Crêpes, art museums, heights: a neat summary of the Sixth Form cultural trip to Paris.
Upon arriving, a trip to La Défense allowed us to view the city we would be exploring for the next five days from above. After seeing l’Arc de Triomphe from the rooftop, we made our way over, admiring the details on the monument showcasing different events in France’s history, followed by an obligatory shopping trip along the Champs-Elysées.
The somewhat relaxed nature of the first day did not prepare us for the busyness of the days ahead. The Dali museum allowed for some interesting quotes to be taken away, and an insight – through his artwork – into the unique man that was Salvador Dali.
Next came the Sacre Coeur. After having climbed many stairs to reach it, it quickly became apparent that height would be a common theme of the trip. After lunch, we visited the Père Lachaise Cemetery in which we were surrounded by gothic architecture; the massive graves proved surprisingly to be a thing of beauty, and the determined ones in the group persevered through the site to find the graves of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Chopin. Our last activity was a visit to the Musée National Picasso, which provided us with the opportunity to compare the two artists we had seen that day.
The third day would probably best described by a ‘typical tourist’s trip to Paris’; the Sainte Chapelle, the bell towers of Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower- we did it all. From standing in awe at the stained glass windows at Sainte Chapelle, to being at the front of the crowd viewing the Mona Lisa, I truly felt as if we had accomplished everything expected of tourists that day.
We ventured outside of central Paris on the fourth day for a visit to the Palace of Versailles. The extravagance of the place was beautiful, but what was especially striking was the extreme wealth of the monarchy at a time when the majority of the population were impoverished. We then returned to Paris for the Musée D’Orsay, which displayed a wide range of art including van Gogh and Monet.
The final day began with the Musée Rodin, seeing iconic sculptures such as The Thinker and The Kiss. After this, we said our final farewell with a cruise along the Seine in which Anneke Butt (Rv) greeted the majority of the Parisian population in passing interactions.
It was a brilliant opportunity to explore aspects of French culture including the country’s history and art, as well as a welcomed break from the stress of school work. We are all extremely grateful to Mr. Conway and Dr. Eliott Lockhart for accompanying us on this great trip.
By Cara Robinson (Rv)