Saturday, July 17, 2010

Paris and Chartres Adventures!

Current Location: Paris, France

I have had SUCH a busy week, I haven't had a moment to write! Sorry to everyone following this, and I will do my best to catch you up on all my adventures.

Monday, I had, as usual, class in the morning. That afternoon, we visited the Palais Garnier, which is well known as the Opera house that the phantom of the opera is based off of. Looking at the steps made me feel like I had just walked out of the movie! It was relaly amazing to go to and see up close.

Tuesday, We had our long day of classes. I am struggling a bit with french, especially with the pronunciation. The sounds are just so foreign, and I can't figure out how to pronounce something just by reading the word, which makes it very difficult. Also, we learned numbers, and no offense to anyone, but the number 70-99 are really stupid. 70 literally means 60 + 10, and so on so that 79 is 60 + 19. Then when you get to 80, it literally means 4 20s. Why not just have a word mean 80? Blah, so confusing.....

Tuesday night we participated in a really fantastic tradition - Bals Des Pompiers! Basically, all the firehouses become big parties for the night to celebrate the July 14th holiday the next day. We had a big group go, and it was TONS of fun! Dancing and laughing and drinking champagne. Man, the French holiday might be better than the 4th of July! I think we need a tradition of fire house parties!

Wednesday, we had no classes because it was French National Day (or as silly americans call it, Bastille Day). Well sadly, it was raining in the morning, so our picnic was cancelled and we had to eat inside. Luckily it cleared up that evening, so we went out and saw the fireworks for the 14th! It was so beautiful - the fireworks were amazing! I took pictures, but they truly don't do it justice.

Thursday we had a walking tour of the Marais after class. It was an area that I haven't spent much time in at all, so it was really nice to learn more about the history and see all the amazing houses and mansions that are located there. After the tour, we went and got some really good Falafel! I felt like I was in NYC again!

Friday I had class, and sadly wasn't feeling too good, so I skipped out on our event that afternoon and rested. Also did laundry - oh so exciting!

Today was our day trip to Chartres, a little town about an hour to 90 minutes outside of Paris. There was a gorgeous Cathedral there that we had a guided tour from a really cool British man. It was in the process of being cleaned - the cleaned area let us realize just how dirty these cathedrals really get! The cleaning and restoration is supposed to be done in 5-6 years, and I would love to come back and see how it looks once it is finished! After the tour, we had a delicious four course lunch. YUM!

Tomorrow is my day trip to Brussels! I am going to be taking a biking tour so I can see as much of the city as possible. After the tour I've got about 90 minutes for shopping. I must get me some belgium chocolates for sure!!!!

Love to all! Only have 2 weeks left here in Paris (which is crazy - the time is flying by), and then my blog posts will start focusing on my time in GHANA!!!!


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