Please forgive me for not writing yesterday...all of my walking about is catching up with me and I am super tired. Tonight is Lisa's last night here, so last night 4 of us went out for dinner and I didn't get home until close to midnight. I was just way too tired to write! So, now this will be a super long post since I have 2 day's worth of sight-seeing to report. Now would be a good time for you to grab a drink, get comfy and prepare to read a bit!
Let's start with yesterday - Thursday, June 19th. Lisa and I went to the Police Museum yesterday morning before class. It was really amazing. There was a ton of French Revolution stuff, and a pretty big section on Émile Zola/The Dreyfus Affair. I had taken quite a few pictures when some man who worked there came up to me and said "No photo!" Of course it was right after that that I came across some amazing French Revolution stuff. Another man walked by, and so I asked Lisa to ask him if I could just get a couple photos. He told her that the boss wasn't there and as long as I was discreet I could do it. So, Lisa was my lookout while I snapped away - not as many as I would have liked, but a lot more than it could have been. While we were there, we heard a bunch of whistles and yelling/chanting outside. My first thought was that yelling crowds + Paris = Revolution. And I was kind of right. Apparently, there was some huge protest - about what, I have no idea. We stayed inside until it was over, though. As interested as I was in seeing it, I was more interested in not getting arrested.
I went on my own to order lunch and again, was able to order a "sandwich avec camembert et tomate" with no troubles. I have found that Camembert is the best cheese ever on a baguette. I hope I can find it at Weis Markets...
Our class went all together to Montmartre to see the various homes/studios of the Impressionist painters, the Moulin Rouge, the Sacré Coeur, and various spots from my favorite movie "Amélie Poulain." I saw the homes of Degas, Renoir, Lautrec, and VanGogh as well as some of their favorite hang-outs. I had wanted to go inside the Museum of Montmartre, but didn't have time, so I am going to try to go back there.
|Picasso's Favorite Haunt - Au Lapin Agile (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Love In Renoir's Garden (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Dali Inspired Graffiti - Montmartre (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|La Bicyclette - Montmartre (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Quiet Cobblestone Street in Montmartre (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|The Moulin Rouge (J. Boyer-Switala 2008)|
|Café des Deux Moulins - Montmartre (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Pigalle - the Dodgy End of Montmartre (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|At Place de la Concorde|
|Lisa (Belgium), moi, Stacey (Canada), & Vanessa (Colombia)|
On our way home, we listened to a bunch of happy Germans singing b/c Germany won against Portugal in futbol (soccer to us Americans). When I got home I was way too tired to study for my test, so I took a shower and went to sleep.
This morning, I had my test. I guess I must be learning something because I got an A. The couple things I missed I knew right away what I did wrong. Now if I could just speak it as well as I can write it...
After class, I was going to just go home and sleep because I felt so exhausted, but decided to go to the Basilque St. Denis and I am SO glad I did. All but 3 monarchs from French history are buried here, beginning with Clovis I (from the 400s AD...I don't remember the exact date off the top of my head).
But, the highlight of it all was seeing the tombs of the Bourbons (especially Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). They actually had the real heart of the dauphin, Louis XVII in a glass urn. It was so cool. I also saw the tombs of Catherine de Medici and Henry IV (Navarre). I was literally surrounded by royalty all afternoon. Granted, they were all dead, but I still loved every minute of it!
Lisa and I hung out at home the rest of the afternoon and evening. In fact, we are watching "Enchanted" with Sebastian and Aurore (the children at my home-stay) right now. Very interesting to see it in French. I also had an amazing dinner tonight - Stuffed tomatoes, French style (the meat was done differently than we would do in the US) and Vienetta glace (ice cream). It was unbelievable!!! I had 2nds on both - they probably think I eat like a horse! They just eat so much later and I walk around so much that I'm super hungry (that's my excuse, anyway!)
|Royal Toes (François I Tomb) - St. Denis Basilica (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Louis XVI - St. Denis Basilica (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|The Dauphin's Heart - St. Denis Basilica (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
I imagine this has gone on long enough. Sorry to keep you all so long. I will have some cool stuff to report tomorrow night since tomorrow is the big "Fête de la Musique" - it's the annual country-wide music festival. I am also going to the Musée Carnavalet (Museum of Parisian history) and to the home of Victor Hugo.