Sunday, August 7, 2011
We walked by many pianos that were chained to the ground, but were free to play. Amy and Caleb played a nice little song; I really liked the idea of having free pianos just chilling around the city. I thought it made the city so much more unique.
The city impressed me with its beautiful lake, parks, and freezing cold water fountains found all over the city. I also saw the coolest clock ever. The bells rang and there was a parade of characters that moved in front of the clock for about 5 minutes.
The last thing that really amazed me was the Jet D'eau. Professor Hudson had a handful of interesting facts to share about this sight. I enjoyed the facts he shared and looking at the Jet D'eau. This is just a short list of the really awesome sights to see in Genève.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
The Eiffel Tower is a symbol of Paris for me and Paris will always be in my heart. I know that sounds really cheesey or cliche, but that's the only way I can describe how I feel about Paris.
Friday, July 1, 2011
geneva “land of the milk and honey”
I remember the first day I stepped foot on genevois soil almost four years ago! a completely new undiscovered culture and land laid before me! I had no clue what to expect! on one hand I felt very lucky to know we were finishing the program in geneva. frankly it was one of the primary reasons I came out. already having the hang of things around the city and having some great friends out there was very motivating! on the other hand though i wish I could have found myself in the shoes of my fellow classmates as they chartered on a new extraordinary piece of terre. I overheard a few say that it had become their new favorite city in the world! of course things had changed and I actually felt silly when id make a mistake attempting to guide us through the city! so needless to say I also felt new to the city! in fact, very new! I had never experienced the city life past 9h30 pm! and as “cheese”y as it may sound I found that when the sun sets on geneva lake it is almost a fantasy! we completed the walk in combining a few separate walks! and I was able for the first time visit les jardins botaniques and also got to climb saint pierre which was magnificent view over the city! however my nothing could compare to a nice job down the lac leman, a nice cool dip in the lake, only to cap it all with a “light show” at the jet d’eauI!!! thank you all for making my trip complete!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Île de la Cité from the Pont des Arts
Well, here I am, listening to the river. I'm on the Pont des Arts because, whether or not it's cliche, it's my favorite bridge in Paris. (Then again, loving Paris itself can be a cliche, can't it? So it's alright.)
It's definitely the most welcoming bridge in this old town of mine.
I like that no matter when you come here, someone will be playing the guitar and someone else will be drinking wine in glasses with their friends, and Japanese tourists will be waving up at you from below as they spend their first day in Paris on an "informative boat ride."
I like the ugly padlocks that cover the grilles, fiercely affirming that Claire and Jerome will equal <3 4 ever, because it is clamped publicly,
just within view of the Eiffel Tower (if the Eiffel Tower stands on its tip-toes).
I like that I can see the Seine just as it decides to fork, making way for the Île de la Cité, and giving a peak of Notre Dame at Paris' heart.
I like the memories I have on this bridge, like Wednesday night drinks and smokes (them, not me) with nice but insistent french men, or the guy who knelt in front of me, politely said "vous êtes magnifique,"and then went on his merry French way without a backward glance.
But what is the river telling me, you ask? Well, that's between me and the river. But I'll tell you some of what I hear:
The river is telling me that I can run away to Paris but not from myself, and when it's time to leave it will be possible (it must be) to find beauty and healing and myself elsewhere. In Adam Gopnik's delightful Paris to the Moon (I highly recommend, even if you know/ care nothing about France), his wife Martha says as it's time to go home,
And I'll never be able to repay the river for that.
Metros definitely aren't the most glamorous things in the city. Although the above picture isn't the most crowded metro in the world, I definitely experienced my fair share of jam packed metros. Some days we were crammed like sardines into those little trains with full body contact with every person around you. I remember one exceptionally busy day being squeezed between the door & the people behind me causing my face to be plastered against the glass on the door.
The magic of Paris is something that will never leave me. No matter how life throws me around or if the years make my memories fuzzy, Paris will forever occupy a space in my heart that was waiting to be filled, nearly unbeknownst to me. Ernest Hemingway once wrote of the power that paris has over the human soul, especially the first time it touches your heart. Though my first foray into Paris is through, reflecting on everything that i learned I wait with baited breath for my next adventure among the cobblestones and cigarette smoke.
Before making this journey I wrote of my great desire to stand before "Winged Victory of Samothrace," an inspiring statue which stands in the Louvre. First of all, the Louvre is ginormous. There is simply no conquering it. The first time I went I saw nothing I even remotely recognized, my carefully honed humanities skills were ill-used in the realms of medieval tapestries and silver services. After this first visit, I was determined to return and find something that at least pricked my memory. My second attempt to walk among masterpieces was at the side of my dear friend Holly, and this time I was finally victorious. I walked into the stoney edifice with determination in my heart and a map in my hand. After some coaxing and tricky use of my ever-growing french-speaking skills, I finagled my way into getting a free ticket. Holly and I, with gratuit tickets in hand, plunged into the louvre head first. What a rush. Dashing through crowds of bleary-eyed tourists, and my eyes were plastered to my map to make sure i was heading in the right direction. Without looking up I noticed that Holly had stopped. I slowed to a brisk walk and suddenly raised my head to behold a thing of miraculous beauty. At the top of a flight of stairs there stood a woman. With no head or arms to speak of, this woman had stood for thousands of years proclaiming victory and denouncing defeat on the coast of Greece and now she stood before me. The "Winged Victory of Samothrace" stands above the hoards of tourists which litter the halls of the Louvre, composed and calm. Seeing this statue simply took my breath away. Her determination seemed to be contagious. In many ways she embodies my experience in France. In a strange country, far from home, she rises to the occasion and does not let the fear of defeat threaten her poised confidence. That day, victory was mine when I stood before this statue and realized that victory, no matter how far-flung, is always within reach.
link to my BEFORE post