These first two days of our trip to Paris have been fantastic. Everyone in the group is giddy because of how excited and grateful we are to be here, and a lot of that has to do with the all of the cool activities included on our itinerary for this week.
After arriving at the hotel Sunday afternoon, we quickly settled in and set off for the Quartier Latin (the neighborhood where the Notre Dame is), where half the group got crepes for dinner and the other half had falafel sandwiches. Already, we knew what we were in for in terms of quality food this week. Afterwards, we strolled for about an hour in the area, and watched street dancers and walked through shops, etc.
Around 9:30, at dusk, we started our boat tour on the River Seine. The tour guide explained all of the major bridges and landmarks that could be seen from the river, as well as an explained the history of some of the neighborhoods. It was a great start to this week, because it gave us some much needed information for exploring, site-seeing, etc.
To top off our beautiful boat tour, we stopped for gelato at Dr. Birchfield’s favorite spot. The flavor choices were endless, but I decided on raspberry, lime-basil, and chocolate hazelnut. It was SO good, and I’m already looking forward to going back (maybe or maybe not every night this week).
Monday started with a lecture by Professor Cottle of Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture on the architecture of Paris’ arcades. He explained to us the history of the architecture and how the arcades have both evolved and maintained their original styles, and then took us on a walking tour of Paris’ arcades on the Right Bank. It was super informative, and a great way to explore an area that we otherwise may not have discovered!
And like any typical tourists in Paris, we finished our first full day first with the climbing of l’Arc de Triomphe for a beautiful view of the city, and next with a picnic at the Eiffel Tower. We spent time discussing some of our favorite experiences so far this summer, and gushing over how lucky we are to be here in Paris!