I’m back on a snowy C of I campus and am happy to be home from a whirlwind three weeks. London and Paris were great—there are a million things to do and see—but it’s good to be back. There’s nothing quite like coming back to a place that’s full of your friends.
Well, tonight is the last in Paris before we catch the Eurostar back to London tomorrow. My friend Jenette and I celebrated by going out to dinner at an actual restaurant. We've been subsisting largley on the nearby grocery shop, boulangerie, and "big panini place" for the last week, so tonight was a nice break. And since we'd had more than our fair share of baguettes, croissants, and crepes, we went in a different direction and tried out escargot.
It's day four of my Paris trip, and so far I've been alternating between eating pastries and looking at great art. There's an abundance of both in the city of lights. I'm going to have a hard time going back to eating croissants from Albertson's after this trip.
Today I visited the Tuileries, a park in the heart of Paris. While I assume it's at its most grand in the springtime, it was impressive in the snow. Thanks to the snow, the ground in the park was just as white as the surrounding buildings, all of which are ornate and noteworthy.
It’s day seven for the London group, and today is our last in London for a bit. We’re all headed separate ways for side trips—there are some people Paris-bound, others heading for Bath, and a few for Scotland. I’m in the Paris group, and tomorrow, my three Paris-bound companions and I will be getting up around 5 am to catch the Tube up to St. Pancras station, where we will get on a Eurostar train to France. Two hours later, and we’ll be in the heart of Paris. But even with an early start tomorrow, we’re making the most of our London time.
Only three days into the London trip, and I’m exhausted. London is jam-packed with things to do, places to go, sights to see. At the end of the day, London leaves me visually overwhelmed and with one tired pair of feet. It’s a very good type of tired though, a type that comes with having not wasted a minute of the day.
This gigantic map is the latest addition to my dorm room. But I didn’t cram it in over my bed just for kicks—it’s part of a class that I’m taking in preparation for a trip to London this January.
The class is officially titled “IND-307.1 London: Art/History/Literature.” It has 14 students (13 of whom are female), three professors, and one faculty member who’s surveying the course in preparation for his own trip to the UK.
So, last month I probably had the one of the most defining trips that I've ever been on. About three years ago, at the end of my freshman year, it was drawing close to finals and I was sitting in HIS-210 (Modern East Asia) taught by Professor Jeff Snyder-Reinke. We'd moved through most of the topics that were on the syllabus and on this day Dr. Snyder was showing us a slideshow. The pictures he showed us were captured two years earlier in the western provinces of China. These weren't stills commissioned for research purposes though.