Thursday, August 12, 2010

Experiencing history with all the senses

The famous opera house Palais Garnier was mind blowing. The second you walked in you were overwhelmed with the bright gold and dark art. I was really excited to visit the Palais Ganier mostly because of my love for The Phantomof the Opera musical. I have read the book, watched the play, and seen all of the movies. Did you know that this story, written by Gaston Leroux in 1910, is based slightly on a true story. There are rumors that, in this very building I visited, an ex-musician lived in the crypts wondering the halls late at night singing. There was definitely a surreal, ghostly feeling to this beautiful place. Our photography class had an assignment to capture the essence of this place and I used the object of motion. I feel that years and years of music have echoed through the hallways of this place and the walls have soaked up all of the notes. I even got a chance to see the box #5, in which the phantom regularly sat to watch the plays.

Later this week, I also got to visit Versailles. Versailles was an extremely amazing and educational fieldtrip. Being able to witness the home of many kings and queens — especially where Marie Antoinette resided — was almost surreal. As I walked in, it embraced all of my senses. I felt the marble; I saw the paintings; I smelled the stone and breathed in the history of the place. I could really see the hierarchy and how it was set up as I moved through the rooms. I loved visiting Marie Antoinette’s gardens… I spent the entire day there, probably walking around 15 miles


This past weekend I got to take a weekend trip to Normandy where I was able to visit the Omaha Beach graveyard. The weekend began at Mont Saint Michel, where I was able to visit and tour the eigtht wonder of the world, the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Michael. After our visit we went on to our hotel and had a free night. The next day I went to a renaissance festival in Brittany where I saw many interesting characters. At the graveyard the final day, I saw many graves and too many were unknown soldiers. This hit me hard seeing in crosses how many people died in just one part of the invasion. My cousins grave was not located at that particular gravesite, so instead I drew his name on the beach down below the graveyard and threw a flower into the ocean to commemorate him.

We arrived back in Paris Sunday evening, just in time to rest for another full week of school and site-seeing.

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