Days 1 and 2 (March 31 – April 1st, 2006) USA – Paris France
We took off from Saranac High School to Detroit Metro Airport in a limousine. Explorica, the company putting on the tour, could not get tickets from Grand Rapids and so took us to Detroit. The participants going on the trip were (in order of the picture)
· Linda JeRue
· Ruth Murphy
· Bob Murphy
· Donald Hesling
· Patricia Hesling
· We also had Spark the dog, a castaway from Ms. Tindall’s class
We left Detroit without trouble around 2:30 p.m. and made it to Dulles Airport in the Washington D.C. area. We had no problems leaving Dulles and arrived at Charles De Gaulle Airport on time at 8:30 a.m. The flight attendant said Welcome to Frankfort, Germany and then said April Fools. I'm not convinced that she did it on purpose.
We got our luggage and met Mladen Ivanovich, our tour
director. He was born in Vancouver, Canada and lived in Hungary. Currently he is living in Rome. Three days before he had taken a tour group to Poland and Germany. He mentioned that it was quite cold. We waited for more than a couple of hours at the airport for the group from Indiana. They had one person lose their bag.
We headed for our hotel, the Hotel Campanile. We could not get our luggage in our room and so we put our luggage in one room and then went out to eat and get money. Once we got back, we went to the Louvre. We had a guide with us, which was quite refreshing to have things like the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and Mona Lisa explained.
|Spark and Ruth Murphy at the Louvre|
|The gang at the Louvre entrance|
The Venus de Milo (from the Greek island Milos) was one of the first sculptures that was appropriately proportioned and could stand without falling. It all had to do with the weight of the distribution of stone throughout the statue. The shoulders are in a form that is uncomfortable, but needed to help the weight distribution.
We even got a history on how the Louvre started as a fort (with moat) and then became a residence, then museum.
At 5:30, we walked to the Arc de Triumph from the Louvre to meet later. We didn't quite get there in time and so supper was a little late, around 7:30 p.m. We met the other group from Washington state there. They were mostly junior high students.
|Don and Bob on the way to the Arc de Triomphe|
We took the Metro back to the hotel to settle in and get rested after a long day. The group leaders met and discussed what they would be doing during the stay in Paris. After that, it was lights out for preparation of our wake up call tomorrow.