Experience the world for all it’s worth

The trains are usually reliable here in France, but obviously on the day when we had to catch a flight, it’s 30 minutes late. But I can’t complain though, I’ll continue to hop on and off until I get caught. 80 Euros later, we landed. We went to the Anthony Station and took subway RER B to Denfert Rochereau, subway 6 to Gare Montparnasse and finally, line 12 to Volontaires. I exited the subway system to be greeted by a silver Audi TT, and then I saw it. Through the fog filled sky stood the tower, and only then I knew it was real. Bewildered.

But that’s what it does to you I guess, and you cant help it. The city had that deafening aroma with the streetlights and those raspy coughs and coffee stained dentures and ashtray’d streets…

But that’s what it does to you I guess.

It’s where love begins…

And never dies.

This is what dreams dream about, this is where love loves again.

And leaves fall slower.

It was my first time staying in a hostel. I’ve always liked the idea of it, but I never had the need to stay in one, until now. In my hostel, I met a couple from Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country in Central Asia. It’s amazing meeting people from all over the world. Their stories were just as captivating as them themselves. They were pleasantly surprised to know of my origins as well.

With our hostel being only 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower, we took a late night stroll to go visit it.

The tower is massive.

One thing that I didn’t know is that the tower sparkles with thousands of flashing lights for the first 5 minutes of every hour during the night. I guess when you live in the city you don’t even realize it anymore. I met a guy who has lived here his whole life and said he only visited the tower once, and that’s when his parents took him as a child.

Unfortunately, we didn’t go up the tower, but just being there was astonishing. It’s very lively around the tower; so many different things are going on at the same time.  Everybody wants a picture, just to call it his or her own. Everybody’s picture is the same. Everybody’s photo is unique.

You have people getting married,

Protestors protesting

And of course those people who want a picture of them squeezing or holding the Eiffel Tower in their palms forcing other people to get in awkward poses to get the shot.

It’s just something that you can’t walk away from without turning back for a glance once in a while. And some people never want to leave.

My first experience with the Eiffel tower included my friend and I listening to Diplo and Friends while eating prepackaged sandwiches and cheeseburger flavored chips underneath it. Somehow, I pictured my first time at the tower to be a lot different. But I already reminisce at the modulated bass lines, crunchy leaves that seem to be everywhere, syncopated rhythms, every drop of the Tropicana antioxidant essentials, Eiffel Tower key chains and our trusty map that saved our lives more than a couple times. Good times. Couldn’t have asked for it any other way.

But we had to leave. There was so much more to explore and experience in this wonderful city. For example, The Louvre Museum.

Unknowingly, we showed up on the first Sunday of the month and every first Sunday is free admission to the public. But there was a 30-minute wait to get in. Outside of the Museum was very packed and very active so the 30 minutes passed very quickly.

I cannot begin to explain the countless amount of amazing works of art in this museum. We saw a few well-known pieces, such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

As well as a lot of works that I was unfamiliar with, but still enjoyed.

Talking about Museums, we also went to Musée d’Orsay. I really enjoyed the Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh collections.

The Notre Dame Cathedral was pretty awesome.

While doing some shopping, we came across the Arc de Triomphe.

There was a veteran’s activity going on under the Arc when we visited.

It was a great experience spending a few days in this beautiful city. This picture that I captured while boarding my flight pretty much summed up my stay in the beautiful city of Paris. I was French kissed by a waxing crescent, then I said goodbye.

Traveling is easy, so I decide to travel while I’m in Europe. Up next was Monaco. I didn’t really know that much about Monaco, but the conversations that I’ve had with people uttering statements such as “You definitely have to go to Monaco while you’re in Europe” and “It is one of the nicest places I have ever visited,” have accumulated over time and I’ve created an imaginary country in my head filled with Austin Healey’s, Jack Row cufflinks and cultured pearl necklaces. I had to go visit. Three friends and I drove to Monaco and it took no longer then an hour, but I’m sure it was supposed to be longer.

Driving through the gut of the mountain, tunnel after tunnel, hairpin turns and autobahn like we’re in Darmstadt. Speeding into the city like it’s the 25th of May, the F1 Grand Prix was closer then ever before. We got flashed but we’ll never pay, German plate for the win.

The first thing that we did when we arrived in Monaco was got a quick bite to eat in a nearby carnival by the sea. We had churros dipped in Nutella and I’ve come to the conclusion that Nutella can go with anything and it will be great. Do not question my theory.

After that, we made our way up to the Palace of Monaco. The palace was pretty cool actually. Everyday at 11:55 a.m., you can see the changing of the guard on the square in front of the palace. However, we came too late and missed it.

There were a few guards outside of the palace and I was able to take a picture with one of them.

Not too far from the Palace was the Monaco Cathedral. Here lie the tombs of past members of the ruling Grimaldi family.

We then meandered down the mountain in the direction of Monte Carlo. With a population of just over 36,000 people and covering just over one square mile, Monaco is fairly small and you can see a lot of it within minutes. The view of the multimillion-dollar housing developments was very extravagant, showcasing massive yachts and exotic cars. If you look closely, you can see the Monaco Fútbol (Soccer) Stadium barricaded in the middle of the buildings.

Here is a skate park and basketball court in Monaco along with a wondrous view. The kids have it rough over here.

We stopped at a famous Cafe in Monaco, Stars N Bars Sports Cafe, to get something to eat. It reminded me of T.G.I Fridays; except for the fact Stars N Bars had a live DJ playing EDM.

After we ate, we continued our journey to Monte Carlo. It was a whopping 10-minute walk.

Walking on the sidewalk and seeing the Maserati and Lamborghini’s speed by is the norm over here I guess. It really is considered as a millionaire’s playground. A must-see location in Monaco is the Monte Carlo Casino. It was a must-see indeed.

I must say, Monaco was an amazing place and definitely worth the visit. It was a lot more than what I expected and I loved every minute of it. I’ll visit again.

karlyle.com

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