Paris Part 1

Harrison W. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. He comes to SYA from Phillips Academy in Massachusetts.

Unique from the three other SYA campuses, France has a two week period of vacation to recuperate in February.  This break schedule allows for substantial coursework exposure balanced by time to travel in France and other parts of Europe. In this two part series, I will attempt to cover the first five days of our February break in Paris with SYA. (Though the visit began on Saturday, February 9, I missed that day of travel along with Sunday due to illness. Thus, my post only covers time spent in Paris and not the Versailles excursion.)

Though I have previously traveled to Paris, I have not been able to roam with such liberty as these past five days. Though SYA offers planning to historical attractions, the freedom offered crafts the experience into a path of personal discovery. One can feel themselves retracing the steps of great artistic minds. Stop and remember that this city has some of the best museums in the world. Though the Louvre, Orsay, and the Natural History Museum might be the most frequented, don’t forget L’Orangerie or Le Musée Rodin. Go for a walk in the Luxembourg gardens!

From the scents of baguettes and boulangeries pervading the adjacent streets to café culture; take a day by yourself to wander the various quartiers of this city. Get all the international food while you can! Not to knock the city of Rennes, but the food options are not on par with a city of Paris’s size. My best advice would be to investigate Trip Advisor and the internet for food related queries. A personal favorite restaurant would definitely be Les Botanistes in the 7th Arrondissement (take some time to learn those too — they’re like a snail). Take the metro and public transportation, or if you’re bold, hop on an electric scooter. From time seeing the well-traveled and the quaint, undiscovered neighborhoods, try your best to live as a Parisian.

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