Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 1 (Thursday, Dec 29, 2011)

For those of you following my blog, I apologize that long overdue Europe adventure stories haven't made there way here yet.  Since there is a so much to tell, I'm going to write about the trip from the beginning as I find the time.  Hopefully within the next few days many stories will be shared on this blog and I can give anyone who is interested a quick glimpse into what fun and exciting things I was up to during the last part of winter break!

When I last posted I was eagerly awaiting Mario's arrival at the hostel.  Not long after I finished posting he arrived and before he could even get his suitcase all the way in the door he had me wrapped up in a big hug and we were both shedding a few tears.  Neither of us could talk for a few moments, so we just stood there embracing and filled with an unreal sense of joy at being reunited, 147 days after the tearful goodbye at the Kontraktova Ploscha metro station in Kiev, Ukraine.  Amidst the joy of being reunited we wasted no time setting out on our Paris sightseeing.  Mario had been to Paris two other times, so he was a great guide during our time in Paris.  Our first adventure was within the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris where our hostel was located.  We went up to the Basilica du Sacre Coeur to not only see the beautiful church, but also an amazing view of Paris from one of the city's highest natural points.  Our walking Thursday included a walk down the famous avenue Champs-Elysees through the festive Christmas market to the Arc de Triomphe. We opted not to go to the top of the Arc because the line was extremely long and we thought that our time was better spent seeing more of Paris and finding even better views of the city. After the sun had gone down we decided that it was time for me to get my first good view of the Eiffel Tower, but first we made a quick dinner stop and ate Chinese food.  Mario didn't want me to look at the Tower until we had a good view so that my first sight of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night would be amazing...And it was! The tower is a million times more beautiful at night and every hour the lights flash and dance for about five minutes, creating a truly awesome scene. After the Eiffel Tower we walked around some more in the area around the Tower before finally making our way to the Louvre.  Although it was closed, we wanted to see the pyramids lit up at night.  A bit after midnight we were sufficiently worn out from walking (and I was especially worn out from over 30 hours without proper sleep) and returned to the hostel to check-in and call it a night. When we were settling in at the hostel we exchanged gifts that we had brought for each other.  I gave Mario and IU tshirt and a blue felt ornament (red and blue his favorite colors!) and he super loved the gifts.  He especially loved the IU shirt and wore it twice during our trip! I love giving people gifts that they like))) He brought me chocolate from Germany and Ukrainian champagne for New Year's Eve since Ukraine is where we met and therefor something special between us!
I was really pleased with how clean and comfortable the hostel was.  Lying down in that warm comfortable bed after a hot shower was a great ending to a fantastic first day in Paris!

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