In May 2019, I received a travel grant for my Fall 2019 semester abroad in London, England. My proposal is about “explore the history and art in Paris and Madrid” during the mid-semester break. However, I only went to Paris to finish my project because there was a huge protest happening in Spain that advocated for the independence of Catalonian. I did not want to take risks of the protest. Thus, all of my focus is on history and art in Paris, France. I believe the four days that I spent in Paris was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I enjoyed my travel as well as opened my mind by going to historical remains and art museums in Paris.
My destinations included Arc de Triomphe, Avenus des Champs-Élysées, Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Montmartre & beyond, walking along the Seine river, Marais district, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, and some others. In general, I have visited the majority of the famous sites in Paris.
Arc de Triomphe is the symbol of the glorious victories in France's history. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon. It set the tone for public monuments with triumphant patriotic messages. Even though I visited Arc de Triomphe on a rainy day, I still felt the majesty of the architecture. Then I walk to Avenus des Champs-Élysées, which is very close to Arc de Triomphe. There are hundreds of fancy luxury stores on the street, and it was called the most beautiful street in Paris. I got a sense of artistic feeling along the street. I admired the concise design abounding in the spirit of the art of many stores. I also loved the Louis Vuitton with its talented idea of bag designing.
The next day, I went to Musée du Louvre. I had been waiting for a long line to get into the museum. There are people from all over the world visiting this world's largest museum. I saw famous artwork such as Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa with the museum. I also learned French history during the reading and appreciation of other masterpieces. Later, walking along the seine river, I went to Musée d’Orsay, where I also enjoyed the paints and sculptures created by famous European artists. On the third day, I went to Eiffel Tower and Montmaritre & beyond. It was a rainy day again. I walked through the center of Paris to Eiffel Tower. My first impression is that It was really tall. It was a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
Besides, the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. In the afternoon, I took the subway to Montmaritre & beyond. Then, I climbed in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. I loved the sense of peace and solemn in the church. I also saw the site of the whole city from the highland with a beautiful rainbow when rain stopped. I deeply fell in love with this gorgeous scene.
During the last day of my travel, I visited the Marais district first. I was amazed by the LGBTQIA culture in this district. I could get the liberal and progressive sense in this place. Moreover, I enjoyed the exotic food and delicious ice-creams here. I believed this is the place where young people love the most. In the afternoon of my last day of traveling, I also passed by Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris and sat outside the building for a long time. I was thinking of the book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” that I read in high school. I remembered the kindness of Esmeralda and the hardship of Quasimodo. I sighed the pity of the building, which was partially damaged by the fire. I believe Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most culturally represented places in human cavillations. We should all dedicated to promoting its integration and vital values.
All in all, I explored Paris with the Giltz, DeLauder & McCullough International Travel Award. I appreciated this opportunity very much. My accommodation, transportations, tickets for museums, foods, and other expenses were all covered by the grant. I could not fulfill this incredible journey without the donor’s generosity.