At first, I was very disappointed that the rain was getting in the way of my visit to Paris. I spent the first night inside and away from the rain. Apparently, the rain was going to continue until I left. I didn’t let it stop me, though. I spent the entire day outside with a jacket and at night, I returned soaking wet! Before coming to Europe, I used to love rain. Now, I’m not a huge fan of it. But I’ve also learned, like many Europeans who live around rain have, that you can’t let the weather stop you from living life! I was especially surprised to see people selling souvenirs by the Eiffel Tower without standing under any shelter away from the rain.

 

OUR NEWS

What languages are spoken here?   Paris is a very diverse city. Most people speak French, but immigrants and tourists give the city an international feeling. I heard Russian, Arabic, Chinese and English many times during my stay.

What type of money is used here?   The Euro is used here, just like in Menton.

How much does a bottle of water cost?     A bottle of water from the supermarket is about 0.50 Euros which is equal to about 0.75 cents. However, I’ve learned that everything is much more expensive in restaurants, airports or train stations!

What was the best meal this week?  During my last night in Paris, my friends and I made salty crepes filled with salmon and sweet crepes filled with bananas and apples. Crepes are delicious snacks but can also be made into meals!

What music did I listen to this week?  I listened to a lot of French music. I tried to be surrounded as much as I could by French culture before leaving, so I listened to many French classical artists like Edith Piaf.

What activity was the most fun this week?  I enjoyed simply walking around the streets of Paris. Every corner turned revealed a church, monument or landmark that proved why Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I also liked walking along the river Seine.

Louvre Museum

What did I read this week? One of my goals is to perfect my French even after leaving France. I went to the flea market in a nearby suburb of Paris and bought a book. It is called Les Cerfs-Volants de Kaboul (English: The Kite Runner) by Khaled Hosseini. I’ve already read it in English, so I hope reading it in French won’t be too difficult!

What games or sports did I play this week? I didn’t get to play any sports or games this week, unless you consider walking and running around a sport. I have been dragging around my suitcases from my dorm to the station to another station to my friend’s apartment in Paris and finally the airport! It’s been very exhausting and I’m glad I’m almost home.

Other news from this week: One of my favorite parts of Paris is the Rue des Roisiers in the Marais district of Paris. This is one of the only parts of Paris that was preserved from history – instead of the large, wide avenues of most parts in Paris, Le Marais has small, mainly pedestrian streets. Rue des Roisiers is mostly known for its Jewish population, but I also know it for its great cuisine! I remember eating at a restaurant famous for its falafel sandwiches. The sandwich was stuffed with falafel balls, eggplant, vegetables and different sauces. It was delicious! Later, we went to a Jewish bakery and had tasty deserts.

 

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