June 28, 2009

From Gerald R. Lucas

Weekend in Paris

After the first after classes, a couple of faculty members, about thirty students, and I sped south on the Eurostar toward Paris. This is an awesome way to travel: convenient, smooth, and fast. We were quickly in Paris’ Gare du Nord where we met our tour guide for the day.

We began our visit with a bus tour around Paris: we lunched by the Opera house and made our way past some of Paris’ major sites, like La Place de la Condorde, Le Champs Elyssé, Les Invalides, Le Tour Eiffel, and La Bastille. Our hotel was near the latter, so we ended our tour and Dan and I went for liquid refreshment. That night, we met Holly (the site director for the Paris Program) for dinner and a casual stroll under the Eiffel Tower.

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Saturday morning was a guided tour of The Louvre. I enjoyed the tour, since our guide highlighted the prodigious museum. I tried to get some shots of the students’ reaction to the works they saw.

After, Dan, Kristin, Emily, and I jumped on the metro and headed to Montmartre for lunch and a walk through La Sacre Coeur. The views from the church are stunning, as is the church itself. They, however, did not allow photos to be taken inside, though apparently using your laptop in the pews and selling touristy crap is not offensive to God. Whatever. I also don’t like being asked to remove my hat (it happens in every church I’ve been in so far). Seriously, why? They need to assert their power over me in some way... But I digress.

Next was Boulevard Saint-Germain back in the heart of Paris. We were headed to Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company, and decided to go the long way ’round. We were unaware that it was Gay Pride weekend, so the street was packed. We enjoyed the celebration (what we could see of it), and finally made our way back to toward Notre Dame. We hit the bookstore and had a snack before going to Notre Dame.

We ended the evening with a cruise down the Seine. I slept well that night, having walked what seemed like fifty miles.

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On Sunday morning, we visited La Musée d’Orsay. I’d not been there before, and I was very impressed. It’s one of those museums that has a surprise around every corner. I just wish we had more than a couple of hours before having to get to the train station.

I thoroughly enjoyed Paris. We packed a lot into one weekend, but it was worth it. The weather was gorgeous, and I’m keen to go back when I have more time to spend.

Canon Camera Information
Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT1, Canon EOS 30D, Canon EOS 5D, or Canon EOS 6D • Prime Lenses: Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, or Canon EF f/1.2 85mm L USM • Zoom Lenses: Canon EF f/2.8 16–35mm L, Canon EF 24–70mm L, Canon EF 70–200mm L IS USM, Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24mm f/4 • Processed with Apple Aperture.