Sunday, May 19, 2013

Study Abroad 2013 Day 1/2 - Paris

Paris 2013

I have beaten my record of number of times falling asleep while standing up and walking. The only other time I've ever done that was the last time I flew to Europe and suffered from severe jet lag. I woke up around 6 A.M. yesterday and last night I had a fitful, terrible somewhat-sleep on the plane (monitors flashing, babies screaming, contortionist exercises to find a comfortable position). Let's say I got maybe two hours of sleep. Then the plane landed in Paris at around 9:30 A.M. and we went about our business as if we hadn't just spent the night on an airplane. By 5:00 P.M., I was dragging.

Whenever we stopped to look at something during our evening walk, I nodded off and almost fell over a few times. I even fell asleep while I was walking. That was kind of dangerous- I kept veering off into other people and the road. Not cool. The human body just has a point at which it simply can no longer function on the amount of energy it has. I reached that point today. Jet lag, yay.

I woke up when we went to Notre-Dame cathedral. I've been there before, and honestly, I wasn't too impressed with it. However, there was something about it this time that made me really love being there. I suspect they sand-blasted the walls and ceilings- it seemed much less dark and scary in there today than it did three years ago. As it happens, Notre-Dame is celebrating a rather large milestone: its 850th anniversary. Among other things, the cathedral has recently received new bells.

The stained glass in Notre-Dame is simply breathtaking. I don't know why that never registered with me before, but today it hit me with full force and I was just amazed. I could picture Esmeralda running around and singing about helping the outcasts. Here, have a clip. I was always pretty amazed at the accuracy with which the Disney animators portrayed the cathedral in the movie. It looks remarkably similar: except the little side rooms like the one Esmeralda went into are fenced off now, and there are pews, and also there are a few TV screens and speakers. And there are a TON more people, and an alarmingly large number of them don't respect the signs that request SILENCE in the cathedral.

It's raining in Paris right now. It's been raining a while. We were out floundering around in it. It's supposed to be rainy tomorrow, too. What would we do without rain?

You have noooooo idea how many times I fell asleep while writing this. Good gnight!

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