Queen Alia International Airport

Usually following the rules only brings great benefits, but today, it reaps unfortunate consequences. When booking our flights, CIEE told us not to leave before the official end of the program on May 12. I interpreted this to mean we were allowed to leave starting May 13, so I booked a flight home for 1:30am on May 13. I’m not sure why CIEE told us this, as our last day of CIEE requirements was on May 7th. Most students booked flights home on May 12th, but some left even before that! I am one of the last students to go home, which is surprising considering I actually followed the guidelines.

This has resulted in me carpooling to the airport an entire 12 hours before my flight. Why come so early? So I don’t have to pay the $35 cab fare to the airport entirely out of my own pocket. Also, CIEE housing ends today at 5pm, so I still would have had to arrive at the airport 8 hours before my flight even if I stayed until the last moment. One downfall of arriving so early is that the ticket counter for Air France is not yet functional. I tried asking around to see if I could check in early, but the airport staff kept sending me in circles to other employees. Luckily I found an outlet, so I plan on writing a few blog posts and then watching episodes of Downton Abbey and Shameless.

Last night, Caroline, Allison, and I had a fun wine night and reminisced about all the incredible times we had together. Allison left for the airport at 11pm that night, so we had fun snapping pictures of our final goodbye.

Today, Caroline and I finished our packing, said goodbye to Joey and Rob, and then came to the airport. Everyone seems to have different flights and I haven’t yet talked to anyone on mine.

I’m really excited for my layover adventure in Paris. I scheduled a 10 hour-long layover during the morning and afternoon so I could explore the city. Subtracting the time it will take to get to/from downtown and the required 2 hours to reenter the airport, I will have 6 hours to spend in Paris. I plan to do a 12km walking tour. This will be hard on my feet that are still sore from Istanbul and Dubai, but it is worth it!

I have routed a path to see the most famous sights in Paris – Notre Dame, The Louvre, The Great Palace, The Arc de Triumph, The Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s Tomb, Luxemborg Gardens, and the famous Les Deux Magots café where famous men like Camus and Picasso used to frequent.

I want to see Paris as cheaply as possible, so I plan on only seeing most of the places from the outside, but I may decide to go inside the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, depending on the length of the line. I will be there at opening time, so maybe it won’t be too long. The next time I post about my layover, I’ll be blogging from the comfort of my own room in Kentucky!

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