First Full Day

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 59 › view all entries
Les Galleries Lafayette
...and what a full day it was. A great day though!

It started early with breakfast in our hotel. I must say, French breakfast is just my style. Les crossaints, les oeufs, et le cafe du lait... nice and light and perfect.

We then had lecture all morning (oh yeah... we're here to STUDY abroad). Funny thing was, we actually had class in the hotel bar! Never thought that would happen. But we basically went over stuff to prep us for our site visits this afternoon.

I grabbed a quick lunch in the neighborhood (again ordering in French)- un sandwich au jambon de Paris et fromage. I got a real chocolate eclair and Orangina! This may seem trivial, but it was cool because these are things I learned about in French class and I was actually now experiencing.
Opera House


We then went to the Paris Opera house, as designed by Charles Garnier in the late 19th century. This is one of those buildings I had seen a slide of in History of Architecture back in Atlanta, so it was quite a privelege and exciting to see it in depth on guided tour. It was truly fascinating and I really enjoyed all the thought behind all the architecture and design.

We then had a short period of free time. Les Galleries Lafayette, one of the largest department stores in the world, is right behind the Opera House, so I spent my time in there. Incredible! I bought some inexpensive "man jewelry" and found a watch that was very reasonably priced and exactly the style I wanted. This is important because I do not have a watch right now and with my cell phone useless to Europe and therefore in Atlanta, I have no way of telling time! So I will have to make a quick stop by there tomorrow to purchase it so I'm not guessing and hoping that I'm not late.
Beautiful sculpture on the front.


I took a leisurly walk through the shopping district and window-shopped on my walk between the Opera House and the Louvre, which was where our next session was. It was enjoyable, but without any purchases as I was where many expensive places were.

I meet back up with the group in front of the Louvre on time. (I spent the free time by myself- it was really nice to be independent and move freely for a while). We then went in the museum and was lectured by our professor on several works and galleries we had seen slides of in class back in Atlanta. I can't describe how amazing but unbelievable it is to see something on a computer screen and then see for real right in front of you!

I remember way back to being a kid in elementary school and being shown the Mona Lisa in art class.
It was absolutely beautiful inside.
I distinctly remember thinking "I'll probably never see that for real" without thinking much about it. But I'm so fortunate and lucky to be here and have had the experience of seeing famous artwork today! But I must agree with many and say that the Mona Lisa was not that spectacular and I was much more captivated by many other's works. The Louvre has everything from ancient through the 19th century and I think my favorites were Flemish from the Enlightenment. Even though the whole place was incredible, I am much more excited about modern art at the Pompidou and d'Orsay- more of my kind of thing.

After we left the Louvre, we were on our own for the rest of the night. I went with a few guys up to Sacre-Couer on Montmarte- another place I learned about in high school French class.
Grand Staircase
It was wonderful little district on the top of a large hill. We ate dinner and then climbed the hill to see the incredible view at Paris. However, it was so late, that we just missed going inside the Sacre Couer cathedral. Hopefully I will see it before we leave Monday or I will just have to wait until next time. After a ride on the Metro back (it is confusing, but very useful!), I am now back in the room, exhausted after a very full day of running around in the heat (it's hot here!).

I look forward to writing about tomorrow!
Eric says:
The d'Orsay is one of my favorite museums in Europe. The architecture of the museum itself is really cool (i think it used to be a train station). Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Posted on: May 25, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Les Galleries Lafayette
Les Galleries Lafayette
Opera House
Opera House
Beautiful sculpture on the front.
Beautiful sculpture on the front.
It was absolutely beautiful inside.
It was absolutely beautiful inside.
Grand Staircase
Grand Staircase
The Grand Foyer
The Grand Foyer
Inside
Inside
Famous pyramids...
Famous pyramids...
Louvre
Louvre
Mona Lisa. They didnt stop me fro…
Mona Lisa. They didn't stop me fr…
Nike of Samothrace- great work
Nike of Samothrace- great work
From inside the Louvre.
From inside the Louvre.
Je suis a Paris! (Im in Paris!)
Je suis a Paris! (I'm in Paris!)
Beautiful sculpture garden. To b…
Beautiful sculpture "garden". To …
The Louvre was originally built as…
The Louvre was originally built a…
Paris
photo by: Sweetski