Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New York Herald Tribune!

Hey, guess where I am in this picture:

As a side note, is my head really that round? It looks as if it should be more difficult to support that globe up there.

And guess who I went with:

Catherine! My regular traveling companion. Also, my having-problems companion. During this trip, we had a short money scare. We thought that we were getting paid on Saturday. I had very little money left in my account before I left, but I wasn't worried, as I had cash and relied on the aforementioned paycheck. Plus, I figured that I could charge my hostel room (only 50 euro anyway).
Well, we didn't get paid. And the hostel didn't accept credit cards. I had left extra cash AND my American ATM card in Poligny. What to do? I took out as much cash as I could (not much), and Catherine changed some American money that her mom had sent her.
In the end, it turns out that I didn't really need to worry. I had already (unknowingly, see last post) overdrawn on my account, and I could have just kept doing that. In the end, it was for the better, as this was the cheapest trip I've taken - 40 euro for the train, 50 euro for the hotel for two nights, 20 euro for the food for two.5 days. We ate a lot of crepes and falafel.
I am, however, still waiting to be paid. Also, thank god I at least brought my American credit card. It paid for my ticket home and the dinner after our little money crisis (which seemed a lot bigger and more worrisome at the time), and enough wine to make it all better.

Our weekend was spent walking. And walking. And then walking a little bit more after all of that walking. We also spend a good amount of time poking around the Marais, where Catherine had lived for a summer.

So, here's some things we saw:

Notre Dame, as we walked along the Seine.

The Jardin des Plantes:

(I just wanted to get a photo of the creepy eye-cut-out statue, but I also got the dino bones inside the museum. What luck!)

(Catherine is modeling her Evian bottle as part of a very stupid, yet persistent joke that we developed over the course of the weekend.)

The Eiffel Tower:

The Jardin du Luxembourg:

The ice skating rink outside the Hotel de Ville. With Igloo!

Ile de Saint Louis:

Some very strange group of Asian debutantes....maybe:

I know that picture is fuzzy, but it was the best I could get. On the other side of the Eiffel Tower, we saw one couple, the girl dressed in white, with flowers. They stood in front of their big white limo and some photographer took pictures. I believe they were speaking Japanese. We assumed it was a wedding.
On the other side of the Tower, we came across this: a whole row of girls in white dresses standing by white limos. There were probably at least 20 there, standing around and waiting for their turn to be photographed. Their friends and family were there, also, creating a group of at least 100. Seeing the whole group, we realized the girls looked rather young. So, maybe this is some Japanese debutante party? It was strange.

On our last day, we took a stroll along Blvd. St. Germain, in the Latin Quarter. I wore my new NY Herald Tribune shirt.

On Saturday, we also went to the Grand Palais to see the big Viennese art exhibit. We had to wait for an hour and a half in line -- outside, in the cold -- before getting in. Once we were in, it was still incredibly crowded. Nothing matters, though, when you're standing in a room full of Schiele and Klimt. It was definitely worth it.

It was a really nice trip. The last time I was here, I was 17 and with a high school group. We packed in an amazing amount of sightseeing for two days. Hopefully next time I'm there, I'll have money and it won't be drizzling.


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