Hello, bloggers! After an incredible week, I'm back online (and settling into my room in Cambridge). I decided that the easiest way to report on my adventures in France would be to divide it into 2 parts- Paris and non-Paris. I'll try to keep the text to a minimum so you can enjoy the pictures (which there will be a load of).
Crepes from a real French Crepe stand? Yes, please! I love how they serve them!
Our first site was none other than Notre-Dame! We thought it was hysterical to ask where Quasimodo was. Don't lie- you just laughed at that. Thanks to our Paris Museum Passes, we were able to trek up a million stairs and overlook the city from the top of the building. I couldn't have asked for a better welcome to the city!
Next was the Arc de Triomphe . Don't worry- we drove around it in circles when we had a car on Saturday.
We ended the night with the Eiffel Tower! The top part was closed so we couldn't go all the way up, but it still offered a great view. It's strange to see Paris without the Eiffel Tower. Also, there was a GIANT screen set up on the lawn by the Tower with a world cup game on that everyone was watching.
My first morning in Paris started off the best way possible- in line for the Louvre! I'm not ashamed to admit that I got a little emotional when I was finally inside. I loved that there were artists there painting by the works on the walls.
After the Louvre was L'Orangerie, the place with Monet's waterlilies. To quote someone we met the next day, "It's small, but so big!"
Our next stop was Saint-Chappelle. My dad was certainly right- from the sidewalk, it doesn't seem like much, but the inside is amazing! Seriously, that stained glass is incroyable!
We went to the Pantheon next, and were able to explore the crypts. Even though I didn't know much about most of the people, they were still really cool!
BTW- tartes aux fraises are amazingggggg.
For the first time in my life, I took a boat tour of a city! It was a really fun way to see a lot of sites and learn facts about Paris. The boat guide spoke something like 8 languages- it was absolutely unreal!
I know, it's only Tuesday, right? And we've already done so much! Our first stop was the Musee d'Orsay. Yes, we were the absolute very first people in line for that! I love everything in there (well, almost everything. If you've been there you may remember what I'm talking about...). They definitely improved that train station by turning it into a museum.
The next stop was the Rodin Museum- I love how much of it is outside! It's a great change of pace. Sidenote- Philly's Rodin Museum is the largest collection of his work outside of France.
I was really excited for St. Denis because I remembered it from my Art History 201 class. It didn't disappoint, and there was even a cool market outside!
My dad showed me around one of his mission areas from when he was in Paris. We even got millefeuilles from the bakery he used to frequent!
Everyone who goes to Paris has to go to Montmartre and see the artists painting! It's so awesome, and the cafes are really cute, too.
The beautiful Sacre Coeur is a short walk from Montmartre. As we were leaving and on the steps down on the hill in front of the church, there was this group of cute French school children singing "Oh Champs Elysees." I tell you, I never got tired of the darling little French kids.
My feet were killing at this point, but we made the trek over to the Opera House! I've always loved it in movies and such, and it was just as beautiful in real life. Dad and I sat and rested on the stairs for a while, which was much needed. Someday, I hope to go to a show here!
My friend Kalisha from BYU is interning at Versailles this summer (I can't put into words how jealous I am), so we met up for a fun and delicious dinner with her. It was great to run into a friend in Paris!
Don't worry, this is the last day in Paris. We made it up to Versailles and were once again first in line- go us! What an incredible place! I think the Hall of Mirrors would have been cooler later in the day, but it was still spectacular. I'm obsessed with the gardens there, in particular, Marie Antoinette's little hamlet. Think what you will of her "getting back to nature" thing, but the place is heaven. I was also excited for the gardens because of the Orangerie- I'll have to share that story another time.
I know this is long. But don't worry, Mom. The rest will be posted later :)