Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Days 5- Paris- The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Seine River Boat Cruise!

The crew left Brussels early Monday morning for a two night stay in Paris.  We had a busy agenda set for these two days. 

                    On Monday we hit up the following areas:
  • the Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa amongst other work of arts 
  • the Paris contemporary Art district 
  • the Eiffel Tower
  • night Boat Cruise on the Seine River 
                  On Tuesday we did the following:
  • Paris bus tour 
  • Paris Frangrance/Perfume Museum 
  • Montparnasse Tower Top of Paris tour (tallest skyscraper in Paris)
  • Notre Dame Cathedral 

For starters we did 9.3 miles of walking on Monday. I know this because at least 5 students have Fit Bits. To be exact we did 23,631 steps and 60 floors. 

There is no question that you get a workout each day on this trip. 

Some scenes from Monday:

Mr. Ghiloni leading the group through the enormous Louvre Museum. Here we were all on our way to see the Mona Lisa. 

                             The sheer size and amount of art work inside the Louvre is striking. If you put your shoulder to the wall and walked the entire museum you would cover over 5 miles.  Below is a quick time lapse video Mr. Ghiloni did leading to the Mona Lisa room.


The Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture. 

This modern glass triangle piece was added to the Louvre in 1989 due to the amount of visitors swelling to over 10 million a year (currently the Louvre sees over 14 million visitors a year. Children 18 and younger are free) 

The girls were photobombed here by one of those 14 million visitors.

           The Mona Lisa. Much much smaller then anticipated but impressive. The line around this painting is crazy with the amount of people taking pictures and selfies. It is nearly impossible to get to the roped off area which is about 10 feet from the painting. 

                                   Some of the art and structures outside the Louvre museum. 

                              On our way to lunch we also walked through the contemporary art district. This building is inside out. The air ventilation and all plumbing are on the outside to make additional room for all the art inside. The kids were blown away by this. This exhibit opens late in the year.  

                                   Some more contemporary art in a square outside the National Museum of Modern Art. 

         After our trip to the art museums we had another great dinner. We went to a famous "pizza" place called Flam's in Paris. Flam's is famous for their version of pizza called "flammekueches". These were a type of thin slice pizza with no red sauce but plenty of flavor with amazing ingredients. We all had all you can eat bacon, mushroom, and hamburg flames. For dessert they make apple cinnamon and dark chocolate flames. Pretty amazing stuff. 

Kaitlyn Kennedy enjoying her chocolate pizza flam. 

 After dinner we took on the Paris underground Metro subway system. I will say that I was highly impressed with Mrs. McCann's planning and the work of the chaperones and students. It is no easy feat to get 47 people through this transit system during rush hour and exchanging lines several times. This system makes the "T" in Boston look like getting on a school bus. There is also the threat of pick pockets as is the case in most European tourist countries. However, our group came out unscathed and learned some valuable lessons about following directions, understanding your surroundings, and working as a team to get through.

We were all smiles by the end of it!

After getting off the Metro we were immediately met with one of the most impressive sights I have honestly ever see. We were told to expect something special but none of us planned for getting off a stuffed subway system and turning the corner and seeing this:

                 The Eiffel Tower at night is something special. The students actually took a second to marvel at it before snapping a hundred pictures and selfies. 

                              Here's a short video of some of the kids and their excitement at the Eiffel Tower before our Paris boat cruise on the Seine River: 

            The boat cruise itself was awesome. A modern and comfortable boat for people to relax and enjoy the river and the sights to see along it. The students had a blast and either sat in the comfortable glassed in areas or stood on the deck to see some amazing sights and take some impressive pictures. 

                                         Here some shots of the kids on the Boat Cruise

               On to Paris day 2 tomorrow. Thanks for taking the time to check out our trip and pics. 


Here is Ashley Valentine's take on our first day in Paris: 

      We started off the day by loading the big pink bus early. While driving to Paris, we watched Notting Hill and Mama Mia and all of us were so ready to sing along but we had to hold it in. We stopped at a gas station, someone accidentally got a salmon sandwich, and almost everyone bought sour cream and onion Pringles. Before we dropped off our bags at our luxurious hotel in Paris, we all dramatically said a sad goodbye to Thomas and the pink bus. After we all took care of business in our fancy new hotel, we got our first metro tickets. Derek explained that in Paris we needed a new ticket for every route, while in London you only need one for the entire day. So, on a mission, we all speed walked straight to the station. The front was a bit sketchy but we were very brave, I promise. Derek was very on top of things and made sure to tell us every thing we needed, even what we should do if we missed the train. After navigating through the tunnels with my chaperones group (RAVMAAA ROLL OUT), we zipped straight to the Louvre. 

I was so extremely excited that I would get to see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. It took my mini group about thirty minutes to find the Aphrodite statue, and three maps. After that, we were obviously parched. We went to the food court and tried to order something but it was terribly awkward because we had no clue how to order in French. Thankfully they had machines in English nearby where we could order and pay, but it took us around fifteen minutes to find. Then we searched three floors to find a bathroom and had to pay €1 for our natural needs. 

Then we went out to dinner. We had all you can eat flammekueches. They tasted like a cracker, but soft like pizza and had a ton of super yummy toppings. Then for dessert we had chocolate and cinnamon apple flammekeuches. 

We took the metro to get to our cruise again, and everyone gasped when they saw the Eiffel Tower. Most of us almost screamed when it started twinkling. I'm 100% certain that everyone took at least twenty pictures of the Eiffel Tower each. We loaded the boat for our cruise and it lasted about forty five minutes. I absolutely loved hearing about the different bridges and museums and getting to see them all from a different angle. 

We all were very excited but tired when we boarded the metro again, making sleepy weird jokes. Currently, everyone is using the wifi in the lobby, and that probably won't change in a while.

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