Figured I'd update because I just got home and can NOT sleep. It's still so hot in my hotel room it's impossible to stay still, much less lay down on an icky hot bed. It's just after 100am and a big group of July API guys & gals (but mostly gals) just got back to the Hotel from our first real night out together. So fun. So weird not being carded at bars, also.
SO, here it is, first full "real" day in Paris! We've pretty much all started navigating the Metro by ourselves, some of the girls were a little apprehensive about it but I think we've all got the hang of it. There's 11 lignes on the Metro and they run different directions (N, S, E, W & everything in between), plus some of them are very similar in color on maps, so it's easy to mix things up at times! Here's a Metro map:
My first time riding I thought to myself, no, I will never figure this out. Turns out it's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and we used up 10 Metro one-way tickets in just 2 days. We've been exploring a lot. That brings me to my update, der.
Today was really fabulous. Slept like crap, which is bound to be the case tonight considering it's still 72 outside and muggy as all get out, but whatever, I'm in Paris. Had breakfast at the hotel which was cool, they have mini packets of Nutella, bonus. Did breakfast then took the Metro to API with everybody at 10ish, had a quick academic orientation and found out who I'll be attending the Catho with. Out of the 14 in the group only 4 of us are going to ICP (Catho), the rest are going to the Sorbonne. The only real difference is that the Catho is a bit more "prestigious" as it's been explained to me, and the classes are more intensive. Good, I need intense to kick my butt back into French gear. But anyhoo, myself, another girl Abby who I think is really awesome, and two girls who are just entering college will be at the Catho. We have an extra day of free time apart from the Sorbonne students on Monday 6 July, bonus.
After orientation we went to look around Paris a bit, and I'm sorry I'm going to hurry through the rest of this update because I'm getting really tired.. but we went to Ile St-Louis, which in located on a tiny island in the middle of the Seine right by the Notre Dame. We went inside this AWESOME cathedral for just a second because it felt a bit odd, we weren't sure if we were supposed to be there or not but I did snap one quick photo.
We walked around the neighborhood a bit, crossed the Seine and saw the Notre Dame, and then had lunch (or if you're me, a pastry, healthy I know).
Then we went back to API for a boat tour, which was great, we walked down to the bank of the Seine & boarded this big tour boat & didn't really listen to the tour guide (she was quiet and French and, well, quiet and French mostly) but the breeze was much needed & the sights were AMAZING. Here's a few:
We all know what this is...
& I don't have a clue what this is, but it's gorgeous. And thennn we went back to the hotel, showered & did whatev, then a big group of us (all the July students minus 3 girls who are sort of strange anyway, so it's all gravy) met up in the lobby for dinner at 21h00. We went to a cute Italian place (I'll upload pics later) and everyone got wine and some sort of Italian dish. It was really fun, this group of people is great. I got a pseudo-Caprese salad & shared a small bottle of bordeaux (French, even, imagine that) with Cara. Then we went to a GAY CLUB, that's right, we did it, in Paris, already. It's called "Banana Cafe" and it was strange, looked totally closed from the outside but the minute we paid our 2E cover charge (and surrendered our purses to the door lady, scary!) we realized it was PACKED inside. So funny, looked like a cheap strip club or something, black lights, disco balls & loud techno music. Plus (of course, we're in Europe) an enclosed glass-door "smoking section" (since a year or two ago it's illegal to smoke indoors in France). So great, really fun, good company, plus go to the end the night with a dance circle with 4 Parisians! Not bad for our first night out!
I'm exhausted now and have a 6h00 wakeup call to get outta the hotel & into my permanent dorm housing (Yay!), so I'll leave ya with this pic, taken today on a bridge over the Seine by a nice old French lady. Thanks for not stealing my camera.