The longest word in the French language. Learned that today at my community service. Its an adverb for something that is unconstitutional. But I don’t think that such a word exsists in English…
More importantly, I went to Paris this past weekend.
I was supposed to meet up with one of my roommates from last year who is studying in Nottingham, but she got food poisoning and couldn’t make it. But I hung out with two of her friends whom I also kind of know from Linfield and acted as an interpreter, so it turned out just fine.
Saturday we left our hostel at about 9:30am, and returned at about 12:30am Sunday morning… it was a long day of mostly walking, but we saw a lot!
- Eiffel Tower: she was a little shy, so we decided to postpone going up until later in the day if it was nicer.
2. Arc de Triumph: two groups of people decided to stop traffic so they could run across the round about. Stupid. Americans. Otherwise, always a lovely experience. One day I need I will pay to go on top and enjoy the view.
3. Champs D’Elysées. Full of people, expensive shops, and Christmas decorations.
4. La Bastille. A special monument for July 14th, my sisters birthday, I mean, French Independence day…
5. L’Opera. I had never even heard of this/ thought of going but I am so glad we did. It was absolutely stunning. Pictures cannot even start to do it justice. I was amazed by the detail and absolute magnificence of the building. I don’t like opera that much, but I think I would pay to go see an opera there.
6. Notre Dame.
7. Bridge of Love Locks. Not sure what it’s called, or if this is the official one, but apparently you’re supposed to come here with your “love”, write your name on a lock and lock it on the bridge. One might also exist in Venice, fact not confirmed, but will have to return here one day with my love and put a lock on the bridge.
8. Garden of Luxembourg. We got there 10 minutes before closing so we couldn’t spend as much time there as we would have liked because it’s a huge and beautiful garden.
9. Seine boat tour. 1 hour on the Seine at night to look at 22 of the 38 (?) bridges in Paris and numerous famous sites. Gorgeous. Cold. But gorgeous. Maybe an activity better suited for the summer months…
10. Dinner. Ate some lovely traditional French pasta…and spoke with the waiter who was impressed (only a little) that I could (pretend) to speak French, and he told me that it was important that I drink more wine than water because water makes you weak but wine makes you strong…oh the French, I told him he was joking and he just walked away.
11. Eiffel Tower. Accompanied by some “champagne”. I was there for my 21st birthday after all. So obviously we bought some fake champagne to drink beneath the radiant Eiffel Tower. Then we finally got to go up and look at the gorgeous views of the city by night. I think Paris is prettier by night, if that is even possible.
13. Montmontre and the Basilique Sacre Coeur. Probably one of my favorite parts of Paris, but it was raining and I only had a few hours left in Paris so I did not spend as much time exploring as I would have liked. But I did manage to buy a l’eau de toilette at Fragonard (thanks Sissy) that I have been looking for my past few months in France.
14. Musée de l’orangerie. I remembered this as one of my favorite museums from my last trip to Paris because of its panoramic impressionist paintings of lily pads. They also have several other exhibits of impressionist art, which is I think my favorite style. After taking an art history class at Linfield last year I enjoyed being able to look at the paintings and compare techniques of different artists and try to determine some of the deeper significance of the paintings instead of just speeding by each one (my previous way of going through museums).
15. Train back to Aix. I tried to go to the Musée D’Orsay because I have still never been, but the line was like 200 people long, and I only had an hour before I had to catch my train, so I decided my time was better spent elsewhere.
Overall Paris was wonderful. A weekend is definitely not enough time to be there- you really need like a week so you don’t feel a chicken running around with your head cut off. There is so much to see and do that you have to take your time in order to appreciate all of the richness and history of the city.
I am now back in Aix for the last few weeks of my life in France. Lots of homework and studying and papers to write (dissertation on a comparison between the French and American education systems anyone, in French??), but first there’s a Thanksgiving feast to be had with all of the teachers and host families Friday night, and a big ball at one of the French universities Saturday night. After that hopefully I will find some time to study. But then again all the Christmas festivities will be starting…
Anyways, I’m going to go read about the construction of the European Union. I hope you have a very happy thanksgiving tomorrow!!