Journal
MTS 03 - 28 - 2010

As our travels approach their end, I find that I have grown quite accustomed to the hectic, chaotic pace that characterizes this trip. The overstimulation of constant travel has, in some ways, anesthetized my senses so that my responses now are not what they would have been back in January. However, some days still completely astonish me with their incredulity, causing me to wake up out of my stupor. Today was one of those days. After the usual bus tour, we split off for our colloquium to analyze a selection of paintings and sculptures in the Louvre. Sidetracked by the Venus di Milo, we paused for a quick discussion and photos. I turned my back to the group for no more than five seconds: I put the camera up to my eye, snapped a photo, and by the time I turned back around, the group had disappeared. Only one other person remained—with a map, luckily—but despite our efforts, we were legitimately lost in the Louvre. How many people can say that? I had thought that this was something people only joked about, and here we were, unable to reunite with our peers. Two hours later, we ran into familiar faces, after class was well over, but not without having analyzed a few works on our own. From the Louvre, I headed directly for my next site in Paris: the Eiffel Tower. In order to climb the Tower, which was my intent, I had to arrive by 6:30, and made the cutoff just in time. (People behind us were turned away.) I laughed at the ‘difficulty’ of the climb, which was nothing compared to our hike along the Great Wall of China; we arrived at the first deck scarcely out of breath. We then proceeded to wander around the first and second observation decks, until we looked at our watches and realized that somehow three hours had passed, and we hadn’t made it up to the summit yet. By the time we’d waited I in line to ascend, night had fallen, and as I looked out over the rails atop the Tower, lights were blinking on all over the city. Later, others in the group would ridicule me for spending almost five hours inside the Eiffel, but really, I saw it in every possible condition, with the exception of snow. I was able to see the city during daylight hours, at sunset, and at night; while up there, it was sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, and even a small thunderstorm occurred. Again, how many people could say that about their visit in the Tower? Probably not too many. So while yes, of course this trip has been whirlwind-paced, but when you pause for a bit just to enjoy your surroundings, you’ll find that there will still be just as many things to enchant you as there were in the beginning. Sometimes, it just takes a gentle reminder to recall how unbelievable and impressive this tour has been. Img 001: At the base of the Eiffel Tower, by night Img 002: Venus di Milo, cause of becoming lost in the Louvre

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