Paris at Midnight

ParisI woke up in the middle of the night, freezing. I unzipped my sleeping bag, shoved my tennis shoes onto my feet, and exited the tent. My shoes sank into the deep mud. It was raining in Paris, and it was six degrees below zero.

I quickly ran to the camp bathroom and returned to re-enter my tent. I realized that my sleeping bag was not insulated. This was supposed to be spring. I put on all of the clothing in my backpack. I was still cold. My feet and hands felt like ice. I crossed my legs so that my feet were warmed by the back part of my knees. I felt so bundled up that I could hardly move. I felt claustrophobia for the first time in my life.Paris-2

The next morning a few people from my tour bus (all 18 and 19, while I was 21) had frostbite. When they moved their fingers, blood came out. Indeed, it was not an exaggeration that we were freezing to death. My nose was running, and I had a cold. Not surprising.

At least we were on our way to the Eiffel Tower. It seemed surreal as I stood there, looking at it. We rode on an elevator to the top, and we looked out over Paris. It was a dreary, overcast day, but it was still magical, because I was in Paris.Paris-3

I saw the Arc de Triomphe up close, and the sculptures were intricate. Cars drove past it all the time without even noticing it. The Notre Dame Cathedral was magnificent with its stained glass windows and its imposing structure.

I went to a small cafe and ordered coffee. The Frenchman behind the counter was rude to me and gave me a teeParis-4nsy weensy cup with a shot of the strongest coffee I’ve ever tasted. I looked around and wished I had an easel so I could paint. Except that I had no energy, so it was just as well.

The Louvre Museum had so many famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa. After waiting a long time to see it, it was encased in glass and was far smaller than I thought. I wish I had had more time to see the wonderful artwork; it seemed almost like I was jogging through the entire museum just to see it all before the tour guide told us we had to go back to camp.

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3 Responses to “Paris at Midnight”

  1. varunner7 says:

    I would love to go to Paris. I took 8 years of French and never have had a chance to use it (and, subsequently, have forgotten 90% of what I learned).

  2. Susan says:

    If I had gone to Paris in the summer, I would have had a better time!

  3. Sonya says:

    Ahh, Paris. Must’ve been beautiful. Too bad about the cold weather, though.

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