• Crowds, Culture, and Cuisine: the Ancient and Modern City

The Last Day in Paris

Our last full day of the course was set aside for packing and getting ready to head back to the United States. And with our museum and metro passes expired, Monday was the perfect day for rest and relaxation. Yet, some of us couldn’t stand to just stay in the hotel when we were still in Paris. My friends and I decided to buy some metro tickets and just walk around some of the fun neighborhoods. Our favorite place was the area around Notre Dame. Once getting there, we immediately found a crêperie to eat lunch at. The crêpes were always amazing no matter where you went. Some of us would order the chocolate kinds and others would get the crêpes with either eggs or ham and cheese. That way we could all share while satisfying our lunch and desert cravings (keep in mind, on our last day in Paris, we were pretty poor!)

Afterwards we kept walking through the little shops and patisseries along the streets. The famous ‘Shakespeare and Company’ bookshop was closed for renovation, but outside the shop was a table stacked with free books to take. The books were all in English, but had the back covers ripped off. I guess the point was to take a risk on a book and then pass it along. It was a great find because we love books…and free things! After a long day of buying last minute gifts and visiting stores, we headed back to our hostel for dinner.

That night, after all our suitcases were packed for our departure in the morning, a group of us decided to go back to the Eiffel Tower one last time. We took the metro into the city and found a grassy area right next to the tower. Then we lied down under the brightly lit Eiffel Tower and relaxed. As if this didn’t make us emotional enough, someone in the group began playing the song, ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Edith Piaf on their phone. This song will always play in my head when I think of France! To say the least, it was a very bittersweet moment. There is truly nothing like looking up at the Eiffel Tour at night. Even though I never wanted to leave, I just knew that I would be back to see it again.

It was such an incredible last day in Paris. By this point in the trip, we weren’t nervous or anxious anymore and could calmly wander around the city. Though we weren’t busy visiting all the museums and touring monuments, there is something to be said about taking the time to relax in the city and take in Parisian life at a slower pace.