Tournee En France: Days 3&4
It has been a crazy and wonderful two days here on The Roberts Chorale's Tournee En France!!! We've embarked on so many incredible adventures that I scarcely know where to begin this recap.
Before I continue telling you all about our tour, I wanted to take a small chunk of this post to recognize the Hossack family. They have helped us enormously; from translating our programs, cooking our food, helping us navigate the French Metro, and so much more; the Hossack family has dedicated much of their time and resources to help us be successful and spread God's light on this tour. We are forever indebted to them for providing us a life-changing experience and helping us spread the message of the Gospel to all!
Now, for the recaps! Tuesday started with an incredible breakfast of croissants, baguettes, cereal, and fresh orange juice. We ate quickly and set out for our first activity of the day: a concert at the American Cathedral in Paris! The space was beautiful and so resonant. Sometimes, after a particularly poignant moment, you could almost feel the final chords wafting from the space up to heaven. It was a breathtaking experience. We also had the privilege of premiering "Esaie", a piece commissioned for the Chorale and written by our very own Dr. Barta! The audience, comprised mostly of Americans and other English-speaking ex-patriots, was incredibly responsive and it was a joy to sing for an audience who loved Jesus just as much as we do.
After our concert, we head back to the FIAP hostel for a quick lunch before proceeding to Notre Dame. It was a difficult but important experience; we were supposed to sing at the Notre Dame (as opposed to the American Cathedral). However, many of our Chorale members found the structure to still be amazing, despite the heartbreaking reality of the Notre Dame fire.
After Notre Dame, we had free time! Our members dispersed and explored all over the city; but most went to the island of Saint-Louis near the Latin Quarter of Paris (where Notre Dame is located). They went shopping, ate ice cream, and had a grand old time. Then, we all had a fantastic Parisian dinner! There was salad, steak, and even escargots (which, by the way, tastes pretty good!). Finally, some of our members spent the finals hours of the evening at the Eiffel Tower lights show (and Dr. Barta got some really cool pictures of the Tower!).
After a short sleep, we set out again today (Wednesday) for Rue de Rivoli, Paris and the Palace of Versailles. In Rue de Rivoli, we visited the outside of the Louvre and spent some time wandering around the city. It was wonderful to drink in the sights of Paris and experience some of the quieter, less tourist boroughs of Rue de Rivoli. Some of us even visited an authentic Parisian Boulangerie! There were macarons, madelins, and the best espressos we've ever tasted! We also got a close-up view of the beautiful River Seine that runs throughout the city of Paris. It was a wonderful morning and the perfect way to conclude our stay in Paris.
Finally, we spent the afternoon at the Palace of Versailles. Built by Louis XIV in 1682, this palace stands as an ode to opulence and was a fantastic glimpse into the past. We enjoyed seeing the palace, taking pictures in the gardens, and even looking at the beautiful items in the gift shop. It was a magical experience and one of many highlights of this trip.
Special thanks to Katie Briggs O'Donnell, Lauren Holland, Luke May, and Professor Julie Runion for sending us encouraging messages! If you would like to contact the Chorale while we are still on tour, you can do so through the "Contact" box on our homepage or through our instagram/facebook direct messages (both are @therobertschorale). Also, shout out to Megan Tatro, Evan Bleiler, Sarah Thomson, Julia Steidle, Rebecca Mugnolo, Orlando Boxx, Dr. Barta, and Dr. Potter for providing us with the photos in today's post!
I will see you all soon with another recap.