“Je voudrais un croissant..”

WE LOVE PARIS!!!

We’ve spent the last 2 days in France eating nothing but croissants & baguettes & crepes & drinking nothing but red wine & espresso. It’s glorious. But let me recount our days in Ireland before I gush about this beautiful place.

We left you in Dublin, having just arrived in the city. Our first full day we spent on a walking tour which gave us a great feel for the vibrant history and culture of the city, and also gave us sore feet. Dublin itself is not the most impressive city, but its people are what give it a good reputation. We were enchanted with every Irish person we met: their charisma & their humor & their accents had us all swooning.

Our second day in Ireland was spent mostly on a coach bus touring the west coast, including Galway & the Cliffs of Moher. It was gorgeous. If I could redo the planning of our trip, we would have spent more time in the west of Ireland. Alas, we only spent one day, but it was worth it. The weather was fairly gloomy for most of the day. When we arrived at the Cliffs, they were covered in fog & we were soaked with rain. Our tour guide, Tom, was sure that we wouldn’t be able to see them at all. “Pray to whatever gods you pray to & ask for them to lift the fog,” he said. So pray we did. And after about 30 minutes, the fog lifted! It was quite the experience.

And finally, for our last day in Dubin, we did all of the tours possible. In the morning, we toured the old Jameson distillery. From personal experience, whiskey doesn’t taste that great at 11 am… From there, we walked through Georges Street & Grafton Street to find lunch & souvenirs. We ended with a tour of the Guiness Storehouse & a pint of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar overlooking Dublin. It was a full last day. And it was also the day that never ended. Instead of staying at the hostel another night, we decided to sleep in the airport to catch our 6 am flight to Paris. By sleep, I mean that we laid down & closed our eyes for about an hour on the floor of the terminal. If that isn’t backpacking on a budget, I don’t know what is. But we made it to Paris Sunday morning!

Our flight landed a little bit before 10 am, and we made our way through the city to our little flat that we have rented. The whole 15 minute walk from the train station to our apartment had me in awe. “I can’t believe we’re in Paris” came out of my mouth at least once a minute. It’s an amazingly beautiful & intricate city that enchants you at every street corner. Sunday was mostly spent relaxing at the apartment (finally our own space!) & showering & eating the baguettes & cheese we bought at the local market & washing our clothes at the laundromat down the street. We can’t understand a darn thing, but even so, I’m in love with this city.

Yesterday began our sightseeing, and we started with the most iconic thing we could see: the Eiffel Tower. It was one of those moments that felt entirely unreal. Like, I can’t believe that I am actually staring at the REAL EIFFEL TOWER right now. The lines to go up the Tower were impossibly long, so we ate crepes & frolicked in the lawn instead. Much better in my opinion. From there, we walked past the Hotel des Invalides towards the Seine, pointing out the Grand Palais & Musee d’Orsay along the way. We walked along the Seine, making our way through the Tuileries & stopping at Angelina for the most divine hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted. By this time, the sun had begun to set, so we raced over to the Louvre to catch a glimpse of the courtyard. Then, we sat & watched the Eiffel Tower twinkle as the sun disappeared behind the skyline. Oh, the romance! And the city looks even more magical with all of its fall color. Absolutely swoon-worthy.

This morning, we watched the sun rise from Sacre-Coeur, a massive basilica perched atop the biggest hill in the city. It was quite the sight. Several croissants were consumed for breakfast before returning to the apartment to retrieve Lauren’s pack. We escorted her to the train station & said a tearful “au revoir” to our fourth adventure partner. She flies back to the States today to return to Fort Collins & her job (to which we say, “what’s a job?). Our friend Lauren will be deeply missed as we continue on the rest of our trip!

And that brings you up to date on the grand European tour! We really are loving Paris. There are so many beautiful things to see here, which sits in stark contrast to how dirty & dark some parts of the city are. Paris is one of the most secular cities in Europe, nearly void of vibrant & healthy churches in most of its neighborhoods. The French Revolution remains one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the church. Much was lost during that era. So, if you think about it, pray for this city & its people. Pray for us, that we may find rest amidst the sightseeing. But what better place to rest than the City of Light?

Thanks for praying with us & for us. We love you all.

Au revoir!

LJC

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