Travel Journal: England
We’re back from Paris, the City of Love. It's home to the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, and most famously of all—the Eiffel Tower. We spent a total of four days in Paris, and the amount of free time that we had balanced out perfectly with our group outings. We had one group meal together our first night in Paris, went to the Palace of Versailles as a group on Saturday, and then went on a cruise on the Seine River on Sunday night. Apart from those three things, we were free to discover Paris on our own. I had been to Paris once before in 2006, but I was part of a large group that rode around on big busses throughout the city. So, navigation and sightseeing was all planned out for us. And since the group I was travelling with in 2006 was mostly 16- and 17-year-olds, having our every move planned ahead of time was for the best. However, this time around we were on our own, which made it a truly wonderful adventure.
After living in London where the public transport is incredibly easy to understand, navigating Paris via their metro system can be a bit intimidating at first, especially when everything is in French. But we quickly got the hang of the Metro and found ourselves buzzing around Paris before we knew it.
On Friday, a couple of friends and I went to the Louvre Museum. This is, of course, a must-see for any visitor to Paris. And the place was absolutely packed. I saw the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace (the 2nd century B.C. marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike), the Napoleon III Apartments, and sculptures by Michelangelo, among many other things. It was humanities class all over again, but this time in person. The museum was wonderfully overwhelming. Trish, Leah, and I spent about 2 hours at the Louvre before heading back to the hostel to get ready for dinner.
Our group meal that we had on Friday night wasn’t my favorite of all of the meals that we’ve had. But the group meals that we have had during this term are one of my favorite things about studying aboard. It’s been amazing to watch how our London family dynamics have really played out so well. Though I was optimistic about our group dynamics from the start of this term, I have to admit that things have gone even more smoothly than I had expected. And I think that the group meals played a big part in maintaining and enhancing those family-like relationships. Adventures are fantastic but I think that it’s the people you're with who transform an ordinary experience into something that words really can’t quite describe. And this group of people has definitely made this trip indescribable. Okay, thanks for sticking with me through that mushiness.
So, what else happened in Paris? Read on.
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