Bonjour from Paris!
Today (thursday) was our second day in Paris and in the morning, we did some sight-seeing, starting at la Tour Eiffel, continued at l'Arc de Triomphe and ending at La Place de la Concorde. My first glimpse of la Tour Eiffel was from the metro-- it is so iconic that it didn't really seem real at first. We were lucky, there weren't many tourists there in the late morning, so we could enjoy the scenery and the huge arches of la tour Eiffel. Voila une photo de nous avec la Tour Eiffel:
Even though I liked it, it makes sense that the Parisians at the time of its building didn't like it very much... It doesn't blend particularly well with the surroundings. Walking to l'Arc de Triomphe, we found the other tourists! Here they are trying to get the perfect photo:
At l'Arc de Triomphe, the traffic in the roundabout (or rotary if you're from Massachusetts) was the worst I've seen in a long time. But, l'etoile de Charles de Gaules is very beautiful on foot. We saw the "flame de Souvenir" on the tomb of the unknown soldier and the carvings in the walls,
photo de la flamme
le coq francais, le symbole de France, looking much more regal than any chicken I've met...
At this point the rest of the group walked to the obelisk in la Place de Concord but I went home because my feet were sore. I had my first Parisian sandwich (ciabatta avec jambon de pays, *****) and took a quick nap.
In the afternoon, Sophie took us through the history of Paris originally a tiny village calle Lutèce. It was interesting to me that the city of Paris was actually very clean and the streets were organized when it was controlled by the Romans, but that in the Middle Ages, it was cramped and dirty. We also learned that the term 'gothique' (ie. Gothique architecture) is actually a pejorative term created in the Renaissance to describe unrealistic art created in the middle ages.
The day ended with a delicious dinner near our hotel-- pavé de boeuf and créme brûlée for me!
Even though we've only been in Paris for 2 days, I feel like I've been here for at least a week! It is beautiful and I love it so far so stay tuned for more blog posts :)