Paris as seen from the top of Notre-Dame.
Pictured, the group of students who participated in the trip, upon their arrival.
By Caitlin Roman
Over spring break, a group of English majors, led by Dr. Pamela Rader, traveled to Paris, France for a literary travel abroad experience. The five day trip was packed with visits to various literary sites, like the Shakespeare & Company bookstore, as well as major national landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower.
Each day, we walked from destination to destination, or took the metro when it was a little too far to walk. Just roaming through the city allowed us to discover places that were not on the original itinerary. For example, while making our way to the Right Bank, we happened across the residence of Abelard and Heloise, writers from the 12th century.
We visited, and climbed, Notre Dame and L’Arc de Triomphe. We saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and Monet’s Waterlilies in Musée L’Orangerie. We walked past Gertrude Stein’s and Ernest Hemingway’s homes and toured Maison Victor Hugo.
The Day of the Dead
On our last full day in Paris, we had a “Day of the Dead,” during which we visited the graves of Abelard and Heloise, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust, and Isadora Duncan at Père La Chaise Cemetery. To end the day, we walked through the Catacombs.
And let’s not forget the food. Every day brought a new adventure in food, from small cafés to macaroon and pastry shops. Several brave souls in our group even sampled escargot.
Reflecting back on the trip, Thomas Vincent said that visiting Notre Dame was his favorite activity. “I am an avid Hugo fan,” Vincent says, “and The Hunchback of Notre Dame is rumored to have been inspired by a single Greek word for ‘fate’ that Hugo saw carved into one of the walls in the towers. Climbing the towers and searching the walls was like travelling the pages of the book. It felt like a time loop into the world of France’s greatest novelist.”
It was truly a life changing experience. “We stumbled upon so many hidden landmarks in Paris,” said trip-goer Chloe Grady. “We became accustomed to the Parisian way of life by ordering great food and taking the metro! We were basically local Parisians, which made it extremely hard to leave.”
Paris as seen from the top of Notre-Dame. Pictured, the group of students who participated in the trip, up...