Friday, January 23, 2009

What We Learned in Paris...

1. If at first you are intimidated by being dropped off by a bus in a foreign country that you don't know the language for, don't worry! After about 20 minutes of wandering around lost and feeling rather hopeless, you will soon figure out the metro system.
2. If you get off the metro or the elevator 1 stop too soon, it will be a bit of a wait till the next one comes along.
3. Pastries bought and carried around in a bag still taste good 3 hours later.
4. Pastries from France are good in general.

5. The Eiffel tower is beautiful in the day- breathtaking at night!
6. The elevator ride up the Eiffel Tower is really scary. (and I can ride any roller coaster with the best of them)
7. Going up 4 flights of spiral stairs to get to your hotel room will make you dizzy.
8. Beware the Africans!! They are ruthless, avoid at all costs!
9. The free walking tour is great, and very informative.
10. When already suffering from jet lag, moving farther east into a different time zone doesn't help.
11.The view of the city from the Sacre Coeur is well worth the many stairs you have to climb to get up to it (and the scary Africans encountered)
12. Don't walk the streets around the Moulin Rougue! Just take a picture and go back down the metro.
13. According to our tour guide: if you were to look at every piece of art in the Louvre for 30 seconds, it would take you 4 months to get through, that is with no breaks to eat or sleep and such. And that is just the pieces on display, there are also many many in the basement.
14. The metro is not for those who value their personal space.
15. Notre Dame is amazing.
16. The French hated the Eiffel Tower when it was first built, and it was only supposed to stand for 20 years. Now I bet they would never let anyone mess with their tower.
17. According to our tour guide the French consider you uncultured if you get excited about things and they are not necessarily rude, just stressed out. They never smile.
18. There is a lot of graffiti anywhere there is not a national monument or historic building. It is nice not to speak French so you don't know what all of the graffiti says.
19. It costs over 4000 euro to light up the Eiffel Tower each night.
20. Paris is beautiful!!!

About to go up the Eiffel Tower.

The view from the Eiffel Tower.

Notre Dame

The chocolate turtle on the shelf is over $350. I bet he is worth every dollar:-)On the right the wall is a chocolate fountain. Below is our favorite breakfast stop. I love this picture! That was in the Shannon airport before we left. We were two among a sea of soldiers.
We had a great time in Paris, besides all of the grafitti, it really is a beautiful city. It was so fun to hear all the history and there were tons of fun sites and museums to see. We wish you all could have come with us. We are now safely back in Galway, and I went to my five hour orientation today. AHHH it was so long and the whole time we could see the sun shining outside while we were stuck inside. The worst thing is we didn't even get registered yet, but I did meet some of the other students, so that was one good thing. I am excited to start school on Monday. The class schedules are strange here though, you will have a class on Monday at say 10:00, and then on Wednesday you will have the same class at 3:00. Hopefully I can keep it all straight, otherwise I will probably be missing classes here and there. Hopefully the weather is nice tomorrow because I want to do some hiking.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where is Church???

The weather for the last two days hasn't been great. I don't really mind the cold, or the rain, but put them together with wind, and it gets pretty miserable. The wind just howls outside our apartment, but we braved it yesterday to go to the library and to get some food. It is really hard to find things here, even with a map, (actually the map is pretty useless). Once we ran all of our errands, we caught a bus home, and were pretty much frozen by the time we got there. We did see some cool docks on the way though, and we found a pretty cheap store for clothes and stuff, now we just need to find one for food. Today the weather wasn't much better, but we again braved it, in dresses nonetheless, to find where church was . After waiting at three bus stops in the cold rain and wind, we actually managed to find where church was supposed to meet (it is in an old railway station). That in itself was a great accomplishment, I was so excited when I saw the exact name on the building that we had as the address to the building. Unfortunately there were fences and gates in front of the building. A man waiting in his car flagged us down (he thought we were sister missionaries). He was from San Diego and was looking for church also. He comes here a lot for work, and told us that the last two weeks, no one has met there. He said he had been trying to call the branch president all week but only got busy signals. We waited just a little bit longer to see if it was starting late or something, but no one ever came. So we went to again wait at the bus stop in the cold. (It is really confusing trying to figure out when the buses come, and which one you want to get on). Anyway we were again mistaken for sister missionaries by the garbage man (who did offer us a free ride). He kept saying he would give us each a thousand jewels if we would go to church on Saturday or something along those lines, he went into Abraham and the Jews and stuff. Tori was the main one talking to him, so I only heard bits and pieces, but I think that was the gist of it. We just smiled and laughed with him. Next week I think I will wear pants over my dress to church, that is if we can ever find where they meet.

This was on Thursday when the weather was nice

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lynch's castle. It is now a bank.

We live somewhere over there. Past all the houses you can see.

The Spanish Arch.

St Nicholas Church.

This is My School!!!

Fun sites to See!!

Today we got out and saw lots of fun things. We are figuring out our way around town, and we got bus passes and successfully got on the right bus to go home. (yesterday we had to walk a little ways from the bus stop because it turned unexpectedly). The roads and drivers here are crazy. For those of you Americans who think you could drive here because it would just be backwards, think again. The lights make no sense, or the drivers aren't following them. There are tons of round abouts and the roads are really narrow. We will be lucky to not get hit, or die in a bus crash. Jk(I hope). We went to the city museum, St Nicholas Church, and the Spanish Arch. There are also fun little shopping centers that we seem to get lost in a lot. They are fun to walk through because there are no cars. They have lots of way cute stores, we haven't really gone in many yet, but we will. We also went to a little tiny claddagh (pronounced cladah) museum. It told all about the villiage and how the ring originated. Alli would have loved it. They had claddagh rings and bracelets and earrings, whatever you can imagine. I found out that school doesn't start until the 26th, so we are trying to plan some trips for next week. We are doing lots better with the jet lag, and things are going great.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tori & Lindsay have made it to Ireland

after a shuttle, 4 planes, one bus, and one taxi we are finally here at our apartment in Galway . Our roommate is from spain . We were so exhausted on the bus ride here we could hardly keep our eyes open, but what we have see in beautiful, and yes it is raining. Send this one to everyone.
We love you.
Lindsay and Tori

This is the e-mail that they sent to Mom and she e-mailed to me.