We left Deauville yesterday earlier than we all would have liked, but our next stop was one of the highlights of our trip: Paris! We arrived just before noon, and as the Arc de Triomphe towered over us as we made our way onto the Champs-Elysees (The Elysian Field, literally "heaven" in the ancient Greek and Roman religions), everyone began to get very excited about our few days in Paris. Before us stood some of the most exciting sights to see (The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre) and one of the major highlights of our journey (Bastille Day on July 14th!).
After arriving at our hotel, a couple students (Aidan and Wyatt) were so eager to go shopping that we actually had only a short bite to eat at a local sandwich shop before heading out to explore the city's extensive, world-famous shops with some free time! On the way to lunch, we did visit the famous Luxembourg Palace & Gardens just outside our hotel, as well as the Pantheon. Normally I don't give this much free time (to make sure we have enough time for famous sites and history!), but students were so eager to shop that I gave them the whole afternoon. People came back with some exciting brand-names, as well as some local treasures. We met up at Shakespeare & Company (one of the greatest bookstores I've ever been to!) to explore and buy some books, before we had dinner and ended our first night on a relaxing note.
For today, we got started early and headed to two of the most important museums in the world: Musee Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. We headed to d'Orsay first, where we split up and saw some of the most famous artwork in history (Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, the impressionists and the neo-impressionists, and many more). After another quick lunch at a sandwich stop, we headed to the Louvre. The students, Hannah, and myself alike were all starstruck by the beautiful palace that houses the timeless museum, as well as its defining glass pyramid. We spent the entire afternoon exploring the Louvre and its endless exhibits (and, of course, the Mona Lisa!)
We finished the day by climbing the Arc de Triomphe and viewing the entire city of Paris from on top of one of its greatest landmarks. Everyone has loved Paris so far and its beauty has certainly enchanted us all. We're all very much looking forward to Bastille Day tomorrow, a holiday equal to (or even beyond) the excitement that surrounds Independence Day in the United States. Updates to come!