It was the moment of truth...meeting the people in my program. People were coming on several different flights so I waited in my assigned room for my roommate. She ended up being from Fullerton, and...we were nothing alike. Then everyone else came, and I breathed a sigh of relief as we all started mingling in the lobby, staking out from the start who we were going to be hanging out with. Interestingly, although no one really knew each other to begin with, the Cal State Fullerton kids, Cal State Long Beach, and randomly the Colorado and Wisconson kids sort of split off by school.
Immediately I connected with a group of girls and we spent the day on an organized tour of Paris, followed by a night boat ride down the Seine River.
Wall of Peace
Our tour guide, who had a striking resemblance to Bob Barker, which got him the nickname of "Bob," informed us as we passed two police leaning against a building that some French call their young police force "chickens," which got a good laugh. We got to walk under the Arc de Triomphe,
which was ordered to be constructed by Napolean I to honor the Grand Armee,
which won the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806. Apparently the 2nd biggest arc for triumph in the world, the arc is so big that a biplane was flown through it to celebrate the victory of WWI.
The Notre Dame was also fantastic with some crazy history. What I found most fascinating was that fanatics going against the government they thought to be corrupt, once took off all the heads of the priests carved into the front of the church, thinking that they were statues of government leaders.
Imagine how embarassed they must have been
My pretour group
if they found out! The Eiffel Tower, which I had always dreamt of seeing, was of course stunning by day, and dazzling by night, as we happened to pass it at just the right time when it was all lit up and literally sparkling. One thing I thought was really cool was that in the Champ de Mars,
a garden in front of the Eiffel Tower, stands The Wall of Peace, where the word peace
is written in 32 languages and 18 different alphabets. We ended the night at an Irish pub with our adorable flat leader from England who had the cutest accent ever. This is where I first discovered the fantastic Kronenburg 1664,
now one of my favorite beers.