Things to do in Paris

Versailles

Versailles:

Gates of Versailles We took a train to Versailles. We left early in the morning since the line could potentially get long later in the day. When we got there the line was wrapping around into several rows of people. We waited for about 45 minutes but it went by quick since we were all together. We even met some nice people who were in front of us and they were alumni from one of our colleges!

We finally got to the front and made our way to the entrance. A beautiful golden gate stood before us encompassing the magnificent palace. The main gate was called the Gate of Honor. Its details were so exquisite. It was so beautiful, I felt like I was walking through the gates of heaven.

Gardens of VersaillesIt was hard to imagine that the palace was almost destroyed in the French Revolution. It was so pretty. There were a lot of people and it was super cool to see King Louis XIV palace. My favorite and the most famous room was the Hall of Mirrors. It is basically a hallway of giant mirrors on the wall and massive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. They were so big and looked so heavy I was surprised they didn’t fall!

We also saw the Garden of Versailles. It looked like something from Alice in Wonderland with a French accent. All the plants were geometrically aligned into parallel rows and designs and sprinkled with flowers between. It was super picturesque and a sight I won’t forget.

Louvre:

The Louvre I am passionate about art and have always wanted to visit the world’s largest museum—the Louvre. If you were to walk the entire museum you would walk a total of thirteen miles. There are 380,000 pieces of art but not all of them are visible to the public. The size and capacity of this place were astonishing.

My group decided to purchase tickets in advance to bypass the line to save time. We walked right inside with one goal in mind; we wanted to see the Mona Lisa. We made our way to the room and it was packed with people. We got pushed and shoved a little bit as people fought their way to the front of the crowd, but we eventually made it. They had guards around the Mona Lisa and were strict about not crossing the red rope which separated the tourists and the painting. It was much smaller than I thought and a little too far away to see details, but I was glad we had the opportunity to see such a famous piece of art. We got a couple of quick pictures and left the exhibit to explore more.

We saw the ancient Egyptian exhibit and that was the coolest exhibit I’ve ever seen. I really enjoyed the culture and how unique all the statues were. We walked through that for the rest of our time there. After spending two hours we decided to leave. There was so much left to explore, you can spend weeks seeing everything because it’s so massive!

Catacombs:

Catacombs of ParisWe also took a visit to the Catacombs of Paris. It was a different vibe from the rest of the tourist attractions we previously saw. There are over 6 million Parisian skeletons that remain in these underground tunnels. The tunnels run 200 miles long but only a very small section is open for tourists to visit.

We went down the winding staircase for several minutes until we got to the bottom. The smell was strong and musty like a damp basement. It was also really dark, so it was hard to capture pictures. There was a dim light so we could see where we were walking. The ceilings were low and the tunnels narrow. The walls were lined with skulls and bones of the poor victims. It was an eerie feeling to be surrounded by so many human bones.

We spent about an hour walking through the catacombs and eventually made our way back up the spiral staircase. There was a gift shop at the end of the tour which helped to off put the mood somewhat.

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Hannah Bueno
Hannah Bueno

School: Northern Illinois University

I love meeting new people and experiencing all life has to offer, but it is through the connections we build, where true value is found.

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