A week ago, I was in Paris. It is an amazing city with so many beautiful things to see and delicious foods to eat. I think it is the best place that I have been in Europe. We got there Thursday night, checked into our hostel, and went to bed.
Friday, we woke up at about 7:20 to go to the Louvre. We got to see many of the paintings we talked about in my Intensive Spanish Writing class. We also got to take pictures with the famous pyramids and with the Mona Lisa. After a few hours at the Louvre, we went on a walk to see the Arc de Triomphe. Then, we went to the Eiffel Tower and stood in line so that we could go up to the top. One of the elevators was broken, so the line took twice as long as usual. Also, it started to pour rain while we were waiting. When we had gotten to the top of the tower, the rain had stopped and we could see a rainbow. At the end of the rainbow was the Dome des Invalides, which is golden. We all decided that it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. After the Eiffel Tower, we went to get something to eat. We waited until it was dark, and then we went back to the tower to see it all lit up. We made it just in time to see the light show which made it look like it was sparkling. It was absolutely beautiful. After the light show, we were all ready to go back to the hostel and get some sleep, so we got on the metro and headed back.
The next day, we woke up early again so that we could go see Notre Dame. When I first got to the cathedral, wasn't very impressed. It looked like many other cathedrals that I had seen, and I was expecting a lot more because it is so famous. When I went inside, however, I liked it a lot more. The stain glass windows are beautiful. I thought of the 1996 Disney movie as I walked through the church. I remember when the movie first came out. I was five years old. I never thought that I would actually get a chance to see the cathedral and walk through it. I felt very lucky to have that opportunity. We went up into the bell tower to see the view of Paris and all of the gargoyles up close. When we came down from the tower, there was a group of gypsies dancing around and holding signs. It actually felt like I was in the festival from the Disney movie. It was a really cool experience. After the cathedral, we ate crepes and then walked around the neighborhood for a little bit. It was my favorite part of Paris because of the river and all of the little market shops. We left that area a little later and headed to Montmartre. We saw another beautiful cathedral, Sacre Coeur, and sat on the steps to get another amazing view of the city. Next, we walked around a little and then went to the Moulin Rouge. I wasn't very impressed with the place. I was expecting it to be a lot like the 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge, but it didn't look at old or grand. After the Moulin Rouge, we were all very tired and decided to go back to the hostel to rest up for the last day in Paris.
Sunday, our last day in Paris, we woke up, got breakfast, and went to a place where we had heard there was a market. We found a small market, but it wasn't anything to boast about. After we left that area, we went to the Bastille. Next to the Bastille, there was a restaurant called Indiana. Lauren Swanson, Danni, and I all got our picture taken next to it. We also found a huge market with lots of crafts and foods close by. We walked around for a little and then decided to get lunch. I got chicken and a smoothie. They were pretty good. We left for the airport early because it was pretty windy and we had already done most of the things we wanted to see. We got to the airport early and waited for our flight to head home. It was a really great weekend, but I still technically had two days off from school.
April 23 is the day of love in Barcelona, Dia de Sant Jordi. Traditionally, men give women roses and women give men books. The streets are full of little shops which are set up to sell the traditional Sant Jordi gifts (roses and books). Everyone is out walking around and enjoying the day. The color red is everywhere: balloons, flowers, clothing... everything is red. I spent the day walking around with Sam, Danni, Alejandra, Blair, and Lauren Swanson. I had a lot of fun. Then, for dinner, my family and I went to a tapas restaurant. All three of the children had won prizes for their poetry that the submitted at school that day. The entire family was very excited and proud. After dinner, I came home and went to sleep. I was exhausted.
Tuesday, I woke up and spent some time studying. Then, I went grocery shopping. I spent most of the rest of the day relaxing and recovering from four straight days of excitement.
Wednesday, I had my first classes in five days. I am still trying to find a way to get along with my Realism and Naturalism professor who shows little to no respect for me. I am trying to do my best in her class, but I am worried that I will not get the grade that I want. I am having to teach myself to not expect perfection from myself, which is a good but difficult lesson for me to learn.
Thursday, I went to a Catalan class in the afternoon. Then, I went to talk to the program director, Alberto, about the class I am nervous about. After that, I went home and read for a little bit. Lastly, I went to my Don Quijote class.
Today, Friday, I have no real plans. I am going to watch a movie and then I am going to work on my project that is due this week. It's really hard to believe that I have just a little over five weeks left here, but it's even harder to believe that I've already been here for fifteen weeks. After being here for so long, these next five weeks are just going to fly by. Many people from other programs have already left. I know that leaving here will be very difficult for me, so I'm trying not to think about it. These past few weeks have been the best yet, and I know that I am going to enjoy the last month very much. I need to focus on enjoying my time and not on the fact that I will have to leave very soon. London is next weekend. Can't wait.
Anyways, have a great week, everyone!