It’s funny what you find while packing… I found my journal from my first (and only) experience abroad. I was 18. It was the summer of 2005. I liked emoticons. Join me on my journey! I promise to stay true to my written word, for better or worse!
~Thursday, July 7, 2005~
9:50 PM (Paris time)
Slept much better. Got up early to catch the Metro and train to Chartres—we missed the first train, so we got to Chartres after an hour and a half at about 10 AM.
The cathedral was amazing. I think I liked it more than Notre dame—more detail and stained glass. I think if I ever have more time in France, I’d take a tour of cathedrals—the history and architecture and beauty is just so incredible.
We rambled around the city for a bit, exploring the streets and getting lunch to go for the train at 1:40 PM. So that was another hour or two. There were four guys on our train from the U.S.—on a whirlwind tour of Europe after college graduation. None spoke a word or French or seemed a bit daunted by it. 😛
We got to Paris and went directly to the Louvre, getting there around 3 PM. And I can say is, Wow! Every single room is a masterpiece, never mind the words exhibited! The quantity is staggering—the guide book says it would take nine months to look at every work displayed. :O!
We saw the majors—the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Victory Triumphant——
Oh shit—I’ve just heard about the terrorist attack that happened today in London. Two bombs—over twenty dead. We got a message left at the hotel to call home—this must be why. Goodness, this is horrible. Thank God we’re here in Paris—I don’t know how this will affect our plans. God. When will this all end?
Ugh. But I should go on—I still want to remember Paris before I knew about this.
The Louvre—we thought their late night was Thursday, but it was actually yesterday. So we only had three hours, but we got to see a lot. At about 5 PM, Uncle Brad and I split up to see different things. I
After the Louvre, we walked to the Luxemburg Gardens, buying cherries, water, and pastries on the way.
We walked around some more, and decided to eat at a Moroccan restaurant—more couscous! : ) It was very quaint and cozy—it was just plain cold today! All cloudy and windy (as usual) and occasional rain. So it was very nice to be inside. It didn’t make me homesick, though—it didn’t really remind me of Mom and Dad. And I’ve been enjoying Paris. : ) I must admit, I wasn’t immediately enthralled—I hadn’t expected such a big, busy city; I had the image of a quiet quaint city of cobbled streets and lounging people at cafes. But now I love it—it’s so fun to watch all the people, and even though the city is busy, there are streets everywhere full of old buildings and picturesque scenes.
Sigh. These attacks have just ruined any light mood I’ve had on my last night in Paris. But, of course, London must be much worse.
It’s early yet—I guess I’ll read. Hopefully Mom or Dad will call back. ‘Night.
~Overview of Paris~
Day One: Monday, July 4, 2005
Arrive in Paris
Boat tour down Seine River
Day Two: Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Notre Dame Cathedral
Tuilerries Gardens and tea
Day Three: Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Champ de Mars Gardens
Day Four: Thursday, July 7, 2005
News of London Terrorist attacks