Paris, La Belle

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. - Seneca

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Afin de refléter pour la dernière fois…

I still think about it all the time. Paris, that is. I was so blessed and privileged to be able to go during my first year. My very first year! That’s still crazy to me. Traveling abroad really does change your perspective on things - for the better. I think as students, people who long for education and to better ourselves and society, it is incredibly important that we travel and experience life outside our country. To be unaware of our surroundings, I believe, gives way to indifference and ignorance which is what should be feared the most. To think that what does not affect us directly holds little importance is very dangerous towards the good of our world and the preservation of peace. Studying abroad during these crucial college years where we learn the most, I think, will develop character and only better us as human beings and life-long learners. I honestly could not recommend traveling abroad more at this point. I plan to head abroad again and again and again during the next four years.

So I leave you with this….it has officially been a couple weeks since my trip to Paris but I assure that will not be my last. 

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À bientôt, Paris.

Well, today is my last day in Paris. But I had still had some really exciting things today! First, we went to Père Lachaise, which is the largest cemetery in Paris filled with many notable people and great achievers in each of their disciplines. The gravesites here are not below the ground like in America. They are above the ground and almost are little individual memorials as well. Being a piano major and a huge fan in general, I was very excited to see Frédéric Chopin’s grave. I wrote my final project in my Contemporary Paris honors seminar on his achievements towards the era of Romanticism, which made this experience that more special to me. His compositions for piano are absolutely beautiful even for a nonclassical music fan and I recommend his works to everyone.  We also saw Oscar Wilde’s grave, which was very cool. There was a glass wall around the actual tomb and many fans had visited and left little notes written in bright lipstick or simply kisses too.

Afterwards, we took the subway to Moulin Rouge, which is known for its seductive nature. From there we walked to Montmartre, which is lively section of Paris similar to Mont Parnasse but more of a local, less urban atmosphere. There was a large area with many artists showcasing and selling their Paris-themed pieces, which were all very breathtaking. As you walked around you could easily each painter’s signature style. One painted the Eiffel tower while emphasizing the trees and greenery around the monument. Another painted the infamous tower with a more graphic, modern style including text. There were also artists going around sketching people and painting portraits too. But most interesting, they were a couple of men with a small piece of paper and a pair of scissors that would cut out a silhouette of your profile in the ten seconds you walked past them. Further down, there were street performers like a harpist and a guitarist. I absolutely loved the atmosphere! Then we visited Sacré Cœur. The church is one of the most visited sites in Paris. They did not allow any photos to be taken inside but for the record, the interior was stunning! Today was so fun and thrilling but it still is my last day in Paris. I don’t want to leave! This week has been amazing!  

Permalink On the steps of Sacré Cœur. 
Permalink Street performer near Sacré Cœur. 
Permalink Sacré Cœur.
Permalink Montmartre.
Permalink Exploring the streets of Montmartre.
Permalink Smooches for Oscar Wilde <3
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Permalink Frédéric Chopin’s grave at Père Lachaise. My personal Justin Beiber :)
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Jeudi.

This day was a little more relaxing than yesterday, which was filled with different sites and attractions. First, we went to the Opèra Garnier. This is the older opera house in Paris, compared to the Opèra Bastille. Then, we had time to roam the area and shop. I went to all sorts of expensive stores only found in places like Paris and also some small locally owned boutiques. But I think the best part was to be able to people watch and embrace the city life of Paris.

Then, we walked to the Madeleine. It is a church with a neoclassical architectural style. However, it was built as a temple to praise Napoleon’s army. After, we took the subway to Montparnasse, which is a very lively part of Paris. There, we also had time to shop around and explore. We then bought movie tickets to see the highly popular movie The Hunger Games in one of the local movie theaters. The movie was great but it was even more exciting to see it in Paris! Luckily, the movie was in English and there were only French subtitles. Overall, I had a great day of exploration and spent a lot of quality time with my peers in this wonderful city. 

Permalink And to end this great day….May the odds be ever in your favor. 
Permalink Montparnasse Tower. 
Permalink Madeliene. 
Permalink Opèra Garnier.