On Sunday, after a very late breakfast (I had slept long into the morning, but it was good to allow my body to rest and adjust to the time zone), my host sister Madeleine took me out into the streets of Paris, just to show me around.

We walked through Montparnasse to show me where I would go the next day, and then through l’Île Saint-Louis, one of the two natural islands in the middle of the Seine, and part of the oldest part of Paris. We walked past Notre Dame but decided it was best to dedicate an entire afternoon to going inside because the line was so very long, and it was such a nice day to be outside – il faut profiter du temps! We walked also past the old building of la Sorbonne, one of the prestigious universities in Paris. There are still classes there, but now the campus has been more dispersed through the city.

We made our way then to the Luxembourg Gardens, an evidently popular place, especially since it was such a beautiful sunny day! My classes at the Catholic Institute are not far from there, so I imagine I will be spending many an afternoon reading or writing or studying there. There are a few levels to the garden, with boats floating in the fountain in the center, and statues of powerful / influential women in French history surrounding the upper level.

We also walked past the church of Saint-Germain des Prés, and I’m told that area is worth exploring as well – very quaint. I saw a mint Fiat 500, and thought of you, Julian!! Our last stop was to the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, one of France’s national theaters. Apparently there are some very good students discounts to be able to go to the theater, or to the ballet or opera, or to hear a concert – I’ll be sure to share my experience when I go!!

I have been walking over 10,000 steps regularly, and I’m quite enjoying it! Walking is the best way to see the city and to orient myself, so when I look at the metro system I am more confident in my directions because I have either been somewhere or seen it myself. Coming from me, that is really a good thing because if you know me, I’m a little directionally challenged 🙂 But so far I’ve been doing well! I really appreciated being able to go out into the city that Sunday to get a feel for it and how it works. And this excursion proved useful this past week when I was going to class or to meet with my group or my friends! Stay tuned to hear about what I did!

xx R.

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