Week 10 Update, Paris, France! / by Joshua Siniscal

Bonjour everyone!

I have lots of pictures from Paris, but I can't upload them all so here are some of my favorites.

Last week we began our 8 hour bus journey to Paris! First we stopped at some World War I grave sites from class.

Vimy Ridge trenches

Vimy Ridge trenches

The ground looks this way because of all the bombs that exploded altered the earth.

The ground looks this way because of all the bombs that exploded altered the earth.

There are still active mines said to be in the area so we were warned not to wander off the path. That really woke us up at 8:30 am in the morning. However, I couldn't help but notice all the sheep in the area that were walking around perfectly unharmed. I was secretly waiting for one of them to step on a mine but it never happened...

Vimy Ridge memorial. The names of the fallen are all inscribed on the wall.

Vimy Ridge memorial. The names of the fallen are all inscribed on the wall.

Then we headed to Notre Dame de Lorette, which is the largest French military cemetery in the world. There are over 40,000 bodies buried here. Almost all of the remains are casualties of the First World War

French national war cemetery at Notre dame de Loretta

French national war cemetery at Notre dame de Loretta

Then we went to the Cabaret Rouge British cemetery.  The cemetery contains 7,655 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, more than half of them unidentified.

This tombstone made me stop. This person was the same age as me, and died in World War I. Here I am, 20 years old exploring the world. It reminded me how blessed I am and how good we really have it. And the verse on the bottom is one of my favorites, John 15:13

This tombstone made me stop. This person was the same age as me, and died in World War I. Here I am, 20 years old exploring the world. It reminded me how blessed I am and how good we really have it. And the verse on the bottom is one of my favorites, John 15:13

Then we went to Neuville-Saint-Vaast German Military Cemetery “La Maison Blanche” Neuville-Saint-Vaast German cemetery is the largest German military cemetery in France for casualties of the First World War. There are 44,833 German casualties from the 1914-1918 war buried here

Lastly, the site of the Battle of Somme where nearly 20,000 soldiers died in a single day! The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a war memorial to 72,195 missing British and South African servicemen, who died in the Battles of the Somme of the First World War between 1915 and 1918, with no known grave.

All of these graves made me understand the magnitude to the death losses of World War I and how terrible war is. Thank you to all of these soldiers who sacrificed their life for the freedom of so many.

But this post is not supposed to be a depressing one, this was just the beginning and educational part of our trip. Later that day we arrived at our hotel which was only a 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower! So, of course I had to go there first thing, which I did.

I got as many angles as I could

I got as many angles as I could

And of course I had to get pictures at night!

We did a light exposure picture to write "Paris 16"

We did a light exposure picture to write "Paris 16"

The next day me and a few of the guys went all around Paris. We met up with our friend Jason, who we had previously met on the London Eye in February. He is from Massachusetts but is studying in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Us on the Eiffel tower

Us on the Eiffel tower

Totally natural photo of us conversing. Not staged at all. ;) This was inside the Mini Palais

Totally natural photo of us conversing. Not staged at all. ;) This was inside the Mini Palais

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

We stumbled upon the fanciest Abercrombie and Fitch store you have ever seen! There was a gold gated entrance with a security guard, and then you had to walk through a tree-lined pebbled pathway to go through the small garden to get to the gold and silver mirrored door to go past another store worker to get inside to see 4 floors of clothes. Did I miss anything?

This was the entrance.

This was the entrance.

It was fancy to say the least.

It was fancy to say the least.

Walking through the park

Walking through the park

The view from the Eiffel Tower

The view from the Eiffel Tower

See that tall black building in the image above? Well, that was our final destination. The top of Paris at sunset.

Simply breathtaking

Simply breathtaking

The next day we walked, A LOT and went to the Love Lock Bridge, Notre dame cathedral, and the Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa.

"Olive you" -Love Lock Bridge

"Olive you" -Love Lock Bridge

Notre dame Cathedral

Notre dame Cathedral

Inside was more beautiful architecture.

Inside was more beautiful architecture.

After the Notre dame cathedral, we headed to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

Arguably the most famous painting in the world.

Arguably the most famous painting in the world.

I'm not sure what was more entertaining, seeing the Mona Lisa, or everyone crowded around it.

That night, a group of us went out for a nice dinner at a restaurant. We had to wait an hour but I got to eat a snail and duck. It was delicious. Afterwards, there was still one more angle of the Eiffel that I wanted to get. I scrambled to setup my camera just in time before the midnight sparkle show began. Then bam! I got the money shot I wanted!

This was probably one of the happiest moments of my life. I felt as though I was dreaming.

This was probably one of the happiest moments of my life. I felt as though I was dreaming.

I then got one more angle before heading back. This is what the tower looks like when it isn't sparkling.

I then got one more angle before heading back. This is what the tower looks like when it isn't sparkling.

And in a nutshell, that was my trip to Paris. A truly incredible trip.

Goodnight all,

-Josh