31 May 2014

REUNITED IN PARIS!!!

our long-awaited, epic journey started on sunday morning, april 27, with packed bags and one last cereal breakfast and a ride from our host parents through rainy tours to the city gare.

then it was activating our eurail passes and hopping on (well, we weren't quite that limber - more like dragging heavy suitcases on to) a train to paris!


then it was gare austerlitz to the metro underneath paris to gare de l'est, camping out while we waited for tamar to arrive.

gare austerlitz.

then I WAS REUNITED WITH TAMAR!!!!! so so so happy. there are no photos because i was too busy being happy. also, it was maddy and tamar's first meeting, weirdly enough - they overlapped by two days back in córdoba but had never met.

took them about 15 minutes to become best friends. :)

in classic Us fashion, we had to stow our numerous suitcases and wanted to make the most of our parisian afternoon, but were most certainly not going to pay for more than one large locker in the storage room. so we spent hours jenga-ing my big suitcases and backpack, maddy's big suitcase and backpack, and tamar's smaller suitcase and backpack and tote bag and random shopping bags (good planning there... haha) until it all fit snugly but perfectly. meanwhile, the locker room attendants told us to give up and kept walking by to glare but not help (classic paris).


and then of course the locker was broken. and the door wouldn't close anyway. we ended up just carrying our backpacks. but not paying for an extra locker! and then we headed to the metro to one of my favorite neighborhoods, the marais, for some well-deserved and much-needed falafel!


the first synagogue in paris.

our adventure was off to a good start.


cool graffiti.

and tamar and i were on continent number three, country number three and counting. :)


back at gare de l'est, we had time to kill so we camped out and literally built a fort of our many bags. again, got judged like crazy, but we were having a great time and getting some valuable planning - as well as catching up - done.




by the evening, we were piled into a little sleeper train compartment (like on the hogwarts express!) and headed east on our way to bavaria.


who let us loose in europe?! how is it possible that we're doing this, here, now?

what a cool trip, and what cool friends to do it with. it was beyond exciting.

arriving in munich selfie.

posts about the rest of our backpacking trip to come.

x, m

Tour of Tours

on the last week or so of living in tours, and views of the beautiful city.



boulevard béranger, our walk to get to school/downtown/anywhere, really.


my one complaint about typical french streets is that there's no green.












our last friday was an excursion to the historic side of town, into the fine arts museum (in the old tours château) and the tours cathedral next door.

musée des beaux-arts.








cathedrale de tours.


the cathedral was immense and impressive.





an old monastery within the grounds.

in our last week, we also had to stop by some favorite fast-food places.


naan nutella/naan fromage.

naan légume.

most are clustered around place plumereau:



or rue nationale, the main shopping drag (and also the site of our gym!)


in between the two was l'institut.



maddy faces off with andreas.

and i'll always love l'hôtel de ville de tours (the town hall) and the adjacent place jean jaurès.




our sweet host family's quirky house:



and a stroll through the neighborhood.




we were lucky to witness the advent of spring in this idyllic french town. everything got more colorful, vibrant, and vivid.








and more crowded!

pushing our way through to the gym (and not getting sidetracked by brioche dorée).

place plume, typical gorgeous-weather weekend lunch.

last saturday (last full day!) treat: WAFFLES WITH SPECULOOS ICE CREAM, enjoyed by the river. fully french heaven.



with a little argentina reppin'!


and there's always time for friends:







tours is a small place, and it can be sleepy. i wouldn't stay there forever.


but tours was good to us.

x, m