My travel partner and I began the journey by taking a Eurostar train from
First tip on visiting a foreign country: Go with a map in hand of where you will be. This seems like common sense to most people, me included, however I was talked into purchasing one at the train station when I arrived at the Gare du Nord station. Bad idea. There was so much happening upon arriving, I soon found myself distracted by patrolling French military carrying FAMAS assault rifles and trying to read signs in French. Fortunately, I had been taking French that semester and it paid off to no end. My travel partner and I soon found ourselves on the boulevard looking at public maps in an attempt to find our hostel, the Montmartre Clignancourt Hotel. We eventually found it after asking for directions in French a couple times. This place worked out fantastically. It was extremely affordable (about forty American dollars a night) and I scored a room on the third floor above a quiet Parisian street. Well quiet aside from rioting Algerians; but I’ll get to that later. It even had a view of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica lit up in the evening over the neighboring rooftops. Speaking of rooftops, one of the best things about
Anyroad, the first night I arrived at the hostel, I was not about to just stay there, even if it was late into the night. I soon came to find that
I also got a chance to see the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret after walking past the Café des deux Moulins (from “Amelie”).
This was an interesting point because a group of Irish football fanatics were literally stopping traffic and jumping on everything they could find in celebration of beating the French and moving a step closer to the World Cup. I managed to leave by the time the local police finally gained the courage to begin breaking it up.
As the night wore on into the early morning, I made my way back to the hostel and made preparations for the next day. I decided I would catch the metro to L'Arc de Triomphe and head from there to the rest of the areas I wanted to hit. I knew the day ahead was going to involve a lot of walking, and could not have been more excited for the things I would soon see and experience. And with that, I bid