Bonjour from Paris! Our first few days in France have been amazing so far. After the grueling eleven hour plane ride from San Francisco to Paris, we were all very excited to have finally arrived. We checked in to our hotel, freshened up, and then rested for a little bit (read that: we napped). Then Prof. Angresano was off and running!
We walked down to the Seine, and saw the Musée D’Orsay and the Louvre from the outside, and had a student presentation to learn more about their history (Check out photos from the Louvre and our other adventures below). Then we walked down through the Jardin de Tuileries, which I’m sure is beautiful in the spring, but was a little bleak in the winter. One neat thing was a large Ferris wheel, all lit up and sparkling, at the end of the gardens. That hadn’t been there when I visited in May and we hope to maybe ride it for some lovely views of Paris. Prof. Angresano took us to Café Angelina, which is famous for its hot chocolate. We all tried some, and it was delicious but very rich, and it made everyone desperate for more water (which the French are apparently less willing to give out than Americans).
Then we split up and some people went back to the hotel to rest and about 6 of us, including Prof. Angresano and Dr. Mel, walked up the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. From the top, we had a spectacular view of the city in all directions. The Eiffel Tower was especially cool because the top was in the clouds and it lit them up. Prof. Angresano likened it to an atomic bomb. Then, exhausted from jet lag and a full day of exploration, we had some delicious crêpes for dinner and headed to bed.
On the second day we woke up to a lovely French breakfast of croissants, baguettes, orange juice, and tea. Then it was off into the rainy morning to the Musée D’Orsay. I love the Musée D’Orsay. I even like it better than the Louvre. That’s probably because I really like Impressionist paintings, and the Musée D’Orsay has lots, including ones by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Manet and many others. Plus the building itself is beautiful – built inside an old train station, the huge windows and old clocks give it lots of character.
After the Musée D’Orsay, we went our own ways, and I went to the Legion of Honor museum with a couple of friends. Right across from the Musée D’Orsay it is a lot less well known, but it had some really cool stuff. One of the most interesting was a ceremonial cape that weighed 12 kilograms (that’s about 26 pounds for all you Americans out there), and was made of black velvet lined with orange silk and embroidered with lots of cool beads and stitching. After all the museum walking we’d done, we were starving, so we had a lovely lunch of croque monsieurs (a type of toasted ham and cheese sandwich that is to die for), fries, and salad for lunch.
We braved the cold again to head toward the Eiffel Tower, which was all lit up at night, and sparkled on the hour. We took a boat tour on the Seine to see some of the major sights, and though it was freezing, there were some wonderful and unique views.
Tomorrow we head to Disneyland Paris, and to lots more adventures to come!
- Caitlin Fellows
Caitlin is a sophomore political economy major from Salt Lake City.