Monday, August 30, 2010

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Yesterday after the market I went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery with a group of people from my hostel. We decided to walk there because it wasn't terribly far, and saw some fun sites....

...and got a bit lost (oops). But ended up at the cemetery eventually. It's one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, and it is huge - over 100 acres - and very very beautiful.

We started out by going to the grave of Jim Morrison....

Followed by - left to right - Oscar Wilde (the marks you see are lipstick kisses), Sarah Bernhardt, and Chopin.... well as a few others. It was an incredibly interesting experience and a very beautiful place.

All in all it was a very nice day. And we ended out excursion with the tastiest pastries any of us had ever had....

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Hello once again! It's a bit cold a dreary out, so I'm going to camp out here for a little while longer and keep updating!

Yesterday (Saturday) morning I went to the famous Parisian flea markets at Porte de Clignancourt with a girl from my hostel. This flea market is HUGE. It's the largest flea market in the world, covering over 17 acres. We spent the morning wandered through the never-ending hundreds (probably thousands) of booths and shops filled with everything you could possibly dream of.

Even though I didn't buy anything it was a very fun experience, and I'm sure I'll go back at least once more before I leave.

This morning (Sunday) three girls from my hostel and myself went to the open-air market near Bastille...

...and it was amazing. Booth after booth after booth filled with all of the fresh food you could imagine. Fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, spices, cheeses, breads, olives, wines....

It is a food lover's dream! There is also the occasional stand with already prepared food ready to eat, so we got seafood paella and ate it at the market, it was delicious!

All in all it was a fun couple of days wandering through markets and making new friends with the girls from my hostel.

Lots of love to back home!!

The Louvre and Hôtel des Invalides

Bonjour! I am nearing one week in Paris, and starting to feel more comfortable living and interacting here. I've met some fantastic new friends from all over the world, and seen some great sights. I'm excited for my apartment to be ready soon, but I am really enjoying my time in my hostel! This is the view from my window....

On Wednesday (after watching the band I posted the video of) I wandered over to the Notre Dame and walked around the grounds for a while. There was a girl singing outside with an absolutely beautiful voice. It turns out she had challenged herself to travel from Athens, Greece up to Edinburgh, Scotland using only the money she could make off of singing. So she was street performing and making enough money for the trip. Really interesting!

On Thursday I walked the few blocks from my hostel to the Louvre....

... and spent the entire day wandering around the Louvre, getting lost and enjoying some fantastic art. There are so many fascinating pieces of art and different exhibits there, and the architecture and design inside the former palace is breathtaking in its own right!

On Friday I walked over to the Hôtel des Invalides....

...which is (to take a description from wikipedia) "a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France." The grounds were absolutely beautiful...

... and the displays were incredibly interesting. The exhibits on the World Wars were particularly fascinating, as was being able to visit Napoleon's tomb in the beautiful dome chapel.

Sorry I haven't been updating my blog as much as I had hoped, but the internet is down in my hostel, so I have to go to a cafe in order to get online. Right now I am sitting in a little corner Parisian cafe drinking a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) so I can update.

I hope everyone is doing well in the states, I miss you all terribly!

Lots of love,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Band in the Park

Here's a clip of a fun band that I watched jam in a small park for a while... Watch for a short appearance by the crazy dancing lady just before the two minute mark. She was having a ball!

I don't have much to say, and it's pretty late here, so I'm going to get going to bed! I miss all of you!

:) Sarah

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Day!

I'm here!! After a long day of travel my flight got in at about 8:00am Paris time. The flights were pretty uneventful, I did have a mad dash through the Amsterdam airport to catch my flight to Paris though. My flight there arrived at 6:00am, and my next flight boarded at 6:15 and took off at 6:45. And of course I had to go through customs there and of course I set off the metal detector. Because I didn't set it off in Grand Rapids, so why wouldn't it go off in Amsterdam?

But I digress. I arrived at the Paris airport at 8:00am, took the train downtown to where I am storing my luggage - which by the way, was a five plus block walk down cobblestone streets with two pieces of luggage on wheels - and dropped my luggage off. There were signs for an internet cafe nearby, so I went there to try to find a hostel. It was just a small place, and the owner was so wonderfully kind and actually called the hostels for me on his phone and spoke to them in French for me. So I ended up finding the hostel that I'm at now, it's about two blocks from the Louvre and inexpensive, so it should be a nice place to stay until my apartment is ready!

Other than that I wandered around a bit, went to a small grocery store and got some lunch, and came back to the hostel at 2:00ish to wait for my room to be ready at 2:30pm. Once it was ready I went upstairs and CRASHED. I slept until 10:30pm. Which happens to be the time Andy gets off work in the states, so I went downstairs to Skype with him and update my blog, and here I am! I'm going to go back to bed soon so I can hopefully get my body adjusted to the time here. The hostel serves a free breakfast from 7:15-9:15, so I'm going to get up for that and then figure out my day from there.

I haven't had time to do much of anything yet because I've been so tired (and homesick), but I'm sure it will all get better with time and a bit more sleep. I hope everyone back in the states is doing well! I miss you all!!!

:) Sarah