Clearly keeping a blog while abroad is easier said than done! Between traveling, carving out a new life for yourself in your new home, making friends, and learning as much as you can both in and out of the classroom, time seems to slip through your fingers. Since I’m using this blog to help myself remember my adventures, I might as well share a few extra things for others who may be curious to see what I was up to all those months ago.
My first trip to Paris in March, city of love and art, was truly a magical one, cliche and all. I went as part of my Impressionism in Paris class. After a couple of weeks learning about the Impressionist movement and the different styles of the famous Impressionist artists, we got the amazing opportunity to travel to Paris to experience these masterpieces in person.
We stayed in one of the most posh places in town, a mere walk from the Louvre. Starting our trip with a bus tour through the city, we hit all the usual touristy landmarks: The Eiffel Tower, the Paris Opera House, the Arc de Triomphe etc. (I highly recommend doing trips through the program you’re studying at if they’re offered! We definitely got the royal treatment at a subsidized price!) And by royal treatment, I mean we got to go on a dinner cruise on the Seine, passing the sparking Eiffel tower and all the other romantic landmarks lining the bustling river.
And of course THE ART MUSEUMS. As a class we went to the Musee d’Orsay, which I have to say was the most spectacular museum I have ever been to. (I think it was better than the Louvre in terms of having so many more masterpieces than I was expecting). I have to admit I was not the biggest fan of Impressionism before taking this class, and as an art history minor that’s saying something. After this trip though, wow has that taken a 180. WHICH IS WHY SEEING ART IN PERSON IS THE ONLY WAY TO APPRECIATE IT. I saw so many pieces I had studied and come to admire, and having SO many masterpieces in one museum was absolutely incredible. The building itself as a converted old train station was breathtaking. WORTH IT.
We also went to the Musée de l’Orangerie, home of Monet’s famous Waterlilies. This collection is beautiful in its own way. The colors of Monet’s Waterlilies are definitely magical in ways words can’t describe.
Then there was the Louvre. We went at night as it stayed open late on Friday and we all split up and were like “okay, we have two hours, go!” I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so lost or so sweaty running around a museum as I did in the Louvre. That place is sooo much more massive than I thought it would be. We got extremely lucky and the museum really wasn’t crowded! (Meaning I got up close and personal with the Mona Lisa) ~Underwhelming of course and totally overshadowing the other masterpieces leading up to it and in the same room~
You could spend months in the Louvre and not see everything so be sure to pick and choose a few key rooms you can’t miss and just accept the fact that you’ll have to come back!
And of course, a trip to Paris isn’t complete without a side trip to Versailles! ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. There are no words to describe the majesty and galore of it all, so I’ll let a few pictures give those of you who haven’t been yet a glimpse. Of course a picture was not able to capture the beauty (as with all my other pictures).
For some reason, when I think of Paris, one of the key things that comes to mind are the Catacombs. I’d always been intrigued by the city beneath the city. The maze of human remains triggered a sense of adventure in the history nerd of me and I must say that it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and absolutely worth it! Just don’t get lost because you really don’t want to become one of those set of bones down there.
We also happened to be there during Fashion week!! So we ran into some models and paparazzi of course.
And we attended Mass at Notre Dame, have to experience it the way it was meant to be experienced!
Then of course, there was THE FOOD. Some of the most delicious food ever was eaten on the trip, which is no surprise considering it is France.
You just can’t go wrong in this crazy city and I can’t wait to go back ~gotta hit up all the other art museums over the course of my lifetime~