Friday, May 22, 2009

Final Post in France







Hello Hello. I leave for Philadelphia in 2 days. This will be my last Parisian Post. 

Things have been wonderful here. My friend from high school, Alyson, is backpacking Europe with some friends...and they stopped in Paris and stayed with me. It was great to see her and I got to do some touristy things all over again...in really beautiful weather. It is gorgeous here and I do not want to leave! 

One of my roommates and I finally went up the Tour Eiffel and got a look at the city...beautiful as always. A few days before all of my roommates and I went to the Tour Montparnasse, which is 59 stories tall (with the fastest elevator in Europe) and we saw a great view of the city as well. The theme of the last week seems to be "great views" as some of my roommates climbed 400 stairs to the top of Notre Dame, and we have been spending quite a bit of time at Place de la Concorde, Tuileries, and other beautiful areas. 

Spending the rest of today at the Louvre and then making dinner with the roommates. Peace and love. United States in 2. Where has 4 months gone???

Monday, May 18, 2009

my last week






This last week is full of interesting things...as my friends and I are trying to jam pack anything we had not yet checked off our "to-do" list into 7 days. The weekend started with saying goodbyes to friends who are already home in les Etas Unis...quite sad. My roommates and I had dinner at a cafe we enjoy and then chocolate/fruit fondue at Paradis de Fruit with our friend Will. My roommate Liz and I went to Palais Garnier and saw a ballet, which was great....such a beautiful building. Before the first group of people started to depart we went out one last time to a nightclub called Madam....and now my week of museum-going alone begins. Most of my friends are on the Sorbonne program (which runs until the 30th) so I am the only one without class all week. Lucky me :) 


Thursday, May 14, 2009

La Fin




Today was my last day of classes and finals for my junior year. Weird........

CEA is over, but I am still in Paris for another 10ish days. It was a great semester, and I am happy to have a little time left here. Tuesday night our program took us to the Mosquee de Paris and we had a big Moroccan meal of cous cous and meat.....so delish. Afterwards I went out with a bunch of friends to St Germain de Pres and we went to this little bar called Chez George. They broke into all this Jewish music and it was hilarious....we were literally singing havah nagilah (SPELL CHECK!?) in a bar.....what has my life become??????? But yes, it was good fun. After we went to another cute place that has mojitos with fresh strawberries in them (yummy) and then called it a night. 2 guys I went to high school with, Todd and Zach, who were studying abroad and London but are not backpacking crashed on my couch....and it was fun to see them. Also....and this is pretty cool....my roommate Liz and I went and saw Angels and Demons at Bercy Village Movie Theatre last night (2 days before the US opening...hah hah) and it was 3euro movie week! Who knew! Such a great treat...

Please watch this video just to see what happens to my friend Jessie Sandler in the last 2 seconds. Thank you and good night. 
video

Monday, May 11, 2009

Praha






This past weekend I went to Prague with my roommate Liz. This trip goes in my list of top 3 favorites....and I would love to go back to Prague one day...SUCH a great city. We got in late on Thursday night, and I was apprehensive about staying in a hostel after the night-so-wonderful experience in Roma. However, we were pleasantly surprised. For anyone reading this who is studying in Europe in the future...go to Prague and stay at Hostel One! It was GREAT! It was the epitome of a backpackers environment....everyone was from all over the world...they were all friendly, they were all looking to make friends and go out and party....and the place was run by a really fun, young staff. Our room was basically like a hotel suite....and it made the stay so much nicer. 

We got up early on Friday and headed over to Bohemia Bagel for breakfast. This is a place frequented by Americans...as it was founded by an ex-pat and offers up some great bagels and other breakfast faves. It was so nice to even have a bagel....I forgot what hey had tasted like! After Bohemia Bagel we explored the Old Town Square, and went to the tower above the famous Astronomical Clock and got a great view of the city. After this we walked (the city is tiny so we walked absolutely everywhere) to the National Gallery, and saw some really beautiful Czech art (a lot of religious work and iconography) . Thennnnnn we went to Josefov (old jewish ghetto) and took a tour of all the synagogues, saw a ceremonial hall, and went to the cemetery where for many years Czech Jews were forced to bury their dead. It was amazing at how much history is in Prague....everything was dating back 1,000 years-it was, as I have had several this semester, another reminder at how young the United States is. 

On Saturday we walked along the Charles Bridge and (after eating at Bohemia Bagel yet again) went to the Old Palace and hung out in the palace area. It was really beautiful and we saw some cathedrals and other interesting buildings and museums. After our day spent in the palace we decided to try some traditional Czech food. Umm....how shall I put this.......it...was....heavy. I had sirloin in "czech sauce" with bread dumplings (they weighed 50 lbs each) and cranberry sauce. It was sort of like Thanksiving dinner...Czech style....on steroids. That is the only way I can explain it. We also each had a "pint" of beer....which was clearly larger than a pint. I don't think I need to try Czezh cuisine again any time soon...but I am glad I experienced it! After we took a nice walk, saw the John Lennon Peace-Wall, and then went back to our hostel to get ready for the evening...

Later Saturday we met up with two of Liz's tri delta sisters from Pitt who are studying abroad in Prague (it was nice to see Pitt people!) and they took us out for the night. It was really fun...and the nightlife is crazy! We went to a five-story club by Charles Bridge and danced until 5AM...and then got back to our lovely hostel and spent another hour hanging out with fellow travelers. Woke up only a few hours later to check out of the hostel...feeling tired and ready to head back to Paris....and then spent Sunday morning/afternoon with 2 of our hostel friends in Wenceslas Square drinking coffee and hanging out-we didn't have any energy to do much else! 

It was a great weekend, and as usual-I am very happy to be back in Paris. I'm getting a little nostalgic thinking that I have to leave here in 2 weeks....but it is truly bittersweet. I will miss everything about this place, and I am so grateful to have had this experience. For any friends of my parents (or other adults) reading this who have kids in college....if theyre not interested, MAKE them interested in studying abroad. All my friends who have done this agree....its unexplainable and life changing in the best way possible. 

2 weeks left...and planning to soak it up. You can catch me in Philadelphia May 24th, or in Pittsburgh in June. Peace and Love until next time. 


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Les Invalides




Today my roommate Liz and I went (finally) to Les Invalides, which is the French Army Museum. It is a beautiful building with a gold-detailed dome, and is within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. The museum is much bigger, and nicer, than I had expected. We walked through the WWI/WWII section....interesting to see a lot on what happened in France from a French perspective. Afterwards we walked into the church thats on the grounds there and checked out Napoleon's tomb....which was cool (in a morbid sort of way...)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1



It is the first day of May, so, Happy May! Weird...I don't really know where these past months have gone. All of my roommates in Paris agree-it feels like years ago we were packing our things to leave for France....yet at the same time this has flown and we can't believe its already the end. 

I leave to come home to Philadelphia May 24th, and go to Pittsburgh for summer classes (and a job...hopefully...) June 4th. I have finals in 2 weeks! 

Anyways, not much to report today....just wanted to remark on how near the end I am--its very odd. Last night my friends and I went to this discotheque/restaurant we really like called Le Cabaret. The weather is finally getting nice again (it was depressing for awhile) and there are still things left to be seen and done!