Two days ago we left Paris for Normandy. We were only in Paris for four days, but it felt like a lot longer. Every day, from early in the morning until late at night we were busy. Our days were packed with visits to gorgeous churches, ginormous palaces and famous museums. The only time we stopped, was to eat lunch or dinner. For lunch every day we found a small café and ordered sandwiches or quiche. I have fallen in love with the baguette sandwiches in France (they are much more preferable to PB&J), although they are somewhat unwieldy to eat. Almost all of the dishes we have eaten for dinner are ones I have never had before, and it is exciting to try them. After dinner we went back to the hotel to have meetings, work on our projects, or write blog posts.
Paris was a great city to visit. There are so many unique features to Paris, but I thought I’d share a few things that I didn’t expect. There is an abundance of motorcycles and scooters in the city, including weird, three wheeled ones called MP3’s. The motorcycles lane-split everywhere, which looks absurd and totally dangerous, but upon researching it, appears not to effect the number of accidents. Waist-high poles prevent motorists from driving onto the sidewalks. The poles are also placed in the middle of the sidewalk to allow delivery trucks to back up to storefronts. Walking home from dinner one night, I looked up at a sign for a brief moment and walked smack into one of the poles. Luckily it was one of the taller ones, as the shorter poles seem to pose a bigger hazard to males.
On a more academic note, I have been gathering a lot of great information for my project, which is comparing rural châteaux to urban palaces. We visited three palaces in France: Le Château de Saint-Germain (which houses the Musee d’Archeologie Nationale), Versailles, and the Louvre. I’m really excited to go to the Loire Valley to learn about the châteaux. I will hopefully explain more in-depth into the progress of my project soon in another blog post.
I should explain the post title. At the hotel in Paris, I wanted to charge a few device batteries at once, so I plugged my power strip into an adapter and plugged the adaptor into the wall outlet. Turns out you shouldn’t do that, because the second I did, all the lights in the room went out. I went into the hall to find Michaela, Sam, and Ashley, as well as a woman from next door standing outside their rooms wondering what happened. After telling them, I went to the front desk to tell the night manager. Unfortunately he did not speak English and I didn’t know any of the words “plug”, “surge protector”, “wire” or anything useful in French. After a bit of hand gestures and poor French on my part, the man finally understood and came upstairs to flip the circuit breaker for our hallway back on. So I don’t think I will use my power strip again during the trip…
Onward to the Loire Valley!