While studying in Paris, I have learned that beauty knows no language. I definitely do not know French, but I am enamored with this city, which is even beautiful when it is cold and raining!

meleah-chateau-chambord-sm.jpg meleah-chenonceau-sm.jpg
During our first weekend in France, we left this gorgeous city and took a tour of the chateaus in the Loire Valley. None of the pictures can truly show the magnificent grandeur of these buildings. Every building in Paris seems to have the same breathtaking effect. (Photo left: Chateau Chambord; photo right: Chateau Chenonceau)

meleah-Mosque-of-Paris-sm.jpg As a class we went to Notre Dame and the Mosque of Paris, which are indescribable buildings. Lining the streets there are apartments and shops like in New York City; however, these are not modern buildings nor are they dilapidated (which seems to be the two options I have found in the States). (Photo right: Mosque of Paris; photo below: Notre Dame.)

meleah-Notre-Dame-sm.jpg It is an amazing experience just to look at the meticulous detail and thought that was put into every structure. Also, it is mind-blowing for me to think of how ancient, but preserved these buildings are. Oh, if these buildings could talk!

Parisians have made their city even more beautiful by adding flower shops on almost every street corner, and there is also likely to be a pastry shop nearby. I don’t think all of the walking we do can possibly burn off all of the chocolate croissants I have eaten!

As you can tell, I am enjoying my time, but I am not in love with all of it. I strongly dislike the lack of “pooper scooper” laws. Although the streets are kept clean of trash, there is bound to be doggie remains somewhere. We all shout “pooh!” as soon as we see it to make sure our fellow classmates do not step in it.

Also, personal space does not exist. I have gotten used to the small elevators and the confined subway cars, but I still feel uncomfortable with public bathrooms. Many times in restaurants there is a stall for women and and a stall for men, but in most places men and women share a sink area … a little awkward, especially when there is a guy from class washing his hands at the same time and we feel obligated to strike up a random conversation. Not to mention, the toilettes are usually located in the basement, which can only be reached by a narrow spiral staircase.

I hope you enjoy the photos!