Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Paris is nice, too.

Last weekend I decided to take advantage of having no classes on a Friday, and headed to Paris, via the delights of the Galician Sleeper and Madrid Airport. I arrived in North Africa (aka Gare du Nord) late on Friday afternoon, met up with Megan and headed back to her apartment somewhere in Paris - still not sure quite where.

We sorted out what we were going to do that weekend, and hit the town. We went for happy hour cocktails at the very chic Le China, followed by a quick sightseeing trip up the Arc de Triomphe to see Paris at nice. Unsurprisingly, it's amazingly beautiful.

The next day was filled with some intense sightseeing, taking advantage of the sun by walking around a large area of Paris. We took advantage of free entry for EU under 26s at the Pantheon, where Victor Hugo and other French celebrities are buried, as well as at Notre Dame, went to the Jewish Quarter for a falafel lunch, and walked through the Tuileries and loads of other gardens just slightly prettier than the Wollaton Park.

That evening we met up with a friend from Durham, who took us to an Irish pub (classic Brits), Saint Germain, and then a totally legit bar which turned out to be some kind of metal club. Then we went home.

Sunday was where it got exciting. After a trip up Sacre Coeur (we got the funicular instead of walking - yolo) and watching the strict security guards throwing out numerous Japanese tourists for taking photos, we headed back towards the river.

We met up with loads of other Durham people for an afternoon of wine tasting aboard a riverboat next to the Eiffel Tower, and with the "creme de la creme" of the French wine industry there we had a fun time in store for us. A slightly awkward start to proceedings (several of us spoke next to no French) was improved by a chance encounter with an English speaking wine expert from some vineyard in Alsace.

His table was groaning under a considerable selection of fine wine, of which he proceeded to educate us about. An hour later, after making our way through the entire collection of white (average bottle price, 20EUR), we elected not to do the same with the red, and beat a very chatty retreat to a nearby crepe stall.

Then I went back to Spain. It was snowing.