DUN-DUH-NAH-NAHHHHHHH DRUMMM ROLLLLLL PLEAASEEE........
After a week of overly-exctited midterm taking:
Train to Pisa---then we Flew to PARIS!
*on the bus ride into the city we saw the Eiffel Tower glittering in the distance. Fate.
*Stepping off the bus near our digs I found an adorable little rose pin on top of a barrel and it was perfectly in tact!
Found GLORIOUS pastries for breakfast, and some exorbitantly expensive OJ. Oh well, gotta keep on top game when traveling like that! (I did bring my vitamins, yes Mom.) :P
We then made our way (a bit late) to Notre Dame and were awestruck. Of course. It's just amazing especially thinking of the time period it was build in. Double buttresses are way better in person, just f.y.i.
Then we got a coffee near Bertie's Cupcakes... little did we know...
We then meandered around the area and found some maps of Paris so that we could survive, and we found some patches so Kai and I could begin our patch collection! (Liz is a veteran of patch collecting, boasting Nepal, Brazil, and her home town Minneapolis and more!)
Her backpack there has been all those places too!
We walked all along the river to the front of the Louvre and checked out the Pyramid entrance way, and then we walked all the way to the catacombs! At this point, we are probably talking 3-5 miles at least..
Then, we found the street which should be named The Street of Crepes, but it is not named this, so we didn't notice how many creperies were on this street until we walked out of the creperie we had eaten at and then we saw 20+ crepe places! Viola, crepes for evareeboodiieee!
Having no desire to spend more money and in need of a rest, we went into a little church and enjoyed the solitude and quiet, reading a bit of Pema and dozing off....
We were then kicked out of said church.. can they do that?! sheesh!
So we meandered in circles of hunger delirium until we decided to go to that place Kai had suggested in the first place, teehee, and it was FANTABULOUS. I had a steak, Nick had duck I think, and Liz had the squid. The waiter was really nice and was teaching Liz a few things about French dinning.
Cafe Lomi---BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST COFFEE OF THE TRIP. Amazing. Quiche, chicken salad, and soups. Viola! Belle!
We will miss you.
Versailles---A bit of a rough one getting here but it was worth it for sure...
I can't believe people lived here! Kai realized why there was a revolution.
Eiffel-finally we made our way to the famous symbol of Parieee. It is impressive. I can't imagine Paris without it. Truly one of the most eye catching things. One really big elegant looking tower!
Tibetan Cafe---You know you will enjoy a place when: A signed picture of the Dali Lama is on the wall and its warm inside and pouring rain like its never rained before outside.
When we went inside, we knew we had made a good choice. This place was delicious. We even had Tibetan desserts! I had a yummy warm carrot and yogurt dessert which was very different but really yummy!
This was a day to rival most days:
Louvre-ABSOLUTLEY ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVELY HUGE MUSEUMS EVER.
|More amazed by taking a picture of the Venus de Millo than actually seeing it and taking it in... |
|Ah, Cupid revives Persephone|
|I would love to ride a Turtle! |
|I just related to this one in some way.|
Champs Elysee, Arc de Triomphe---totally beautiful.
When you think of a Park in Paris, that is exactly what this walk was like.
Cafeotheque-funky café with a plant wall (I WAS IN LOVE) and reclaimed wooded tables, chair pillows made out of coffee sacks, and many other little things that I loved.
(Coffee was O.K., good tea though! Almost never disappointed by tea, especially in Paris!)
Shakespeare and Co.
-- Such a unique experience, kind of like Derby Sq. Books, but 100% better, artsier, more organized, older, more unique and more of a history. This place had little nooks and cranny's to curl into, windows over looking the river, upstairs, downstairs, old signs, a book worms paradise. This is where Kai and I found "Just Kids" but Patti Smith! I've been reading it ever since! And learning a thing or two about the generation I wish I had lived through. (60-70's).
We wound our way through the quaint Latin quarter, famous for its yummy shops and such, especially the most amazing cupcake place! Bertie's Cupcakes!! The owner, form the U.S., had only opened the place about 8 months ago and was a one woman cupcake master!
The best cupcake I have ever had.
(Sorry Johnny-o! (she did not have red velvet though, so there ya go! )
Then we found macaroons just because we were in Paris, but having just eaten cupcakes we decided to save them... keep this in mind.
To have a few moments to ourselves, Liz went back to Shakespeare & Co. and Nick and I grabbed some tea. I drew, we talked, Liz read. When we met back up, we saw a rainbow over the Notre Dame and then the most gorgeous sunset. Blissful world this is.
After a nice dinner, we traipsed all over looking for Eiffel tower again, (aka got off at the wrong metro stop.) However, this was fate because when we finally got to the tower it was glittering again, on the night we were last in Paris. (It only glitters for 5 minuets every night!)
And then we hit Budapest runnin!
We caught the metro within a minuet, and made it to our flight no problems. (ok, we ran to the train station but w.e....)
As soon as we got off the plane it was culture head on into culture shock. This is what I was looking forward too. In the airport it was not so bad, signs in English and Hungarian, but as soon as we were dealing with coins of 100 Forint and bills with more than 000 at the end we were confused. We made the bus into the city, and were instantly shocked at the difference in architecture, and especially the old trains on the metro.
After finding our hostel....
(which we LOVED!) (After the floor for 4 nights, even an Ikea mattress (which was nice) is a huge excitement.) (Come to think of it, a shower is nice too! ;)
...Our host gave us the lowdown on the sights and must-do's of Budapest. Then we headed out for some coffee and recovery meal. I had the goulash. So yummy! The prices for the portion size was great!!! Then we opened our bags to get out our macaroons for a deserved snack, they were not really macaroons anymore... haha they had become very flat mushy colorful things... oh well! Lesson learned haha! Macaroons do not travel well. Especially by backpack...
That evening we met people from the hostel and we played some games and hung out in Budapest!
Kai and I were excited for a kitchen again so for breakfast we made eggs and bacon! Yum! With bellies full, we decided to get acquainted with the city. We went out on a walking tour. It was filled with interesting facts, a bit of history which we had been wondering about and lots of beautiful sights. The tour guide was really nice and loved her job! She pointed out one of her favorite places to get pastries and coffee and it was really yummy!
|St. Mattias Church (Hungarian tiles-very famous for their lasting colors.)|
|The Parliament through the arches at the Bastion|
|Buskers as Fisherman's Bastion|
After pastries, we walked around the Fisherman's Bastion and took in the gorgeous views and it was all the more beautiful for the soprano sax and guitar.
Liz and I danced of course, and the buskers we were happy. (I feel like I just stole a line from The Giving Tree.)
|Thats my plate with a traditional Hungarian dish, and on the |
smaller plate to the right is Lougash,
essentially fried dough with sour cream
and cheese on top. A Hungarian specialty!
Yummmmm right?!?! Hahah Hungary is not
the health food capital of the world. In fact,
our tour guide informed us it has one of
the highest rates of health problems!
Then we headed back to the Hostel and met three Danish guys who would become our buddies while in Budapest. We instantly took a liking to one another and our groups melded well.
We went out to this really cool place that was an abandoned building after the communist era and it was totally indie. They are called ruin bars and they are all around the city. Another reminder of Budapest's history. We played fusball and Kai and I beat two of the Danish guys! Woo! (always the competitive spirit!) It was a very nice night, good conversation and fun.
We headed to the House of Terror which was really well done. It was kind of intense, but eye opening. It was all in Hungarian so we got the audio guide and read along with the handouts.