Yvonne in Paris

Yvonne is a senior majoring in psychology and sociology in Dedman College. During summer 2011, she is studying Parisian culture and monarchy, as well as European relations with the Middle East, as part of SMU-in-Paris.

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Sight-seeing in Paris

The past two weeks I’ve been in Paris have been absolutely amazing! There’s so much to see in Paris, you can never run out things to do!

DSCF0142.jpg Today, a group of us went to the Catacombs of Paris. The Catacombs of Paris, or Catacombes de Paris, is an underground burial site that holds the remains of 6 million people. We had to walk about 60 feet below ground before we got to the burial site.

The catacombs are filled with caves, tunnels and old prison cells. It’s very spooky and creepy! Bones and skulls were stacked and lined all around tunnels of bodies from the 17th century. It was very morbid, but also incredibly fascinating.

There were old quotes in French around the tunnels from various philosophers of that time reminding us how short life is, as well as various passages throughout the catacombs (thank goodness our graduate advisor was there to translate for us). We weren’t allowed to use the flash on our cameras, so unfortunately we weren’t able to get the best of pictures.

DSCF0211.jpg We had to perk ourselves up after such a chilling experience, so we found this amazing gelato place and headed to the Luxembourg gardens and the St. Sulpice Church.

The Luxembourg gardens were breathtaking! The flowers, trees, and statues were absolutely beautiful. To our good fortune, an orchestra was playing in the park while we were there, so we stopped for a while to listen before heading on to Saint-Sulpice; the entire scene of the park was very picturesque.

DSCF0221.jpg The Saint-Sulpice Church is referenced in Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code. The church was enormous! It’s also placed on what the world originally used as the prime meridian, before relocating it to Greenwich. Shortly after entering the church, we realized that we were in the middle of a wedding! So of course, we stayed for the wedding and a little afterward. As the newlyweds left the church, everyone outside was clapping and throwing rose petals; what a wonderful way to get married!

We ended our day with nutella crepes from a wonderful small creperie off Saint-Michel. The entire group had a full weekend, from shopping at the Champs-Elysees, to hanging out by the Eiffel Tour and the River Seine, to bar hopping at Saint Germain-de-Pres. I’m sure our Sunday will be spent studying for the upcoming week. One thing we learned quickly here, studying abroad isn’t just sight-seeing; you definitely have to study!

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