Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paris, France

Ahhh Paris! The city of love, the city of lights! I still am unsure how I managed to pack so much into 72 hours! So many sights, so much delicious food, not to mention the singing and endless laughter! 

Day Un: 
Afternoon: As soon as we arrived in Paris we embarked on a city tour! It was a great way to get a feel for the general layout of the city and decide what I wanted to spend time going back and further discover. Fun fact: the eiffel tower was supposed to be dismantled and sold for scrap metal after 20 years. Designers had no idea that this would become a Parisian icon. 

Night: After we got settled into our hotel, we decided to celebrate our first night in the city with a nutella crepe + macaroons at Laudrée for dinner! I had never tried a macaroon but Laudree is a parisian staple so I had to! I loved them! My favorite flavor was the lavendar one but vanilla was a close second, and I guess raspberry and peach weren't that bad either.. you just really cant go wrong with Laudrée! 

After dinner it was late but that wasn't going to stop us from exploring! We walked the whole length of the iconic Champs de Elysees and somehow ended up at the Arc De Triomphe multiple times! We even walked over tot the Seine and admired the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles for 5 minutes every hour. 

Day Deux: 
Morning: Met with secretariat at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We talked about anti-bribery conventions and global economic norms. I didn't even know that this organization existed prior to our visit but now I am a firm supporter of it! In my opinion it is more effective than the United Nations due to the small number of member states it has and the unbiased research it is able to do. The OECD is primarily known for its reputable economic facts and figures. The day we visited the president-elect of Mexico was visiting so security was especially tight. 

A quick sandwich and crepe for lunch and then we headed out to explore and endeded up stumbling upon the famous Paris Opera House, best known for inspiring the musical The Phantom of the Opera. There is really a lake underneath the opera house! The architect just built around/above it. 

Oh to live in the 1890s or 1920s in Paris!! Paris is the only major city to be designed around the opera house. All major streets lead to the opera house as it was the center meeting place for all things Parisian culture. This room is where Opera goers would mingle during intermission. 

More shots of the gorgeous detailing at the Opera House.  

Day Trois: 
Morning: A visit to the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Their mission statement boldly declares: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed." UNESCO works on everything from promoting sustainable agriculture, to teaching english to women in developing nations, to educating on disease. 

This stone used to be a part of the city gates of Nagasaki, Japan. Often referred to as "The Angel of Nagasaki" It survived the atomic bombing of 1945 and was gifted to UNESCO.

Afternoon: 11am-11pm, livin young wild and free!
My good friend and roommate Mackenzie came with me on Academic Travel and we frequently discussed how I think it is hard for people back home to imagine how much freedom we have on these trips. Our meeting was done at 11pm and our professor said "great, see you guys tomorrow at 8am." And we were let loose to do whatever we wanted. so of course Mackenzie and I decided not only to do whatever we wanted but everything we have ever wanted to do in Paris.
We did some more exploring of the Eiffel Tower walking the length of the Jardin des Tulieres and the Champ des Mars

The Lock Bridge on the Seine! Tradition goes that those in love write their initials on a lock, attach it to the bridge, and then throw the key in the Seine! Symbolizing their unbreakable bond. 

Look at what I found!! 

We got a little lost and for a second thought that the church in the background was Notre Dame.. nope! But bonus: got to take a picture with Batman and Superman.

The real Notre Dame. Beautiful. So beautiful. I still am in shock that this big and elaborate of a cathedral could be built hundreds of years ago.
" You can call me Quasimodo".. 500+ stairs up Notre Dame

A little unsteady after our climb of Notre Dame aka nearly falling into the Seine. 

Shakespeare & co Bookstore. A necessary stop for any American in Paris. The hangout spot of Fitzgerland, Hemingway, and the like. 

The Louvre: if you are ever in town on a Friday night go to the Louvre!! Usually it closes around 6pm but on Friday nights it will stay open until 10pm. There was a short line to get in but we didn't have to deal with a single tour group and we had nearly every exhibit to ourselves, including DaVincis Mona Lisa! Bonus: We got in for free with our Swiss Residency cards! Proudest moment! 
" Can you feel the Louvre tonight?"-- and 24 other Louvre puns brought to you by Jessica and Mackenzie

Hey Mona.. 

" We assign our own meaning to art." I knew it was a good idea when the asian tourists started to copy my ideas.. 

I have to admit though: 72 hours in the city was not nearly long enough to satisfy my inner Parisian who longed to just sit in a cafe and read some Hemingway!  Stay beautiful Paris! I will be back soon!  Au Revoir!

No comments:

Post a Comment