Oussama, Ice Cream, and the Army

Hello all! This is a little later than usual, but I will explain below! It is approx 9 a.m. here in Paris.  I just had some breakfast and thought that I would quickly blog before I forgot all the wonderful details of yesterday.

Napoleon's tomb, which I thought resembled a sleigh (and needed some dusting!)

After roundup, we took the metro ( yay! ) to a statue of Charles de Gaulle, one of the most influential French leaders of all time.  We had lecture, this time about the French revolution.  The whole time, I was singing songs from Les Mis in my head! Then we headed over to Les Invalides, a former hospital for army vets that was transformed into the tomb for many important military leaders, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte.  The crypt was beautiful.  Napoleon would have loved his final resting spot.  His tomb actually looked like a sleigh to me! My favorite part of the structure was by the altar.  There were huge windows of orange and amber stained glass, which made the entire section glow with beautiful  side lighting (My favorite type of light!).

Then we went to the Army museum.  It was very interesting- lots of armour, guns, and cannons.  My dad would have loved it! Hailey and I split off from the main group and found a high-tech exhibit about CDG.  It was neat.  So was the WWI/WWII exhibits.  We returned to the hotel in order to greet Dr. Oussama (oooh-sama), Dr. V’s friend from Algeria.  Laura and I helped him prepare traditional North African Mint tea.  It was delicious, and natural! Only three ingredients.  He then gave a presentation on the history of his country and how it is linked with France.  He then explained why his field, urban planing, is very important in transforming Algeria into a country of modern cities. 

My being overly excited to eat this WONDERFUL ice cream. It looks like a flower!

For dinner, Oussama to everyone to a restaurant in a Mosque.  We all had couscous.  Now, after the falafel incident, I was very nervous about eating Mediterranean cuisine again.  Much to my surprise, I loved it! It was similar to tortilla soup or gumbo.  Very delicious! We then walked to this ice cream place, not far from the mosque.  Pardon me, it was a GELATO place.  Here, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, I had the best ice cream ever. Like, ever.  They serve it like a work of art- is resembles a flower.  I had homemeade chocolate chip (I forget the long Italian name!) and Violetta.  Violetta tasted like eating a blueberry skittle in a field of violets on top of a mountain with some sparkles thrown in. Delicious.  Needless to say, I will be going back frequently.  We all returned to the hotel around 11:30- time to shower and sleep!

A suit of armour for a five or six year old, from the Army museum. Can you say time out?

Today, I need to do laundry! We are all going shopping with Maria-Theresa, Dr. V’s wonderful wife and Italian professor at CU.  Hopefully I can find a long skirt!

Love and ice cream,

Amanda

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