France Day 4 Paris Free Day

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We had a free day today, which means we didn’t do anything as a class, so everyone was on their own to do whatever they desired. Laurie and I walked over to Norte Dame and sat in the garden behind the cathedral. There was free Paris WIFI available so I was able to finish placing a photo order that I got right before we left for France, and Laurie worked on an ad to try a get people to meet with us and exchange French conversation for English conversation. The interchange was called an intercambio when we were in Spain, and we would hang ads on public bulletin  boards where we lived, at language academies and Irish pubs in Spain. So we figured we could do the same in Paris, except, once we got everything prepared and started walking the streets, we noticed that there were no public bulletin boards or kiosks around.

The University of Paris, Sorbonne is very near our Hotel, so we asked the guards at the front door if there were any public bulletin boards at the university to hang notices. They told us to go up the side of the building to 17. We asked the guard at entrance 17 and he said yes, up by the next entrance. The next three guards at the next three entrances looked confused at our request and said we had to have university IDs to get in. We walked the rest of the way around the building, which is huge, taking up several blocks, but there were no entrances on the west side of the building. We asked a student if he knew where any bulletin boards were, but he wasn’t from Paris, so he didn’t know. He said they had them in Lyons, but he hadn’t seen them in Paris. I looked on line and found a language interchange website that’s kind of like a Craig’s List for finding people to exchange languages with, which might be our best option.

In the late afternoon we dropped by a little grocery store and bought some food, then we walked back to Notre Dame and sat on the bleachers facing the façade, looked at the church and watched other tourists while we ate dinner. I had photographed a lot of the gargoyles with a telephoto lens when we were there in the morning, but then after we ate, we walked all the way around the cathedral, and I took more photos of gargoyles. The sunset was brilliant as we crossed the bridge on our way back to the hotel. When I turned back to look at Notre Dame from the other side of the bridge, the light was perfect, but I had a telephoto lens on the camera so I couldn’t get the whole church in a single frame. I didn’t have time to change lenses because I’d lose the light, so I took 9 quick shots in a grid and stitched them together. I got the color and feeling of the light, and the building is straight, except for the towers ended up leaning back in the finished photo.

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