Paris – The city of 13th birthdays!

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The next, and last 2 days in Paris were just as amazing, maybe even more so, as the first 2. I turned 13 (a teenager!) on Nov. 7th. The 8th was also used for sightseeing and enjoying the atmosphere. Unfortunately we packed our bags the next day and left; Paris has become one of the places we would like to live in next!

My birthday didn’t have the nicest weather: mostly a fog soup. Still, the Eiffel Tower never fails to impress you! We walked by the developing line and got into a crowded elevator that brought us up to the 2nd floor. We looked around the platform, the wind beating us up, and we were right under the fog, so everything was half-visible but still majestic. We stomped into the line for the elevator to the top, wishing we’d put more clothing on. At the top the wind was really strong, but you could still see the gray city below. There was a little window where you could see wax figures of Gustav Eiffel, his daughter, and Thomas Edison. The architect had his office there! There was something really amazing about being at the top of a high tower in a city where there are almost no high towers. It was a bit like being at the top of the Hancock Tower in Chicago, but different because the entire city was sprawled out, no other high towers squeezed next door.

The Louvre was next, with our reserved tickets we walked into the massive museum! Quickly we walked to the Mona Lisa, which is a little overrated. It is very cool, no one can deny that but as a friend of mine said, this painting covers only 1/20 of the huge wall it’s on. It’s completely covered in glass, has a guard posted at the corner of the wall, and has a half-circle barrier to prevent the masses of people from getting anywhere close. Everyone privately questions “that’s it?” as they snap tons of photos at the reflective glass. This sounds ridiculous, but it’s true that it does look exactly like all of the replications on t-shirts, posters, etc. From there we walked through the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities. My sisters quickly tired, which is understandable at the rate we were going. We checked the map of the museum and had gone a tiny fraction of the museum in 2 hours. After a quick snack Audrey, Papa, and I walked through Napoleon III’s apartments, which were ridiculously lavish. I saw the largest chandelier of my life. Then we walked quickly through the Middle Ages, which had many encrusted Bibles, swords, and reliquaries (which hold pieces of holy/important people). The statue collection was extensive and cool, and by then we were done for.

However, I wasn’t so tired that I couldn’t choose my birthday cake at a patisserie named Stohrer. This patisserie has existed since 1730, when the main patisserie chef of King Louis XV started it. The Queen of England gets her cakes there, so a good birthday cake was expected. It was by far the best tart I have ever had: I’m convinced there will never be one like that… My dad made an incredulous face when he first tried it and for a while we were all speechless. It was a small, glossy chocolate tart with a small piece of gold leaf on it, which I ate for a golden future!

The Musee d’Orsay was on the agenda for the next day. Inside the old train station we walked through the Impressionists, mixed up Monet and Manet, and viewed some Van Gogh. The thousands of dots and streaks were amazing to look at; everyone found some paintings they wanted in our next room!

After a morning in the museum we found our way to Notre Dame and went in. We were tired and cold so maybe that wasn’t the greatest time to do the Notre Dame, but we had to  see it! It’s a beautiful church… However, we’d viewed so many huge, gothic churches that I’m sorry to say they’re all messed up in my head. However, I do remember the windows being spectacular; they are truly amazing!

The windows are incredible!

We could have easily stayed and explored Paris forever! However, we’re in a fun houseboat in Amsterdam now, and Paris is definitely not the end to all good things. Many more are headed our way!

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