Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Final Week

 Like many of my friends have already stated you do not go to France without visiting Paris. Paris was amazing needless to say, but after a while I really started to miss Toulouse. Prior to going to Paris though, we went to Normandy and visited the beach where Earl Rudder led a group of brave men to climb the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc and regain control over Normandy. It was astounding to see exactly how steep the cliffs were and the craters in the ground where heavy artillery had once been fired. On our way into Paris we stopped by Monet's garden and walked through his house to admire the scenery and some of his paintings. After Monet's garden we continued on into the city of Paris.  Now like most I have heard a lot about Paris and how amazing it is; in my opinion it is way over hyped. My first scene of Paris was on the outskirts of the city in probably not the best part of town, the streets were dirty and it was sad to see refugees and beggars all across the city asking for money. You just couldn't help but feel sorry for them. After unloading the van at the hotel a few of us went to return the van with Julien and see a little more of the city. All I can say is wow! There are definitely different parts of Paris. We wound up going down the Main Street and it was lined with all the Name Brand stores(ex. Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton(flagship store), Armani) and who could possibly forget the Ferraris and Lamborghinis' that were parked out front.  It kind of made me think you needed a lot of money to enjoy Paris. After purchasing our museum passes the tours of Paris began.  Our first visit was to the Lourve which was home to the Mona Lisa which is a nice piece of work and I know there is apparently a lost of mystery to its life but I did not find it as impressive as it is said to be. I found myself drawn more to the impression artist like Monet and Van Gogh which we got to see at the Museum de Orsay. My favorite visit in Paris was by far Versaille. The palace was very grand and fancy, but for me the most beautiful part was the garden. Thanks to Julien we met with the head gardener Joules and his right hand Nicholas and got a private tour of the grounds, including getting access to all the small gardens that were locked to the public. We started out going to the ballroom garden and took refuge in the orangerie when it started to rain cats and dogs on us. After the rain let up we finished seeing the rest of the garden and their greenhouse. We learned a few of their secrets to planting for year round blooms and the compost they use for their orange trees. Every time I think back to that week I can not help but laugh, smile, and just shake my head occasionally at the memories we created. I can not thank Julien and Cecilia enough for an amazing trip and translating so much for all of us. I also was blessed with an amazing group of people who turned into good friends to travel and see France with. Until the next time, Au Revoir.

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