Where to begin? How can I begin, really? After an entire month traveling through Europe, a few sentences of reflection can hardly measure up to the adventure we’ve all been through. Our last two days in Paris were filled with the familiar wonder you’d expect based on our program thus far. While our inevitable departure loomed large over our heads, we made sure to make the most of our final days with trips to the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre respectively.
Versailles is a huge palace outside of Paris, which was once the home of the French Monarchy. The place is enormous. Dozens of long hallways, even more rooms, and more paintings and sculptures then you can count; the French kings certainly knew how to deck out their pads. “Lavish” would be a tremendous understatement.
The most impressive part of Versailles lies outside, however. Going out the back, you look out onto an absolutely gorgeous vista of ponds, hedges, and flowers that makes up the Versailles gardens. You can hardly make out the horizon from behind the farthest trees. It’s that big.
We spent the rest of our time at Versailles strolling through the garden paths and gazing at lovely scenery as far as our eyes could see.
The Louvre needs no introduction of course. Located on the Right Bank of the city, the Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world and is the home of nearly 35,000 objects. Some of its most famous acquisitions are the Nike of Samothrace, The Venus de Milo, Madonna of the Rocks, and the most well-know of all: the Mona Lisa. Seeing everything in the museum is a massive undertaking, and there just never seems to be enough time to get everything in one go. Nonetheless, we made sure to see the biggest items as a group before breaking up and exploring the museum individually.
Now, with our time in Paris at an end, we must say adieu to Europe and to one another. We will never forget the amazing experiences we have forged together, and our trip will live on as a fond memory for years to come. It has been the greatest pleasure traveling and getting to know each of these students, and I know they leave this program with a newfound maturity and respect for the world. They made all of the program leaders proud with their enthusiasm, and we will miss them all dearly. We encourage you all to please stay in touch and wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Au Revoir! -Jamie Lansdowne