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All that can be found anywhere can be found in Paris

Written on: Friday February 16th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen

"All that can be found anywhere can be found in Paris" Victor Hugo How true, how true. Every time I return to Paris, I fall in love with it more and more. This weekend was considered a light traveling weekend for me. I planned on meeting my friend, Meg Shea who is studying in Granada, in Paris to spend the weekend exploring the city. The weekend started off terribly. First I woke up at 8:59 therefore missing my 7:30 train. Therefore I left Meg stranded in the middle of Paris with no idea what to do since her Spanish Cell phone does not work in france. Fourtunately she was able to borrow a cell phone and call me. In the end we met up at the Hotel, and after dealing with a small misunderstanding with our Hotel man we started on our adventure around noon. We started with a walk to the Notre Dame, which wasnt too far from our Hotel which was in the Marais district. After this we walked along the seine and walked around the Tuileries. The weather in Paris is actually warm and a little sunny, so the Tuileries was packed with people. It looks like a perfect place for a picnic with tons of benches, trees and little fountains. At the end of the Tuileries we located the Musee L'Orangerie. However, after looking at the line, we decided that we would probably come back later in the day or on saturday. After the Tuileries we walked along Champs Elysee and ended up at the Eiffel Tower. We checked the prices and decided that we would return the next day to go to the top to get some panoramic views of Paris. Next we walked along the Seine as the sun was going down. Eventually we arrived at Pont Alexandre III which is a bridge that archs over the seine and connects the Invalides on the left bank to the Grand Palais on the right bank. Pont Alexandre is considered one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris due to the cherubs, nymphs, golden winged and art nouveau lamps that adorn the bridge. After walking over the bridge we took a metro back to the Marais district to have some dinner. I ordered a Croque Madame which is basically a girlled ham and cheese sandwhich with an "ouef a cheval". It was delicious! After I brought meg to get her first crepe! We woke up early on saturday to get to the eiffel tower early. Since Meg wasnt a huge fan of heights, we took the elevator up. This was a far departure from my first experience up the eiffel tower, because on my first trip to Paris with my family in Middle School, my parents forced my brother and I to walk most of the way up. Though it consisted of a lot of whining and pit stops... it really was a great experience. The top of the tower provides amazing views of Paris. You really get to see and understand the set up of Paris, and to me it is constructed beautifully. There arent many tally buildings that overcrowded the city, and the main ones are clustered on the outskirts of the city. The enables a clear view of the city. After the eiffel tower Meg and I walked around the 7th arrondissement to look for Rue Cler. On rue cler we found some a boulangerie where I bought a baguette and meg bought a pizza for lunch. We also picked up some fresh strawberries and pastries to complete a picnic. We brought our picnic to the Champs de Mars. After our picnic we walked to the Tuileries to visit Musee L'Orangerie. It was about a half an hour wait, but the weather was beautiful with the sun shining, so it wasnt too bad. It was definitely worth the wait because we got to see Monet's Les Nympheas. Les Nympheas is the collection of paintings of the Water Lily's Monet painted in his garden in Giverny, France. This section of the museum has two rooms dedicated to Monet's water lilys. The set up of the room displays his paintings on white walls with natural light. The two rooms with the paintings are oval shaped rooms with the paintings spanning the walls and seats in the middle of the room. This monet exhibit is probably one of my favorite museum visits. The museum limits the number of people in the building, so it provides an uncrowded experience that enables you to really admire Monet's paintings. The paintings were beautiful and I look forward to the spring when I will visit Giverny and visit the gardens that inspired some of Monet's best works. After a walk through of the Museum we ventured to Monmartre. As we exited the subway station, the sounds of accordion music and carousels greeted us. The streets around Rue Abbess werent too crowded until we reached the top of Monmarte close to the Sacre Coeur. Once we got closer to the Sacre Coeur there were tons and tons of tourists. Being known as a famous bohemian district the streets are lined with little tourists shops selling vintage art posters and artists asking to paint you. I was excited to see Montmartre after watching Amelie, but I didnt have the best experience due to the crowds of people. However, since I do plan on returning to visit on one of my many returns to paris in the next couple of months. After Montmartre Meg and I headed across the river to the Latin Quarter to walk around the Luxembourg gardens. The garden was filled with parents playing with their children and joggers clocking in their afternoon run. The fountain was also adorned with several sculptures and fountians. After this we walked around the area and came across the student section of the quarter and even saw the Sorbonne, the prestigious Unitversity of Paris. After this we met up with some other girls from Fairfield, Lynne, Katie and Tara and had dinner in Montparnasse. Overall, my trip to Paris was amazing. Everytime I return to the city, I see something new and I fall more in love with the city And everytime I depart the city, I cannot wait to return and explore the rest of the city. I am fortunate that I am only and hour and a half outside of the city, so I can't wait to return to visit. There is so much more that I want to see, and there is so much that I want to return and visit.

 

From Bryan Rite on Feb 19th, 2007

Fantastic Pictures!