With everyone (sans Cliff) finally assembled in Paris, it was time to split up and enjoy some freedom! And so, while Michał and Naomi explored Versailles (which, unfortunately, looked better in the pictures than it did in real life – seems like it has been a hot summer!), Lena and Bowe went to Saint Chapelle and to a Gustav Klimt immersive modern exhibit that Sarah researched a few weeks earlier.
Keane went to the Louvre, and while waiting for the museum to open, he spied a familiar looking group and ended up talking story to with a family from Maui! He spent 3 hours taking in the stupendous collection. He especially enjoyed seeing the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory in person.
In the meantime, Scott and Marcus traveled back in time in an antique car ride around Paris and – allegedly – were received like celebrities (that they, beyond any doubt, are in their own right) everywhere they went!
In the evening, Bowe, Lena, Scott, Marcus, and Naomi attended a choral concert at the Cathedral de Notre Dame – Clare College Choir from Camrbidge and the Notre Dame choir (La Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris) joined for a double choir performance of various works – Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, Elgar’s Lux Aeterna, and Tippett’s Five African-American Spirituals. The concert was phenomenal – Naomi, who had to study Rejoice in the Lamb for her graduate auditions, believed it was one of the best choral performances she attended.
The group then met up with the three musketeers, Karol, Michał, and Keane at Fréd and Georges’ apartment – just a 15 min walk away from the cathedral – for an apéro-dîner (pupus) and drinks. We all enjoyed a variety of meats, cheeses, and an AMAZING butter from Normandy. Georges’ special of the night was a fancy Martinique rum and lime drink, which Bowe and Naomi especially liked. As usual, Fréd and Georges have been amazing hosts and have outdone themselves yet again!
Some of us (the usual suspects) stayed till almost midnight, and barely caught the very last metro home! Although we were prepared to walk through the entire city, we were glad it did not come to that – after all, we had to squeeze in some sleep before traveling to Austria the next day.