May 12, 2009
Editor's note: During the Notre Dame women's basketball team's 10-day foreign tour of Europe, sophomore forward Kellie Watson is filing a daily diary with Michael Rothstein of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. Following are Watson's thoughts on the trip with a link to her entry also available on the Journal-Gazette's web site.
PARIS - This morning we woke up at 7:45 a.m. to head to breakfast. After some interesting breakfast options, we met in the lobby to bus to the Eiffel Tower. As we made our way off the bus and into the line to the top of the Tower, we realized how tall it actually is. We waited in line for about 15 minutes in misting rain and fairly cold weather, but finally reached the elevator lobby in the East Leg of the Tower.
At this point, we are absolutely freaking out and hesitantly made our way onto the elevator heading to the top floor of the Tower. With each foot we accumulated as we made our way up the tower, we all began to second-guess our decisions. We walked out on to the top concourse of the Eiffel Tower and looked out over the city of Paris; it was absolutely beautiful. It was very foggy today, though, so we couldn't see the 30-40 miles out as you usually can.
We still took about a million pictures on top of the Tower, but never looked straight down. 1,083 feet is just too high for that.
After the Eiffel Tower experience, we headed to the Louvre Museum to look at some of the most famous pieces of art in history. We saw the 'Mona Lisa,' the Winged Victory sculpture, the Venus de Milo sculpture and many other amazing objects. The group broke up into smaller groups according to the different sights we wanted to see. My group went to see some of the rooms of Napoleon III's house. They were so beautiful and extravagant, it was amazing. There were huge chandeliers, little knick-knacks, and original flooring that were actually part of his home on display in the exhibit. There were so many objects encrusted in gold leaf it was unreal to think it was all done by hand, and that someone actually lived there. We then made our way into the courtyard of the Louvre, where you can find the Glass Pyramid protruding out of the concrete ground. We took a good number of pictures in front of the structure before we headed off to our pre-game meal in the Louvre cafeteria.
We were able to spend about 25 minutes on a Parisian street shopping for souvenirs and gifts for ourselves, friends and family. After our brief shopping opportunity, we made our way to the gym for our first game of the Tour. We played very well and ended up with a 77-44 victory over the French Junior National Team. They were really great girls and a good number of them understood English, which made the post-game snack a lot less awkward for all of us.
We were able to join the team in their cafeteria for some pasta and meatballs, fruit, and chocolate mousse. We shared some nice conversation about the difference in music, food, and free-time activities. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the bus to enjoy some more free time in downtown Paris. We spent our time away from the coaches with a personal team meal: a sort of team bonding opportunity. It was a great time and we really enjoyed each other's company, and, of course, the food! Our night was cut a little early, however, because of the fact that we have to leave our hotel, and sadly enough Paris, at 6 a.m, tomorrow morning.
And this is where I leave you because I have to get to bed! Overall, this was an amazing experience that none of us will ever forget. We will be forever grateful that we were able to spend two nights and two days in the City of Light!
I'll be back tomorrow!! GO IRISH!!!