Yesterday was an action packed day! King’s has set us a load of work to do whilst we’re away which includes two translations, a ‘dossier de presse’ (a load of french news articles accompanied by a 3,000 word commentary on them) and then a 3,000 word french literature essay. All to be handed in in April, but starting early to stay ahead of the game! Finding a good library to work in has proved challenging, most you have to pay for, and usually the ones that you don’t, dont let you take out books. Turns out I’m actually missing the Maughn right now with its infinite number of books and places to work! The best we have found is a public library at Le Centre Pompidou. However, it doesnt open till 12 and when it does there is always a massive queue to get in. But its big inside and has proven so far a good work space. There are also by the looks of it a fair few books which will be a good resource when it comes to the essay! Outside the Pompidou centre was a guy doing chalk drawings on the floor, he did one of Shrek and one of Charlie Chaplin, both were very impressive. He had even drawn a little pretend money box for donations.
Anyway, after a morning of translating at the library, we had some lunch and then since it was a nice day headed out on a walk up the Champs Élysées. On the way, we walked through the Jardin des tuileries, the beautiful palatial gardens. And went past Place de la Concorde with its magnificent fountains and l’Obélisque de Louxor standing proud in the centre. Soon we came to the long strip of shops lining the road up towards L’Arc de Triumphe. There is even now an M&S there – although not a very good one!
It turned out that you can go up the Arc de Triumphe which we didn’t know, so we investigated and it turned out that like a lot of things in Paris that it was free for 18-25 year olds in the European Union, so we climbed the 264 steps up and were met with the most magnificent view of Paris. Having never climbed the Eiffel Tower or any other tower for that matter in Paris, this was my first view of the city from above. It was just about sunset so the view was gorgeous! And we timed it pretty well since within about 5 minutes of being up there, the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle as it does on the hour at night. I tried to capture it, but the camera on my iphone 3gs can’t really do it justice I’m afraid. Nevertheless it was pretty spectacular and I’m now super excited to go up the Eiffel Tower because its so much higher!! When we got to the bottom, we saw a memorial service taking place underneath the Arc, commemorating those lost in the war.
Not much else planned for the week ahead, but some work and making our way through a long list of sights and museums to see. Life’s not so bad in Paris…..