I see France…On February 28, 2019 by Carley Grace
During winter break 2018-2019, I was presented with an exciting opportunity. My brother and sister are in the marching band at their high school and they had been chosen to march in the London New Year’s Day Parade in London, UK. As a result, my parents and I went to Europe as well. On December 28, 2018, we landed in London, then we took a train to Paris, France. I have been studying French since I was a junior in high school, but its kind of intimidating being in a completely French-speaking environment considering my listening/speaking French is undoubtedly novice. Fortunately, my French reading and writing are considerably better than my speaking and listening. On our first day, we arrived in Paris dropped our stuff off at the apartment we were staying at, then made our way over to le louvre. We wandered throughout the museum for probably around four hours before we decided to head out for dinner. We found a little restaurant pretty close to where we were staying and ate there. The entire time we were in France, the food we had was always fantastic and authentically French. I ate so many pastries and bread, they almost had to roll me home. On day two, we took a three-hour electric bike tour. Our guide was fantastic! He explained to us the layout of the city. Paris is divided up into 20 sections. 1 is the heart of the city and then count numerically in a counterclockwise rotation until you reach the last one. Each section has a sort of identity. One section was the artists’ district, one was really famous for having really good bread, one was famous for having good pastries, and so on and so forth. He also told us about the landmarks we passed along the way and the historical significance of all the places we passed. We finished the tour around 2 then ended up meeting my cousin, who had a delayed flight coming in, for lunch. From there, my cousin and I split off from my parents so we could go the le musee d’Orsay, but the wait would have been simply awful, so we ended up wandering around the city for about six hours. We met back up with my parents and went to the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. This was around the Gilet Jeune movement was happening in France, so everywhere we went, the streets were lined with police and as you walked down the sidewalks, you would pass several people with bright yellow construction vests. You could even see lines of cars down the street that had been set on fire and their subway station had been closed down in that area. The next day was our last day in Paris. We started with Notre Dame. It was a Sunday, so there was a service going on as we toured the building. We made it out and over to Moulin Rouge and explored the artists’ district. Our final destination was a Parisian cemetery. This particular cemetery hosted several famous people, but the only recognizable name we found was Oscar Wilde. The cemetery paid homage to victims of World War II and the Holocaust, it was an incredibly surreal experience. Overall, I had such a great experience in Paris, I only wish I had more time. Oh well, c’est la vie!