Then, passport control, boarding the Eurostar and zooming through England, under the Channel and through France. It was early and I was tired, but couldn't sleep - we were going to Paris! Then, a bus through the city (it was stinky and crowded - no pictures) and luggage into lockers. The rain seemed a good excuse to start our Paris adventure at the Louvre.
It goes without saying that the art was amazing. The size of the place was mind-boggling and after our VERY short tour, we were exhausted. We covered MAYBE about 10 percent of the building! We spent the majority of our time in the Egyptian antiquities (one of our group is also majoring in art and loves Egyptian art - a good thing b/c we would have wandered aimlessly otherwise!) and touched on a few other areas as well.
The glass pyramid in the foyer/courtyard of the building. Quite a juxtaposition to the classical architecture.
A quick nap in the hotel and back out to see the Tour Eiffel at night. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. We got our first taste of the souvenir hawkers that night - I perfected my "non" and stern Parisian look after a few tries and wasn't approached again.
My french was/is of a classroom variety and two years rusty. However, I was the "expert" of the group and the spokesperson for ordering, buying, directions, etc. Fun to try and make myself understood, but a little stressful. You don't realize how difficult the simple act of eating is in a foreign country. Deciphering a menu when your stomach is protesting in hunger is hard! The nice thing is that most shop attendants and restaurant workers know enough English to get tourists through. That was a huge help!
It was surreal and exciting to see such famed landmarks, monuments and museums. Although, the city was dirty, crowded and - due to the language barrier - very tiring; the food was great, the cramming of sightseeing and having a great time with my classmates was worth it! Keep checking back! I have two more days of Paris to post about!