A few of us decided to take advantage of the fact that we are living in Europe and we could travel outside of the UK. On Sunday we flew to Paris for the day to see the major sites of this gorgeous and expansive city. We were fortunate to have our own personal tour guide- my friend from high school studying in Paris this summer!
Our first stop from the RER was Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. It was just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside with the overwhelming stained glass windows and Gothic architecture. This first stop alone made us realize how insane it was that we were actually in Paris.
One of our Drexel Dance Ensemble inside joke, if you will, is building cathedrals, as creating a work of art is a long, and sometimes draining process, but one that produces great beauty and power. Visiting cathedrals throughout Europe makes me sentimental towards the cathedral that I and my fellow dancers have built together doing what we love.
On our way out of Notre Dame we stood on the exact center point of Paris and made a wish, a common tradition for visitors!
From there we crossed the street to Shakespeare & Co, the largest English language bookstore in France! This spot was so quaint and adorable, and added such a charming element to our quite touristy day in the City of Love. Upstairs there are several cozy reading rooms and a small alcove where you can type a note on the typewriter to leave on the pin board for travelers to find. We found one note that inspired us to leave something, but our typewriter skills were very much not apparent.
We walked along the Seine River to the Louvre Museum. Along the way we crossed Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in the city, and home to the famous Love Lock Bridge, where people visiting the beautiful City of Love put a lock on the bridge and throw the key into the Seine as a symbol of eternal love. (Something sickeningly sweet if you’re a raging romantic).
It was another moving experience to see the Louvre in real life. Unfortunately because we only had a few hours in the city, we didn’t tour the museum, but did walk under the tunnel and into the Louvre carousel where we could see a few statues and the upside-down pyramid, designed by I.M. Pei.
We “Metro-ed” to the Champs Elysée- the famous tree-lined avenue, and ate lunch on the avenue at Café George V. I had to enjoy a crepe while in Paris so I had a mushroom and cheese crepe. Sitting and eating lunch, I had to continually pinch myself and remind myself that eating lunch in Paris was not a dream. After lunch we bought macaroons at Ladurée Patesserie. These macaroons were a spiritual experience and you have not had a real macaroon until you’ve had them in Paris.
We walked down the Champs Elysée to the Arc de Triumph and had to ask a police officer how to cross the circle to get closer to the arc. After we found the tunnel, we took a moment to sit on the Arc and look down the avenue to really soak in the unbelievable day we were having in Paris.
Our last stop was the Eiffel Tower. It was so surreal to see this monument in real life. After waiting in the long line for the lift, we made it all the way to the summit to look down on the beautiful white plastered city of Paris. Seeing all the places we had been throughout the day and observing the vastness of the city was humbling and powerful.
On the way back to the airport we ate Nutella crepes and thought about how lucky we are to be studying in Europe and have the means and ability to visit these great cities of the world.
All the life experiences I have had help inform my creative mind and ground me in my future goals as an artist.
Au Revior, France! You have my heart.