We have arrived in the city of lights: Paris! After spending around two weeks in Italy, I had to change from saying Grazie (thank you in Italian) to Merci. After saying Gratis to numerous Parisians on the first day, I have finally adjusted.
On our first full day, we visited Saint Chapelle, where there are some of the most impressive stain glass windows I have seen. There are sixteen of them, each telling a story either from the Old Testament, the New Testament, or French history. We also climbed two different structures to view this magnificent city: Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe. The views from both are spectacular, as one can gaze at Paris’ wide boulevards and sprawling city. To add to these views, both Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe are grand architectural achievements. Notre Dame flaunts its airy and bright Gothic architecture while The Arc towers over you in all its glory, just as Napoleon intended after his glorious victories.
My favorite part of Paris so far was our visit to the Musee d’Orsay. The d’Orsay houses some of the most famous pieces of the Impressionist movements during the later half of the 19th century and into the 20th. This Impressionist movement was a response to French Realism and the strict artistic rules that dominated previously. Artists that led this movement included Manet, Renoir, and Monet. Specific pieces that appealed to me were some of Monet’s water lilies and Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette as it displays Renoir’s mastery of portraiture and capturing that single moment. There were also some superb post-impressionistic pieces from people such as Van Gogh. In conclusion, the Musee d’Orsay was quite the experience, as we explored all the gallery had to offer. Au revoir!