Hello to all! This will be a quick post just to let you know that everything went very well in Paris and that we are nearly ready for our return. I'm leaving the details of the Paris trip up to the stagiaires, but I'll at least give you an idea of what we've seen.
Before arriving on Saturday, we made a quick stop in Chartres to have lunch and visit the cathedral, and then headed to Versailles, an enormous and extravagant castle built by Louis XIV. The stagiaires were given plenty of time to tour the castle in their small groups before we made our way into Paris. After dropping off our things and eating dinner at the youth hostel, we took the metro together to the center of Paris. The city is split in half by the Seine river, and we arranged for a boat tour. The weather was perfect, and the city is absolutely beautiful at night, so it worked out well as a first glimpse of the big monuments of Paris.
Yesterday was our first big day in Paris. We started with the Orsay Museum, which houses some of the most famous paintings of the Impressionist period as well as those leading up to it. Afterwards, the students were given free time in their small groups to see the monuments of their choice. Several went to the Sacré Coeur, the Centre Pompidou, the Bastille, the Tuileries Garden, the Arc de Triomphe, as well as some famous shopping districts. In the evening, we went to the Montparnasse Tower for a panoramic view of the city. What a view!
Today, we started off with the Louvre museum. It is of course impossible to see it all in just a couple hours, so we advised students to figure out which parts they wanted to see the most before they needed to leave for their second block of free time. Many groups opted to take the day a little easier, spending more time in the parks and gardens than hurrying from one monument to another. In the evening, we met at the Trocadero Plaza in order to get one last group photo, this time in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Tomorrow (or rather later this morning), we leave the hostel at 5:45 in order to get to the airport plenty early. And then it's done! This has been an incredibly enjoyable experience, especially since we had such a great group of students to work with. The progress they've made in this short time is incredible. I can't wait to hear all about what they do with the experience afterwards. I hope you found this blog helpful for keeping up with your student. Now it's their turn to tell you their stories and share their pictures. Thanks for reading along. We'll see you shortly!