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An Excursion to Paris

December 12, 2016
by Michelle McGhan
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Paris, France. This iconic city that makes it so hard to ever want to leave Europe. Among many of the excursions that CEA provides, this is by far the most extensive, longest, and most magical of all.

To start off our trip, CEA, partnered with Somewhere New, a tour company, met us at St. Pancras station early in the morning in order for us to catch the Eurostar! The ride over was so quick and convenient, minus the wifi (pro tip: never use the wifi on the eurostar)

 One of the bridges on our walk!

Our tour guide got us to our bus where it transported us to the 17th Arrondissement in Paris. Our room assignments were completely random. I wasn’t even paired with a CEA student, but that’s okay because it gave me an opportunity to meet new people. After, we headed off on our day.
 Le Pont Neuf, Love Lock Bridge

Our first day didn’t really consist of much. We walked around and had a small tour of the famous Notre Dame, le Pont Neuf (the new love lock bridge), and we headed to the Louvre! After, we were free to do whatever we wanted.
 Inside Notre Dame

The next day, we had the option to do a bike tour, it was phenomenal. The tour itself was the perfect size: fifteen people. It was a fantastic experience because we were able to get to do and see everything we wanted: The Eiffel Tower, Museums like the Louvre and the d’Orsay, as well as the biking along the Seine. Bike tours should just be mandatory wherever you travel.
 Notre Dame

After the exhausting 3-hour bike tour, we explored the Latin Quarter and had the rest of the day to ourselves. This allowed me to roam free and go see lesser-known sites like Shakespeare and Co. and, of course, the Eiffel Tower at night!

CEA offered an optional excursion to Versailles, but having this be my second time visiting, I decided against it. Although I do highly recommend Versailles if you haven’t been here yet. This allowed a friend and I to explore before meeting at Montmartre, my favourite place in all of Paris, and admire the majestic Sacre Coeur with the rest of the group.

Our train departed quite late and we were home in London at around 10pm, the trip across the Channel was well worth the travel, dont just think about it, go to Paris!

Here are my best reccomendations for Paris:

Restaurants

Le Saint Regis--6 rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris, France

This quaint little restaurant has amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Ile de la Cite!

De Vito/ Moonshiner -- 5 rue Sedaine, 75011 Paris, France

This neighborhood may seem a little quiet, but walking into De Vito brings life! The pizzas are amazing and if you are brave enough to walk into the freezer, you can find yourself in a '20s-straight-out-of-the-Great-Gatsby speakeasy! A rare find and definitely worth the trip.

Sights

Paris has so many museums and although it may be overwhelming, here are some great places to check out if you’ve already seen Mona Lisa and her smile.

L’Orangerie--Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris

Located in the 1st Arrondissement, this was originally a place where they kept orange trees in the winter. Now with no use, they have converted it to a fabulous museum where you can see the beauty of Monet’s Water Lilies.

Catacombs--1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris

It may be hard to find, but exploring the skulls of the catacombs of Paris is so worth it! The line may be long and cut off time is at 7:30pm so make sure to give yourself plenty of time!

Sainte Chapelle--8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris

This breathtaking church is well known, but so unique to itself that it’s worth paying the six euros to go inside to see the beauty of the stained glass.

Michelle M. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in London, England. She is currently a senior studying Cinema Art and Science and Photography at Columbia College Chicago



Michelle McGhan is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in London, England, and is currently studying at Columbia College Chicago.
 
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