24 Hours in Paris

Study Abroad Blog

24 Hours in Paris

 

After hearing about UT Tyler's exchange program with the University of Hertfordshire, I immediately found myself looking on Google maps. To me, the possibilities were unlimited and my soon-to-be-filled planner was quickly learning that too. Seeing that the idea of studying abroad has been floating around in my daydreams for at least a decade, I saw the opportunity to go to Hatfield, England as a way to see as many places as Google maps could show me. Since being here 6 weeks, I have traveled through the busy and bustling streets of London, the mountainous and magical cobblestone roads of Scotland, the snowy and spontaneous hills of Switzerland, and the chic and cheerful landmarks of France. Although I loved everywhere I have been and have forever memories circulating continuously in my brain from my travels, I have decided to focus this blog on the 24 hours I spent in Paris. 

 

Yes... 24 hours. Yes... Paris. Yes... a crazy, packed, and beautiful combination. 

 

alps

 

 

The day started off at 8 am in Paris; the city of love or lights or whatever you prefer. We set out with a map of allnd of the places we wanted to travel to, knowing that oftentimes when traveling in Europe, one will pass important landmarks - not even realizing it's a one minute walk away. We first went to the Notre Dame Cathedral and I found myself speechless at the cathedral's beautiful detail. Sadly, we could not see inside the building, nor could we walk close to it, for it was still in construction from the fire. Lining the building were newly built walls to keep the public and construction separated. The walls had the stories of the 2019 fire written on them, describing the tragedy that overwhelmed the Parisians of the city, as everyone worked to stop the fire and save the cathedral's remains. 

 

 

After viewing the cathedral, we took a short walk over the Seine River and into the Latin Quarter of Paris. Although it was early morning, shops were opening and the streets were beginning to show off their Parisian charm. We found a breakfast cafe serving crepes (because who could leave Paris without eating crepes?) and espresso (because who could travel without coffee?). We then crossed back over the Seine River to arrive at the Louvre. Seeing that we didn't have much time in Paris, we opted out of paying to go inside, so we could continue walking through the streets of Paris. Although we didn't go inside, the building and prismed glass structure were breathtaking in and of itself. Then we walked to the Tuileries Garden- taking in the beautifully significant and intricate statues lining the outskirts of a fountain with all of the birds dancing and entranced within it. 

 

louvre

 

Then we walked to get hot chocolate at the Angelina tea room. To the sound of it, one might begin to wonder why that was on our list of mapped out things to do in Paris. After we waited in line for 1.5 hours, one might wonder that even more; however, the Angelina tea room has been globally argued to have the best hot chocolate in the world and I can confirm that it deserves the recognition. Not only is the restaurant in a beautiful belle epoque-style, but the mouth-watering hot chocolate has the ability to make every other hot chocolate seem sad. It was thoroughly crafted from carefully sought-after African cocoa, creating a rich and creamy chocolate drink that makes you never want to leave the restaurant. 

 

angelina

 

 

 

arc

 

After we left Angelina's, we took our happy tummies and headed to the Arc de Triomphe. Getting there we passed hundreds of shops which all exuded Paris fashion and elegance. Once we arrived at the Arc de Triomphe, the rushing city seemed to run around the landmark, making it feel so small yet big at the same time. Then we headed to my favorite spot of the day, the Eiffel Tower.

 

The footsteps leading up to the world famous structure left my heart racing and my breath going faster than the cars at the Arc de Triomphe. Upon seeing the tower, I felt tears swell up in my eyes. For as long as I could remember, the Eiffel Tower was something I associated with travel and adventure; therefore, arriving at that spot meant that I had listened to my younger self's dreams and birthday wishes. 

 

After leaving with a multitude of mental and physical photos from sitting on a park bench and staring at it for an hour, we decided to end the night by going to a speakeasy. The speakeasy was themed to be like the 1920s and through a pizza restaurant that looked ordinary from the outside. Inside, we walked through the tomato sauce infused air of the pizzeria and into a room that took us to the 1920s - with joyful French people making up the room with laughter, drinks, and food. I left feeling like I experienced Paris in such a fun and unique way! We left that evening on a train to Switzerland, seeing the Eiffel Tower in our rearview and with hearts that were thoroughly enchanted by Paris.

 

night

 

 

I highly recommend studying abroad and taking every opportunity for adventure that arises. Although we only saw Paris for a day, the memories I took from those 24 hours will stay with me forever. 

 

This post was contributed by Christine, a study abroad alumni from Spring 2023. Christine is a Psychology major with a Communications and Business Administration minor who studied abroad in England.