Sydney Gregg ’20 describes a day of sightseeing in Paris.
Today, the group visited the Musée Rodin, where we got the chance to follow an audio guided tour through a beautiful museum and garden filled with the artwork and sculptures of Auguste Rodin. In each room of the museum, often the audio tour chose to talk about only a few of the pieces out of the many on display. The structure of this type of tour meant we could learn the background or artistic techniques behind certain pieces from the guide, but we also got the chance to analyze other works on our own. After the indoor museum portion of the tour, we wandered to the gardens where some of Rodin’s full-sized sculptures were on display. Here, students got the chance to marvel at the real-life versions of certain sculptures we’ve frequently seen referenced in culture, such as Rodin’s most famous sculpture “The Thinker.” With many more museums to visit in the days to come, I’m sure this won’t be the last famous artistic work we visit in Paris.
After a fairly quick (by French standards) lunch, in the gardens of the Rodin, the group made our way by foot to the famous Tour Eiffel. Arriving way earlier than our scheduled time on our tickets, and greeted with a long line, the group settled into an hour and half of waiting, using the down time to further bond with one another, as well as reflect in our journals about our last few days in Normandy and our arrival in Paris. Finally, 4 pm struck, and our group squeezed into an elevator that took us to the second floor, where we then transferred to a different elevator that allowed us to visit the summit. We arrived at the top of the iconic structure to a steady breeze and a breathtaking, panoramic view of Paris. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how sprawling the city is when our group is focused on just navigating the narrow side-streets near our hotel, so the clear weather conditions allowed all of us to appreciate the closely-set buildings that seemed to fill the landscape as far as the eye could see. I, personally, was especially excited, because from the top of the Eiffel Tower I could scan and pick out my old neighborhood toward the outskirts of the city.
After snapping more than a few photos, the group took the elevator back to the second floor, where we chose to then take the stairs back down to the bottom of the tower. About halfway through our descent, however, we all became absorbed in our phones, as we had received the wonderful email from Mrs. Kocot informing us grades and comments were available on DAinfo. For the last hundred steps down to the ground, I alternated between checking my grades and reminding myself to pick up my head and take in the view.
Once all of us miraculously reached the ground, despite having walked halfway down the stairs not looking at anything but our screens, the group walked along the riverbank of the Seine back towards the hotel. This was my favorite part of the day, because the weather and temperature were absolutely beautiful, and the water and historic buildings lining the river glistened in the late-afternoon sunlight. We traveled along the Seine until we reached the metro, where we caught a train back to our hotel. The cars of the metro were so packed due to rush-hour that I thought for moment I wasn’t going to make it on the train. Luckily, Ms. Nichols and I found some empty room one car over from the rest of the group, but for a moment I was having déjà-vu of the time as a nine-year-old I accidentally got separated from my mom in the metro and got on the train without her. Don’t worry, Mom, I stayed with the group this time (and I still remember what to do if I ever do get separated)!
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