So my time at Lycée Jules Ferry wasn’t exactly sorrow and it wasn’t a dump, but this the song mum used to sing us on our last days of school and I have indeed now finished my time there. Last friday was my last day and it was more emotional than I’d expected actually. The teachers had bought be a lovely book of photographs of Paris over the last 60 odd years and all written messages inside. Two other teachers bought be a book called La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker. It won the Prix Goncourt des lycéens 2012, which is a prize decided by students and Lycée Jules Ferry was one of the 50 schools who participated in the judging. It is a massive 700 page long book but I hope to read it soon as it looks exciting! Then in my last lesson and favourite class, the students threw me a party. They had all brought in snacks and drinks and all signed a sheet which was very sweet. The teachers took me out for lunch at midday and all said what an excellent assistant I had been, and that they usually didn’t make this much of a fuss for them! It was sad to leave but I was happy to have made a difference to the school that year, a few kids personally thanked me and said goodbye as they saw me leaving.
So I now have 23 days left in Paris to enjoy myself! Over the last couple of days, I have been exploring Paris. We went to 59 Rivoli which is basically these open artists studios set over 6 floors showing 30 artists – some of which were actually painting when we went! – bizarre, and very bizarre art too. One woman was painting hundreds of plastic gloves stuffed with shredded paper.
The Jardin de Luxembourg recently housed an interesting art project called the RedballProject. It involves exactly what it says – a Red ball. (And a rather large one at that!) The artist Kurt Perschke has travelled to cities all around the world and placed this ball in public places for people to see it and takes photos. So we did the same.
Unfortunately we didn’t have much luck with museums this weekend as we found many had enormous queues or were closed. We saw the L’église de la Madeleine which is absolutely huge and was designed as a temple to the glory of Napoleon’s army. We had arguably the best hot chocolate in Paris at Une Dimanche à Paris, accompanied with a delicious patisserie to share of course, and followed by a long stroll around Montmartre as the sun was setting.
Yesterday I went to the Musée de l’Armée. We saw an impressive array of guns, swords and uniforms but there was just so much on display I don’t think we touched even a quarter of it. Afterwards we saw the Tombeau de Napoléon which I’d wanted to see for a while. It was magnificent. The extravagance of the external gold dome is mirrored inside with the most beautiful murals, imposing and serene marble statues on all sides, and then in the centre the enormous tomb. For me, it was as impressive as it was ridiculous with the space and wealth used to enclose his decaying body. Afterwards, finding most things closed on a monday we nipped into the Louvre but soon left as it was unbearably full of tourists. We went to see Iron Man 3 in the evening which I actually quite enjoyed!