So my final trip during my exchange was with my sister to Paris and Rome!
We spent two days in Paris which were unfortunately quite rainy and foggy. Our first day there we saw the Eiffel Tower and the Arc du Triomphe.
I wasn’t too smart while packing and wore mesh shoes that the rain totally seeped through. We actually spent part of the day there looking for a shop for me to buy new waterproof shoes! It was definitely a nice way to wander and explore the streets of Paris.
The next day we spent at the Louvre museum where we got to see classic pieces such as the Mona Lisa. I’ll be honest, the seeing the Mona Lisa painting was kind of anti-climactic. I’m not sure if it was because it’s so commonly seen in pop culture, or because it was so small half of the guests of the museums were gathered around it (maybe both?).
We left that afternoon for Rome, Italy. We actually had good timing because the rain was getting worse and the next day they actually shut down part of the Louvre due to risk of flooding!
In Rome thankfully it was warm and sunny, and we easily managed to walk around to wherever we wanted to go. The first place we visited was the Vatican, because there were street signs leading us right to it. I guess you can technically say we visited a third country, since the Vatican stands as a country of it own within Rome!
One thing I will note is that there are a lot of people there that will try and hassle you into buying a tour of the inside of the Vatican. We were asked maybe 15-20 times during our 10 minute walk up to the gates of the Vatican, and again more while we stood there. I definitely got short with them near the end.
We moved on to the Piazza del Popolo, which was a short walk away. There we discovered a park area that looked over the plaza where there were tons of families picnicking. We found out that it was Italy’s Republic Day, which is why there was so much activity in the park.
We spend the rest of our day in the plaza; we ate pizza and gelato and then later in the evening had pasta on our way back to our hotel.
The next day we set out to the Colosseum. We didn’t get there very early, and there were people again offering deals to buy tours and go in faster, but we waited it out and after about 45 minutes to an hour, we made it inside (honestly not as bad as it sounds). The ticket included seeing the Colosseum as well the Roman Forum which is a site of ancient ruins that is just across the Colosseum.
We spent about 45 minutes inside the Colosseum, where there was also a small area set up like like a museum exhibit.
We then stopped to have a quick lunch (more pasta obviously) before heading over to the Roman Forum.
The ruins of the Roman Forum spanned over a huge area, and we spent the rest of the day there until the sun began to set. Most of the ruins are incredibly well preserved and with the sun against them photos turned out really nicely.
We actually had our flight very very early that morning, so we didn’t sleep much before heading back to the airport. The morning we arrived back in Istanbul I actually had an exam so we headed straight to the university campus so that I wouldn’t be late.
To see more of the too few days I spent in Paris and Rome, click here!