Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Together in Paris!

All the participants in the Paris Summer Institute have arrived safe and sound!

After a day of rest and adjustment, we had our first full day of activity. We began with a meeting at the Cite Universitaire and then took the Metro to the Luxembourg Gardens for a walking tour of the Latin Quarter.

Maria de Medici's fabulous 17th century gardens provided a great place for everyone to feel like they were truly in Paris. We even had some fun with a modern art display and the students saw the French Gendarme in action. From there, we walked to St. Sulpice, the second largest church in Paris, past the Sorbonne, and to the Pantheon. The Pantheon's perfect dome and incredible columns were very impressive. We proceeded to Place Contrescarpe, made famous by Ernest Hemingway and his furious cafe writing exercises, and took a break for food and drink to refuel before the rest of the walk.

Next up was the Arab Institute (we'll be returning for a full visit inside the Institute later on), the River Seine, and Notre Dame de Paris. We approached Notre Dame from the river walk and found lots of great photo opportunities. We spent some time in the square in front of Notre Dame and all agreed that Edgar summed it up best--"Magnificent." We made a quick stop at Shakespeare and Company, the famous American bookstore, and then headed to St. Michel and the amazing restaurant section of the Quarter around St. Severin.

Tomorrow, we head to Quai Branly!

A great first full day!

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