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Paris, Frühlingsfest, Heidelberg, etc.

I’m sitting at the Baden-Baden/Karlsruhe airport, waiting for my flight to Rome in an hour and a half. I’m never this early for a flight so I can do this until the last 14% of my battery dies. This airport is really weird and out of the way, like most of RyanAir airports. On the shuttle I took from the Karlsruhe Hauptbanhof I sat next to someone with the worst body odor I’ve ever smelt in my life. When they say Europeans don’t shower…….they mean it (sry bout the generalization). Hope you read the rest of this post I promise it’s not as gross. : )

Thursday marked two-months for me here in Europe and it seems to only get better with every day. In my previous post, I said Prague was the most beautiful city that I’ve been to so far. And it was, until I went to Paris. 8 others and myself drove 6 hours to Paris 2 weeks ago for the long Easter weekend. I’ve wanted to go to Paris since I started watching Madeline in my kinder years, and as cliché as it sounds I think it really was all that I dreamt of and more.

We stayed at a hostel with fairly decent rates for Easter weekend, right off the metro and in the opera district. The hostel itself used to be an opera house and the lobby was very pretty and had FREE BREAKFAST that most of us complained about but….it’s free…and I love breakfast, so you can’t go wrong. In the 3 and a half days we had in Paris, we managed to see/do:

  • Napoleon’s tomb
  • Musée de l’Armée
  • Le Louvre
  • Le Champs Elysée
  • L’arc de Triomphe
  • Tuileries Garden
  • Le Tour d’Eiffel (a lot), also went up it and saw probably the best sunset I’ve ever seen. It was only 10 euro to go all the way up as a student so if you’re a student and you’re going to Paris pls do this as well
  • NOTRE DAAAAAAME – I’m not all about that church life but at least we can say we did it
  • Pont de l’Archevêché (“the love lock bridge” – we went on a lot of bridges and thought all of them were the famous one until our bike tour guide actually brought us there #noobs. We even took a group pic on one thinking it was the real one…le sigh)
  • Speaking of, went on a really great 4-hour bike tour with a boat tour on the Seine included, AND including 6 bottles of red wine that our Irish tour guide brought along. We also did a bike tour in Prague and can conclude that it’s probably the best way to see the most of a city in a few hours, and it’s super fun and energetic
  • Ate a lot of baguettes with Brie and Camembert. Also had the best almond croissant of my life, and the best macrons of my life. I bought 8 for 15 euro at Ladurée and I have absolutely no shame or regret about this purchase. At the French bakery I worked at in high school, I think by the time I left we were selling them for $2 each? So not bad I guess. Also ate a delicious margarita pizza and ESCARGOT which was actually so amazing, probably because of the pesto-butter sauce it was drenched in but still – highly recommend !!
  • Also tried to taste a little bit of Paris’ nightlife…broke our banks like the rest of the city, but at least we tried
  • Saw a friend from Toronto who has been studying in Lille all year that I also saw in Dublin ; ) shout out to my girl Casey if you’re reading this. I hope that ceiling bed worked out for you all!

All of it was absolutely stunning and awesome because students can see a lot of the city for free with a student ID.  My new goal in life is to live there for at least half a year at some point. Maybe when I graduate if I somehow win the lottery. Also Parisians seemed to understand my French, which made me feel like these past 8 years of French class have been worth it.

We got back from Paris on the Monday after Easter weekend, which was also the weekend that Frühlingsfest started. From my understanding based on the opinions of others, it’s essentially Oktoberfest in the spring, in Stuttgart. Some say it’s actually better because it’s not as crowded, you can actually get a table in the tent, and of course cause it’s close to us. So we went the first Tuesday night, which is student night, and is also the most dangerous thing for students. That means students get 2 liters of beer for the price of 1, which is 9 euro. Expensive yes, but way more beer than any human needs and needless to say, we all had about 3 or 4 that night and our memories of getting home are pretty sparse. So much fun though and definitely worth the pain we endured the next day.

I also managed to finish the website that I started a contract for at the end of January, which can be seen at www.lifestylespacedesign.com if you’re interested. That consumed most of last weekend, but after that was finally done, a friend and I went to the mineral baths in Stuttgart (coincidentally located across the river from Frühlingsfest) and hung out in warm mineral pools for 2 hours. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like that before that has relaxed me as much as that did. All the stress of the website was gone and we got the most delicious gyro ever on the way back for 3 euro. WHAT A STEAL it tasted more like a dönner than a gyro but it was BOMB. So if you ever happen to be at the Bad-Canstatt S-Bahn station in Germany, pls stop by this Greek place.

AND then I went to Frühlingsfest again on that Sunday and we returned for student night on Tuesday, of course. And I got a dirndl! We also went to the Stuttgart zoo for an hour and a half on Tuesday (it was free so obviously we had to) but cut the visit a bit short for Frühlingsfest. Not that I’ve been to many zoos, but it was definitely the nicest that I’ve ever been to and parts of it looked like a palace with a really nice garden. On Wednesday I made it to some class and then went to Heidelberg for the first time because Thursday was a big holiday in Germany, with Wednesday night the one being to celebrate into the occasion. We climbed up a hill/mountain/whatever you want to call it for what felt like forever, and to the best of my memory I think some parts were actually vertical. It was all worth it though, cause we got to the top and felt like we entered some parallel universe, in an amphitheater that was apparently built for Hitler and the Nazis. Despite the rain, people were dancing and spinning with fire and we had a great time all the while being absolutely drenched and cold that I didn’t notice had happened : ). On the walk over, we were able to see a bit of Heidelberg, which is gorgeous and I need to go back at some point to get a better appreciation of it.

Aaaaand now I’m sitting in a really nice apartment in Rome (because my laptop obviously died at the airport) courtesy of AirBnb. I got here yesterday afternoon and explored a lot of the city today on a moped! I threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and forgot that the point was to make a wish but that’s okay cause I got a cool pic right? I AM HILARY DUFF! I’m here until Wednesday and then off to Barcelona! The weather has been meh so far but should be nicer for the rest of it. The pizza I had last night and antipasti appetizer was absolutely heavenly and I can’t wait to gain 10 more pounds on this trip. It’s called EATaly for a reason, right?

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