Our sisters are doing awesome things this semester. Jena McKelvey (’14) is currently studying abroad in Paris. Here’s a little post written by her that shows us what her life has been like this semester. We’re so jealous of all the amazing experiences she’s having!
At this point I’ve been in Paris for almost three months! I arrived early January and I finished my finals the last week of February! The BU Paris campus is a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. We only had classes for two months and then after a week of spring break in Nice & Venice I started my internship at the National Museum of Natural History as a research assistant. Each student was placed with an internship according to his or her interests.
Depending on the month, Paris opens up some of its most historical landmarks to the public for free. My friend Lisa and I decided that since we were starting our spring break Monday, it would be best to take full advantage of all the free activities on Sunday. We started our morning around 11 am just incase there would be long lines at our destinations. We usually plan the day thoroughly to ensure it’s a success! It is great to have a friend here who appreciates planning and being efficient as much as I do.
Our first stop was the Panthéon.
We visited this monument several times before, but never paid to go inside. The inside was very beautiful. The ceilings were huge and everything was intricately designed. One thing that stands out about European architecture is the intricacy of everything… not a single corner goes without embellishment. We saw some of the tombs of famous writers that we studied in our literature class. It was weird seeing dried up wreaths inside of some of the tombs.
Our second stop was Notre Dame. Our other friend, Taylor, met up with us here. When we arrived there was a huge line along the left side of the building. It took about an hour and a half to get through the line. We were dancing around by the time we reached the entrance because we got cold waiting in the shade. We also grabbed lunch and ate in while we were in line. I had a hot dog… it was weird because the casing was extra thick so I had a really hard time biting through it. There was this couple in front of us who kept kissing and doing weird things to each other. PDA to the max. For example the girl kept caressing the guys face over and over. Maybe it was their honeymoon? The trip up the stairs was really creepy. The spiral staircase was dark and very narrow. CLAUSTROPHOBIA. We went around and around until we reached the first level. At the time we thought there was only one level to lookout over the city, but we soon found out that you stop on two different levels. You are secured in this wire cage that is like a birdcage for humans. The views were amazing and it was neat to see the gargoyles up close too. A bunch of other people were taking pictures with iPads… funny.
After Notre Dame we went to Ile de St. Louis and got ice cream from the famous Bertillon. I got raspberry rose flavor… mmm delicious. We sat on the banks of la seine and enjoyed our ice cream and the sunshine.
From there we went to Sainte Chapelle. It wasn’t as beautiful as I thought it would be. The stained glass was nice, but it was much smaller than I had imaged and one side of the building was covered for restoration. We also saw the Palais de Justice because it was right next to the church. The Conciergerie was supposed to be next on our list, but it was closed so we headed to the Arc de Triomphe where we climbed even more spiral stairs. The top of the Arc had one of my favorite views. You could see the Eiffel Tower and La Defense in the distance.
To top off our day we went to KFC for dinner. It was the first time since I arrived in France that I had fast food or anything remotely american. Lisa and I were really in the mood for fried chicken. The menu was completely different. No mac n cheese It was the first time I hada drink with refills. Refills don’t exist at restaurants here and if you order soda it is usually served in the can. During dinner we heard Taylor Swift being played ; it was the first time I heard her being played in public in Paris. Eating at KFC and hearing t-swift really reminded me of being home.
Everywhere I go I’m always on the lookout for ladybugs and lyres! I’ve found a few.