Photo Essay from my trip Paris France

Photo Essay from my trip Paris France

Trip October 20, 2005, thru October 25, 2005

 

If you had asked me as a teenager what country I dreamed of visiting, it would have been Paris.  I loved Paris so much that I took two years of French in high school.  Now, how much I remembered is another thing.  Learning the language is not as easy as I thought it would be.  I thought my love for the country would help the words roll off my tongue more easily.  I was so wrong.  I didn’t know I wouldn’t go to Paris until over a decade later.  So, of course, I needed a refresher course.  I found it even more difficult than the first time.

Now it’s 2005, and a few months after I went to London, my friend Suzen invited me to meet her in Paris.  This was the dream I’d been waiting for.  I picked up a Learn to Speak French CD and started preparing.  Unfortunately, by the time the trip came in October, all I could remember was

Bonjour – Hello

je m’appelle – My name is Bisa

Je ne sais pas – I don’t know

J’Parle pas Francais – I do not speak French.

Je suis American –  I am American

Which were pretty much the same phrases I remembered from high school.  I was assured that I would find plenty of people who spoke English.  So I got on a plane and flew to Paris.  I arrived in the afternoon to meet up with my friend again.  The first thing

On Top of Eiffel Tower
On Top of the Eiffel Tower

What I do in Paris is go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  On top of the Eiffel Tower, it was surreal to be in Paris.  2005 was becoming a year to remember.  I began the year without a passport and have two passport stamps.  The next day, the real tour was to begin.  We were taking a bike tour around the city.  I’ve never done something like that before.  I would ride my bike in the US once a year.  I imagined myself as an experienced cyclist, which is far from the truth.  I was happy to see the bikes.  I was afraid it would be big mountain bikes, and I would be lagging behind the group.  This was such an amazing experience.  We got to see Paris in such a different way.  I finally got to see the Eiffel Tower during the daytime.  We had just the right amount of breaks, and the tour included lunch.  The tour was also good at this stage because I could get information about the sites before I visited them.

I spent most of the trip exploring independently and meeting up with my friend for dinner. I spent most of the first day on the Avenue of Champs Elysees and climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which was the thing I was most excited to see. I had written about it in a class once and just loved saying “Arc de Triomphe” in my fake accent.

The next day, I spent at the Louvre. It was crowded and much bigger than I imagined. I did get to see the Mona Lisa, but there was a line, so I didn’t spend much time there. I didn’t do a guided tour, but I wish I had gotten the self-guided tour on headsets. Maybe next time.

My final day was spent at the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre.  I didn’t go to the church, but I did pick up my souvenirs for my family nearby and take in the view.

View from Sacre Coeur Basilica
View from Sacre Coeur Basilica

Someone approached me while walking around and asked if I spoke French.  I quickly thought this was my chance to speak in French, and all I could say was no.

I have to admit that I wasn’t in love with French food as I thought I would be.  I found myself looking for a McDonald’s by the last day.  I never eat McDonald’s.  I spent three years working at a fast food restaurant in high school and have since stopped eating red meat.  There are always french fries and Fish Filet.  I do, however, love the sweet treats such as crepes and chocolate croissants.  I indulged in at least one of them a day while I was there.

Now, it was time for me to go back home.  I never found those people who spoke English.  I think some didn’t want to be bothered.  I plan to visit Paris again someday to explore the country more.

 

Bisa Myles
bisa@mylestotravel.com

I am a breast cancer survivor and plus-size adventurer traveling the world and capturing every mile as I go. I still have miles to travel.

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