Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Alexi Knock - Feb. 28

Photos by Allison Redman
Finally, Hofstra has arrived in Paris, France! After a sleepless flight filled with exciting thoughts of museums and monuments, 12 students from 12 different backgrounds and 6 different states began the journey of a lifetime. Since some of us had never stepped foot on the cobblestone streets of Europe, we shared in the surrealism of the day. I agree with Professor Longmire’s description of these first few days as a “dreamlike state,” because I still can’t fathom quite how far I am from home.

One of our first stops in Paris was the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, where Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison are buried. I never realized that it was possible to get lost in a burial site until I saw the vast difference between American and French graves. Each tomb was the size of a miniature house and the detailing on the stones were incredible. While exploring Pere Lachaise, I couldn’t help but imagine the stories of brilliant writers and courageous soldiers who were buried there.
When I think of Paris, images of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile fill my mind. Today, those mere images became reality. When I took that first glance at the Eiffel Tower, I soon realized that no picture or movie could parallel the beauty that can be revealed by looking with my own eyes. The New Yorker side of me was humbled by the size of this structure that makes the Empire State Building look like a doll house. Although climbing the stairs inside the Eiffel Tower was strenuous, the magnificent view was worth every tiring step. I felt like could see almost every rooftop in Paris and I could barely make out the people on the courtyard below. After going to the Eiffel Tower, I decided then and there that I need to come back to Paris in the future.
After the Eiffel Tower, we had the opportunity to visit the infamous Notre Dame. It was as if my favorite childhood movie came to life when the organs sounded, giving the cathedral an eerie yet intriguing vibe. The stained glass windows were unsurpassable and the priests were dressed in traditional robes.
Overall, Paris has been perfect blend of ancient history and New York City chic. It may seem cliché, but I can’t help but say, “J’adore Paris!”

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