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Sunday 16 April 2017 - Paris

A visit to Montmartre and a climb up the steep steps to Sacre Coeur this morning. The group then boarded their coach and travelled to Chateau of Versailles for a tour of the palace and gardens including the Hall of Mirrors where the Versailles Treaty was signed, bringing an end to the First World War.

The evening was spent seeing the night sights of Paris on a Seine River cruise.

Photos

Photos of the students' tour of Paris have been added to the gallery.

Student views

Paris

Happy Easter from Paris! Our first full touring day in Paris begun for some as early as 6:30am for an early morning stroll or run near the Eiffel Tower. After eating an authentic French breakfast at the hotel we embarked on the tour bus with Pete (our historian for the rest of our tour) and a professional French native and tour guide. Firstly we journeyed through Montmartre exploring the streets, small shops and intricate sculptures within the suburb. We saw the home of Dalida and many small streets from famous movie scenes such as Amelie. The challenging steep steps and hill were mostly navigated around in order to finally make it to the top to visit Sacre Coeur and do a bit of shopping. Unfortunately, lots of tourists and an extremely long time made it clear that we would not be able to go inside. Going down the hill, we learnt to be cautious around scam artists and pick-pockets.

After our visit to Montmartre, we made our way to Versailles where we stopped for lunch at a small takeout joint called Quick Burgers before going to the amazing and 'tres grand et magnifique' Palace of Versailles. Walking through the palace, we were in awe of the exquisite paintings and works of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI as well as Marie Leszczinska and Mary Antoinette and their family. The mapping, living and sleeping rooms were beautiful and allowed us to step back in time more than two centuries ago. We also discovered small camouflaged doors that hid the personal rooms of the extraordinary people who lived within the palace walls.

Exiting the palace, we walked through the Gardens where we saw beautiful fountains, groves - especially the amazing Ballroom; which was designed and laid out by Le Notre between 1680 and 1685. It was placed within a grove labyrinth and was encompassed by small statues and well-cut shrubs. It was crazy that we had only visited 1/8 of the entire palace though.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel for an early dinner and then once again left for an amazing cruise, this time along the River Seine. The sun had not yet set when we disembarked on the river, providing an opportunity for some daytime photos of iconic structures such as The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. However, the true beauty came as the sun began to set. Lights flickered on in buildings and the soft colours of Paris complemented a spectacular sunset. We had fun waving to the people on the banks as we cruised along. A walk back to the hotel completed our day.

By Hannah Taylor and Bella Clarke

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This page was last reviewed on 16 Apr 2017

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