So after Florence, we went to Paris. Since we only had two full days in the city and many things we wanted to accomplish, we created schedule of events. Here's a quick overview. On the first day, we spend the morning at Versailles. The castle was extraordinary, but the gardens were even more breath-taking. Luckily, the weather was perfect so we were able to take in all of the beauty of the gardens. To do so properly, we spend around 3 hours walking around. My favorite part was the Queen's Gardens, a scene that looks like it came straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale (he's from Denmark!). Much to our chagrin, we knew we had to leave Versailles at some point so as to give ourselves plenty of time for our next site: The Louvre! What an amazing museum. You simply cannot take in everything that the Louvre has to offer in one visit. So we split up and covered a lot of ground. But of course, we stayed together at first so we could all admire the Louvre's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa. And believe me, we were but four of the hundreds of people admiring her. A quick piece of advice: after checking out the Mona Lisa, turn around. The painting across from her - its name escapes me now - is just as worthy of close examination and admiration. I must admit, I do not appreciate art as much as I should or could, but something about the Louvre can make anybody a lover of art. Those two trips, unsurprisingly so, took up the entire first day. So on our second day, we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral, walked along the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, and ended at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Though you must climb around 400 steps to get to the bell tower of Notre Dame, I recommend it highly, no pun intended. The view from the top is unbelievable. Now I know how Quasimodo felt! One of my friends brought her iPod with her and listened to the soundtrack of The Hunchback of Notre Dame as we were climbing. I actually recommend that too. It adds a little something extra to the experience. More than any other piece of advice I have given, please hear me out on this one: DO NOT CROSS TRAFFIC TO GET TO THE ARC! There is a tunnel that runs under the traffic circle that surrounds the Arc. Use it! We didn't realize it existed so we played a human game of Frogger. NOT recommended. And as for the lovely Eiffel Tower, just like Florence, we decided to take advantage of our youth and walk up to the second tier (from there you must take the elevator to the top). I am a little bit afraid of heights, but my friends insisted that it would only be around 300 steps so the time would fly by. This was not the case. On step 601, I was secretly cursing my friends. Nonetheless, it was worth the climb! We took several pictures from the second tier then made our way through a very long line to the elevator and up to the top of the tower. We started walking to the second tier at around 3pm. It was about 7pm when we made it to the top of the tower. I would have spent double, even triple, that amount of time to see what we saw from the top. The sun was setting and casting a beautiful glow across the city. Once it had set, the tower lit up with hundreds of lights. It's difficult to describe just how amazing a sight this was. And because we are crazy kids, we took jumping photos in front of the tower after we made our way back down to the ground. Two days, over a thousand steps, and gorgeous sights. Needless to say, we very much enjoyed Paris. And its food! We swore we would only eat crepes for the two days, and we stuck to it pretty well. No crepe will taste as delicious as the ones we had in France.

 

 

 

View Programs