Week Ten: Spring Break (Part III)

This is my final post about spring break! Thank you to everyone who has dealt with the fact that I’ve had to break this up into three parts and who have read my posts in general. I’m surprised I even have an audience (even if most of it is my family members). I like to write for myself, but it makes it that much more fun and interesting when I know there are other people who like and want to hear what I have to say. Sometimes when I re-read my posts, I cringe a little because I feel like I sound like a fourth grader trying to sound more profound than they actually are, and I’ll probably always feel like that, but I’m glad at least one person likes it. I promise I’ll continue trying to do my best to illustrate my experiences to keep y’all entertained. 🙂
On our third day in Paris, we visited a handful of sights. We started our morning off at Musée du Louvre. Obviously we wanted to get there early before the crowd arrived. After only a 30 minute wait, we finally entered and we split ways because I personally enjoy walking through museums at my own pace. I have to be honest…this museum is so large that I’m not even entirely sure what sections I visited. I kind of just went left and kept going until I couldn’t go anymore. We didn’t plan to be at the museum for a long time so I eventually made my way toward the “Mona Lisa.” I finally got there and I was still disappointed by the overall presentation of the Mona Lisa. It’s just so small! It doesn’t help that it’s directly adjacent to the wall-sized painting of “The Last Supper.” It was interesting to look at it in a way I didn’t six years ago understanding how big of a deal this painting must have been and how vibrant and colorful it must have used to look. It’s honestly incredible to think about how long it’s been around and the measures that have to be taken in order to preserve what we observe today. I wish it wasn’t always so ridiculously crowded so I could actually observe it, but maybe one day when I’m rich and famous and can request a private viewing like Beyoncé or somebody. After that, I got super lost and with no wifi and nobody that spoke English, I went into full panic mode. After running between the arc and the pyramids outside four or five times, a security guard finally helped me out and I found my way back, sat outside the Apple Store to use their wifi, and ate the mini baguette I had in my purse until my friends found me.
We headed back outside into the cold for more pictures and then went to the Louvre Gardens. I think the Gardens would have been prettier if it weren’t so dark and gray outside. Also, being at eye level, it was impossible to get a view that didn’t look like you were taking a picture of your front yard. Not to mention, the fountains were turned off. The only upside was that there was a dog trainer outside with what seemed like 15 dogs (probably closer to 12). All of the dogs were off leashes so we thought, why not go try and pet them? Let me tell you…it was the most exciting 35 minutes of my life. So much puppy love, I thought I was in heaven. I never wanted to leave, but then I remembered how hungry I was. On our way to lunch, we were able to stop by Pont des Arts bridge, also known as the “love lock bridge” where all the locks are. It was boarded up on the inside (but not the outside for some reason) so you were able to see it upon walking toward the bridge, but not when you’re actually walking across it. There were some open spots which is where we took pictures. 🙂
We had crepes for lunch at a place called Breizh Café. While everyone else opted for savory crepes, I went for the sweet one and it was magical. I also got to order ice cream so I was completely satisfied. The crepes are also surprisingly filling. When I first got it, I was already ready to order a second one, but I barely finished the first one. Highly recommend for anyone visiting Paris-it’s halfway between the Louvre and the Notre Dame. Speaking of, this was our next stop. The Notre Dame, no matter how many pictures and snaps I’ve seen of it, is ridiculous. Ridiculous in a good way. The amount of detail on the outside is impossible to overlook. It’s almost unbelievable that this could have been achieved in only 200 years, but we all know how that was possible anyway. We got to go in and look around and even though I thought it was pretty in the way that most churches and cathedrals are, especially with the gorgeous stained glass, I didn’t find anything that really screamed, “I’m in the Notre Dame!” Still, like the Eiffel Tower, at least I was actually there. I had to cut my visit short though because I went to meet up with my former roommate, Cynthia. We grabbed the “best croissants in all of Paris” and some McDonald’s fries and then headed to a cat cafe. The cats in the cafe didn’t want to love us which may be because I played with dogs earlier, but it was still wonderful to catch up with her. After this, I went back to the hostel and called it a night.
The final day in Paris was a short one, but we concluded our visit with a stop by Musée D’Orsay. This was probably my favorite museum because of the amazing impressionism section. It was flooding with Claude Monet, as one would expect. I also enjoyed looking at the works of Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro. The post-impressionism section was okay-the only thing that really brought it to life was Van Gogh’s works. It was really funny listening to these middle school girls on the hunt for “The Starry Night” painting, but joke’s on them because that’s in Amsterdam. I also think the fact that the Louvre was so big made D’Orsay so much easier to navigate and overall more enjoyable. After our museum tour, we grabbed some souvenirs and lunch and headed back to London. When I touched down in London, I met back up with Brad to grab dinner and then I passed out for the night.
I concluded my break by spending time with Brad and Cynthia who had come into town for the weekend with her study abroad program friends. I think it’s incredible that I’ve gone to L.A., Paris and London with my roommate. How crazy is that? Having both Brad and Cynthia in town was a great way to end my break despite how exhausted I was. Even though I am on a trip with USC students, it felt like they brought USC to me (in a good way). One thing I did in London that I hadn’t done before was visit the “Forensics: Anatomy of Crime” exhibit at the wellcome collection in Euston. It was mindblowing seeing everything that I view on television come to life in front of me. Crime shows are my absolute favorite so I already felt like an expert in the crime scene and morgue rooms. Though I wish they actually had dead bodies on display or more graphic content altogether, I thought it was very neat and explained a lot of facets of the process. I also loved the historical component of each section from when things began, old practices, and what we do now. My favorite parts were the morgue room, the display of a brain where a bullet had gone through it, and the section dedicated to Arsenic and its history before it was recognized as a poison and a murder weapon. Weird, right? It’s free so again, highly recommend, even if you’re squeamish. Overall, I think my spring break was an unforgettable one. My last couple of spring breaks in college have been spent in Los Angeles wasting time away as everyone goes home or to Cabo, but this one takes the cake. #springbreakforever

Disclaimer: Some of the photographs of the paintings may be crooked because the frames wouldn’t center for some reason. If this is aesthetically displeasing to you, ignore the last section of my pictures.

Musée du Louvre
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Pont des Arts Bridge
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Notre Dame
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Musée D’Orsay
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