With the tragic attacks in Paris, American hearts were shocked and in sorrow for the tragedies being suffered by so many people in the beautiful city of Paris. Many of us here at Oxford Tutoring have had the amazing opportunity to visit Paris. Though the lengths of our stays vary, the city and its people have left impression on all us. So much so, that the thought of the people we interacted with going through so much pain greatly grieves. As a result, we just wanted thank you so much for welcoming us into your spectacular city, and share moments from our time spent in Paris. We hope our experiences there will encourage you to know that you are loved, remembered, and cherished. Here is a montage of memories from our time in Paris.
Picture Perfect People
For four years I studied the language, the culture and its history. Through this learning, I fell in love with a city I had only seen in pictures. When I found out in the fall of 2010, that I would have the opportunity to visit Paris, I was ecstatic. Finally, I would get to see the full-blooming gardens of Versailles, to walk to the along the Seine River covered by ornate, gold-leafed bridges, and stare in awe at the Hellenistic masterpiece, the Winged Victory of Samothrac. Once in Paris, I was fortunate enough to see all of this and more, all of which has made its way into my memories, permanently stamped upon my mind. However, these are not the moments that I consider among my favorite. The beauty, wonder and sights of the city itself took my breath away, but it was the kindness of the people that touched my heart. The restaurant owner, who stopped in the middle of an extremely crowded lunch rush, to help me understand the directions on package of medicine. The cashier who helped us find our way when we were lost. Or the waiter, who cheerfully led a round of “Joyeaux Annivesaire” to celebrate my birthday. People with whom I shared only a moment. Just a moment, but who took the time to make my visit to a city I had only previously dreamed of visiting a memorable one. It is the people that I often think of. It is the people for whom my heart breaks. And it is the people that make Paris, “The City of Light”.
– Julia M.
It Took Only One Day
Shortly after I turned 21, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend two weeks traversing through Europe. I was captivated by the ancient ruins of Rome and the beauty emanating from places like Switzerland and the Alps. However, I found no place that was better able to combine ancient architecture with our modern excitement for life than the city of Paris, France. I was only able to stay in Paris for one day, but I vividly remember taking the train just after sunrise and marveling at the Arc De Triomphe as we crossed the Seine. Then, later in the day, I was able to gain a sense for the hustle and bustle of a normal workday as I watched the professionals and other tourists mingling along the numerous fashion avenues. Finally, that night, I made my way to the base of the Eiffel Tower and found a Parisian willing to take my picture in front of the Tower, while I stood surrounded by the beautifully illuminated riverfront and skyline in the background. While my time there was short in relation to the other cities and countries I visited on my trip to Europe, my day in Paris is one I’ll never forget. I’m so grateful for my time there, and my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris and their loved ones.
– Alex C.
A Light in the Dark
I arrived in the city of Paris at night using the underground rail system; we
were camping on the Marne River at the end of the Metro line, near Joinville. I will never forget riding the escalator up to the street level at the Charles de Galle Etoile station and seeing, at the top, all aglow, the Arc of Triumph. It was breathtaking. Later that night we were headed back to our campground from the same station when an announcement was made over the intercom. Those of us who did speak a little French were frantically trying to piece together what we thought we had heard when a very nice young man came up to us and explained, in English, that the final train of the evening would be arriving soon. When we thanked him he explained that he had studied in London and learned English as a student there. I have never forgotten the beauty of the city, or the kindness of a stranger who reached out to travelers in his city.
– Kathy H.
Honeymoon in Paris
David and I visited Paris for our honeymoon in July 2011. We could not have asked for a more enjoyable and educational honeymoon experience: there was so much delicious food, breathtaking history and architecture, and amiable people. We stayed in a lovely hotel in the 6th District, central and walking distance to many of Paris’s landmarks. If we wanted to do something simple, we walked to a bakery to pick up a baguette and coffee (so delicious). If we wanted to soak in history and culture, we walked to the Louvres and Le Pantheon. The best part was we witnessed the pride and festivities of Paris on Bastille Day. Paris has so many things to offer. Our thoughts are with the people of Paris and we hope to visit again soon.
– Yurko L.
An Extended Stay in Paris
At an early age, my parents traveled to both England and Paris for one summer trip. I strongly remember my time in Paris because that was the first time I had ever had Coca-Cola from a glass bottle. It was so precious I made sure to take it home. Twenty years later, when my now current wife, Yuriko, and I were planning our honeymoon trip; one of the places we agreed upon visiting was the city of Paris. We also planned to visit the rest of France, but as soon as we got there we quickly fell in love with the city and atmosphere, deciding to spend out entire honeymoon in Paris alone. We visited historic places such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. We walked everywhere, making sure to stop by and eat the most amazing crepes from a street vendor for only a Euro. We were also able to participate in Bastille Day which is similar to our Independence Day. One thing I learned that day, was how friendly and outgoing the people of Paris are. These recent attacks in Paris have shocked me as I am sure that they shocked the rest of the world. I hope that people of Paris remain strong and keep their friendly and outgoing attitudes.
Nous tous, nous sommes les citoyens du monde, et nous venons ensemble quand ces tragédies se passent. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes parisiens.
We are all citizens of the world, and we come together when these tragedies happen. Today, we are all Parisian.
© Oxford Tutoring 2015