For starters, here’s hoping everyone back home had a terrific and safe 4th of July.
While we may be far away from home this Independence Day, our semester in Paris has started off with a “bang” (sorry, couldn’t resist : ) )
Since arriving in Paris, we have become acquainted with one another, acquainted with our “home away from home”, (la fondation des Etats-Unis) and now, acquainted with Paris – our classroom for the semester.
To start our week off, we took an open bus tour of Paris (green line) where we were able to get a bird’s eye view from atop the bus of some of the most popular Paris landmarks, many of which we will be visiting personally and learning about from our professors, Dr. Carole Salmon and Prof. Jennifer Cadero-Gillette.
On our tour, over 19 landmarks were highlighted, from the Opéra, to the Louvre and Muséee d’Orsay, Champs Élysées and many more, but my favorites had to be l’Arc de Triomphe
, la Tour Eiffel
and Notre Dame.
At the completion of the bus tour, Dr. Salmon and Prof. Cadero-Gillette gave a fascinating talk about the history of Notre Dame. We learned a lot about its innovative construction (begun in the 12th century) as well as the stories behind its relief structures.
Its influence has been far reaching throughout time and continues to leave its mark even today. For example, did you know that Notre Dame, considered the official center of Paris, contains a marker (“Kilometer Zero,”) whereby all distances measured from Paris are taken?
We concluded the day with a walking tour (complete with teaching commentary) through the Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne and completed our tour at the Panthéon. I am excited to see what’s in store for our “class” tomorrow!