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Sean Somers’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010

Location: Paris, France

MapSo this past weekend I got to return to La France...which was neat because I haven't been there in 5 years so I got to use french again...C'etait chouette pour moi. It is always fun to put something you have learned to use. It was interesting to be back and not have the 2012 olympics advertisements everywhere...poor France :( o well...we move on...

This weekend we (two friends and I) stayed at the number one hostel in France for 2008 haha...the St. Christopher's Inn. It ended up being a very nice place...we stayed in the 14 bed mixed room and it was very clean, fun, and the beds were very comfy! In our room, we met some new friends that we ended up hanging out with the entire weekend...one girl was from Australia and is currently living in London and the other two girls were from Canada and are studying abroad in Amsterdam for the semester. We also met a fun British guy and this other interesting guy from Germany, who loved the color red (I think it was the only color in his wardrobe) but they added some humor to the weekend.

Well, this might come as a huge shocker but after a nice relaxing night of going out and seeing the Eiffel Tower (we are such tourists) ...we got up for breakfast the next morning and it was cloudy and grey. My good weather streak had ended...so I thought...but after I came back from my shower, I was greeted with sunshine and blue sky!!! WHAT?!?! I don't know how there was such a fast turnaround in the 20 mins. I took getting ready but I was not about to complain. The sun remained out all weekend ps...it was great! On Saturday, we decided to go on this free tour with our hostel...hey its free! Best decision ever...we had the coolest tour guide ever...a chick from Australia who came to Paris and has not wanted to leave since...she had such great stories regarding the history of France...don't worry I will share them!

We started our tour by Notre Dame...and made our way through the Latin Quarter to the famous bridge...Pont Neuf...which you can find all these funny faces lining the top of it. Supposedly they are sketches of (I forget if it was Napoleon's drunk friends or Henry VIII's) but they are all these bizarre expressions that were sketched and put on the bridge...quite hilarious. We then made our way to by the Louvre, which if you wanted to spend 30 seconds in front of every piece of artwork on display...during the museum's hours...it would take you 32 days to see everything...oie vey! Next we came to the Academie Francaise...where specific french people work to preserve the french language and make sure it doesn't succumb to the ugliness of english...HA! Now for a funny story...SO when a new technology is invented, the Academie Francaise must create a french word for the invention or at the very least decide whether or not to make the word masculine or feminine. For those of you who do not know french...each noun must either be masculine (UN chat-cat) or feminine (UNE chien-dog) ...so now the funny story...when the iPod came out, the academie francaise wanted to decide whether or not to make it masculine or feminine. After 6 MONTHS...(the french never do anything quickly)...they decided on masculine...WHY u ask?! ...BECAUSE...it is easy to turn on! HAHAHAHAHA...hopefully you got it...anyways...hopefully that gave you a chuckle for the day...

Next we went by the Louvre and admired a statue which the french have been deciding what to do with for years. Supposedly the nose fell off and the french went into panic and so they put a net over this statue and still have not decided what to do with it...

After, we explored the Jardin de Tuileries and walked toward the Axis of Paris...where the Obelisk (given as a "gift" by Egypt...many think Napoleon stole it from Egypt haha), the Arc de Triompf and this other less magnificent arc all align perfectly in a straight line through the Champs d'Elysses...if you look at it the Louvre does not line up and the French considered moving it so that it would line up...obviously that would have cost a huge amount of money and it has not been done...but the French like things to be symmetric and parallel...haha

The food in France was very good! I had one of the best hamburgers I think I have ever had and some great fondue...and of course a necessity in France, a crepe with nutella and bananas...YUM...let's just say I didn't starve :)

Most of the weekend we spent exploring...but our favorite place was Montmartre, which is where you will find the Moulin Rouge and Sacre-Coeur, which sits above the rest of Paris so you can get a great view of the city! It was a great sunset to see!

Overall, it was great to revisit Paris and fun to meet some new friends along the way...we are already trying to coordinate where we can all meet up next...

But back to Milan...this week is Women's Fashion Week and my teacher got us in to see a fashion show...so I get to go to that tom. morning, which should be a neat experience!

This Friday another dream of mine is coming true...I get to ski in the Alps!! This is one of the trips our program sponsors for us in northern Italy so I am excited to get out on the powder and go!

O and an update...I still haven't been fired after my awful radio interview...thought you would be happy to know ;) ...until next time...Arrivederci!