Thursday, November 13, 2008

It has been a while


So I have quite a bit to catch up on.

Last week was incredible!

Monday: I went to Sacrè Cour which is a really big church and the artist district of Paris. Everyone is trying to draw your potrait for you, or men come up to you and put bracelets around your arm and try to make you pay for them. hahhaha. I loved the area! It was beautiful and very...French. That night my friends and I went to this really great restaurant and I had this amazing Ravioli! We then went to the Grand Opera for the Paris Ballet. It was beautiful! Unfortunately we had the very worst seats in the house, but while leaning out of my box I could see most of it. Aah, I once again had an ache to be a ballerina. Too bad I was born to play basketball and tennis :)

Tuesday: Everyone was really antzy about the election. My goodness, it is a bigger deal here then it is in the U.S. Everyone you meet here who finds out that you are American wants to ask who you voted for and then before you can reply they go onto say how crazy George Bush is and how he wants to take over the world or something. hahah. There were loads of parties going on all night long at brasseries all over town. We went to two of my favorite museums so far! First the Museè D'Orsay. It had a lot of impressionistic painters like Monet. I love Monets! Actually the city where I live out in the suburbs is where a bunch of impressionistic painters used to come and paint the Seine. Aaah, sometimes I feel guilty when I wake up and realize this is my life. Then we went to the Rodin museum where I saw some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen. I love sculpture and that was pretty much all that this museum was. I am excited to visit the MOA when I get home (although it wont really compare to what I have been seeing the last few months), but I LOVE learning about the history surrounding art. It makes it so much more meaningful and incredibly exciting to learn about! Here I have just discovered a whole new love for learning. I am finally understanding where I come from and what societal forces have shaped me from their ancient origin.

Wednesday: We left for Normandy in the morning. It was rainy and cold when we arrived, and we made the walk down to a cathedral that was inbetween the Gothic and Romantic Era. I just keep thinking about different religious buildings now and how completely different Mormon buildings are in comparison. I also find it interesting that Cathedrals here are completely empty except for tourists. That night we also went to this incredible museum that had exhibitions about world war two, and 9/11. It was a poignant experience to be in the place where such devastating things had happened. All of a sudden the war seemed so real. Now that I see the architecture all around me, and then see pictures of cities that were destroyed, I can imagine how frightening the war must of been. The exhibit about 9/11 really hit home as well. I realized that no matter what nationality we are, no one wants terrorism and we all have to fight the irrationality of it.

Thursday: We got up and boarded our own little bus to take us out to the beaches of Normandy. By the time we got there the rain had cleared and the sun way shining down in thick rays across the beach. It felt sort of surreal as we walked along the cliffs that had been bombed. Everything was green and gorgeous, but there were still huge craters everywhere from the bombs of the Allied forces trying to get rid of the German occupation. There were vestigas of all the old German Forts. It was very quiet and peaceful and it was strange to imagine bombs exploding, thousands of men dying, and how these serene beaches could have rung with the cries of dieing men. It was very sobering, and I felt such a fierce feeling of patriotism. I have never been so proud to be an American. I also realized how much of our heritage is linked to Europeans. They are where our ancestry comes from. They really are our brothers and sisters. After that we went to the American cemetery. It was a beautiful graveyard on the cliffs above the ocean. Miles of white crosses lined the ground. I felt such a graitute toward these men and woman who had given their lives to help liberate the French. Wow, it was just incredible. The cemetery is owned and maintained by the American government and this was obvious when there were drinking fountains outside the bathroom...I have not seen that since I left the airport in the U.S. This trip to Normandy was really...I dont want to say life changing because that sound cliché, but in all reality is was. I dont was just incredible.

This last Monday:
After religion class my friends and I went to our professors apt and we watched a movie with Audrey Hepburn in it. The movie is filmed in Paris, and it was so exciting to be able to identify where they were and what they were talking about in the movie! Aaah, I keep having that experience. I read books, I see movies and I now realize how much French is everywhere! I feel like my world knowledge has been so expanded on this trip. All I have left to discover is China, Africa (we will just keep that in one block hahahha), Morraco, Japan, Bresil, Chile etc... :) Oh and Australia!

Wednesday: My friends and I went to a famous cafe called "Angelinas" They have incredible hot chocolate! It is pretty much like drinking a melted European chocolate bar. They also bring out a large glass of pure cream, that you mix in. However, I opted out of the hot chocolate for Macaroons. These are much different from American macaroons. They are a little cake pastry with this wonderfully succulent filling inside. Mmhh! It was fabulous!

Thursday: I went to the Picasso museum this morning with my class. I think Picasso's work is hideous, but it was very interesting to understand the background behind it.

Next week I am going to Dijon, which is where Dijon Mustard comes from. Supposably it is incredible and they even have mustard flavored icecream there! I am also going to Strausbourg. Once I am in Strausbourg I am going to stay a couple extra days and go across the border to Germany and perhaps down to Switzerland. Then that next Tuesday is my last in Paris. I will then pick up my bags again and head down to Rome and Athens.

Well I hope all is going well! I love you all and hope you have a great week!



Chelsea said...

Once again Julie, I am so incredibly jealous of you. I'm glad you are learning life lessons as well as seeing amazing things. That way your trip with stay with you forever. Haha, I sound so cheesy. Oh well. PS - your descriptive writing is beautiful.

Jennif said...

Picasso hideous? What about the blue period? ah! Good to read this Julie, I don't even remember how I happened upon your blog. But it was quite enjoyable. :)

Taisa T said...

Ju, I am so envious of you! I can't even imagine what it would be like to say "next week I pack my bags and head to Rome." It sounds like you are having a terrific time! Just don't forget me while you are over there! Love and miss you tons!
Love, Taisa