Grand Finale

June 14, 2019

Sign in the Bletchley Park railroad station

This morning we caught the train to Bletchley Park for the final full day of our study abroad program. Classified top secret until the 1980s, this was where thousands of men and women worked to decipher secret messages during World War II.

Rachael teaching us about the history of Bletchley Park
Jessica trying her hand at deciphering coded messages

Amazingly, the entire complex was nearly torn down a couple of decades ago to make war for a new housing development. Thankfully, the protests from veterans and others who worked here stopped the bulldozers, and led to the creation of this living museum.

Realizing that the best way to defeat the German Enigma machine was…with another machine, mathematician Alan Turing led a group of people who constructed the Bombe. The Bombe was an early computer that could check millions of possible ciphers, and eventually led to the Allies deciphering thousands of important German messages.

Despite his remarkable mathematical work, both during war and peacetime, Turing was persecuted by the British government for being a homosexual. In the 1950s he was forced to choose between imprisonment and chemical castration. He chose the latter. A few years later, he was found dead of cyanide poisoning in his home.

After these sobering reminders of how mathematics, history, and culture all intertwine, we headed back to London for a farewell dinner.

Spartans go to England

A Cambridge University Prospective Student Tour ;)

June 13, 2019

The early morning train ride out of London was relaxing enough. We had an early morning start, but we’re used to that by now. We ate toast and did crosswords (an ideal combo), and it was over before we knew it. We got off the train, hopped on a bus, and shortly after, we arrived at Trinity College, one of the 31 colleges that make up Cambridge University. There, Dr. Edwards gave the most moving lecture we’ve heard in these three weeks. He told us about Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematician who had to overcome great challenges to accomplish great things. With little formal mathematical training, he was invited to study at Cambridge, where his genius both astonished, and frustrated, his collaborators. He was also the victim of poor living conditions and diet, isolated from his family back in India, and often sick. Despite his circumstances, though, he was able to make some of the most innovative and creative mathematical discoveries of the 20th century. His mentor, G.H. Hardy, went from being frustrated with his protégé, to developing a deep friendship and respect for Ramanujan. When Ramanujan finally achieved a fellowship at Trinity, he decided to return to India to see his family. Hardy asked him to return to Cambridge soon, but this would be the last time the two men would ever see each other again. Shortly after Ramanujan arrived back home to India, he died at the age of 32 from complications of the illness he developed during his studies.

After the lecture, we were met by our tour guide, Ellie, who showed us around the chapel, grounds, and student buildings of the university. It was all stunning, and we were in awe of the fact that students just like us (?!) get to go to school there. Of course, we all agreed that we wouldn’t dream of leaving MSU- we could never chose the River Cam over the Red Cedar.

Following the tour, our group parted ways to go find lunch and shop around the small town for a little while. Most of us ended up buying nearly the same sweatshirt independently, which was a funny coincidence to discover while we were waiting for our next tour guide, Tony.

Tony was about 300 years old and I was afraid his pacemaker would give out at any second. He spoke in facts and jokes and was not about to let anyone’s attention drift. We went to The Eagle, which was the bar where Watson and Crick announced the discovery of DNA. We also saw the chapel at King’s College, which quite honestly, is a FEAT of architecture, and Tony told us the story behind every last carving that adorned the walls.

After we parted ways with Tony, most of the group headed back to London to get out of the cold and rainy weather. Five of us didn’t quite want to leave, and opted to take a later train so we could enjoy the town a little more. We had a stroke of luck and were given free crispy sweet waffles from a stand that was closing for the day, fresh fudge samples that were given out by some enthusiastic (and maybe a little too generous?) employees and spent a fair amount of time at Mr. Simm’s Olde Sweet Shoppe. We finished off our day in Cambridge with a successful quest for a new rain jacket, a trip to a music store where I could listen to my talented friends poke away on their favorite instruments, and an impromptu (and unsuccessful) trip to the casino.

The weather in the old college town was windy, cold, and rainy all day long. Though you might think that would make for a gloomy day, morale was high, and it was easily one of the best days we’ve had together. I think I can speak for all of us when I say Cambridge enveloped us in its charm, and honestly, I’d be lying if I said a few of us didn’t take a peek at their graduate programs.

We can warm up during our free day tomorrow, and hopefully we can soak in every last bit London has to offer tomorrow and Friday as we wrap up our whirlwind adventure!

A Day Full of Royalty


“Nullias in verba”
“Take nobody’s word for it”

-The Royal Society

Our first stop of the day was to the current headquarters of the Royal Society located at Carlton House Terrace. Founded in 1660, the Royal Society has been a place of exploring science through experimentation and was responsible for the first scientific journals (Philosophical Transactions). It currently has over 1600 members and elects 50 new ones every year based on scientific merit. The first meeting of the Royal Society was led by Christopher Wren and they discussed their goals for the society. Many famous scientists and mathematicians have been members, including Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking. During our visit, we had the opportunity to see many amazing texts and documents, such as the manuscript and first edition of Newton’s Principia Mathematica, notes from the first meeting, Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, and some of Boyle’s first designs for air pumps.

The famous flea drawing from Hooke’s Micrographia

Our next stop for the day was St. Paul’s Cathedral, but on our way a few of us decided to take the scenic route. We stopped by the New Scotland Yards and got a beautiful view of the London Eye from across the river.

Upon arriving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, we headed straight for the dome. After all, would we wouldn’t be in a new city if we didn’t climb another dome/tower! Similar to Brunelleschi’s Duomo, the dome at St. Paul’s Cathedral had multiple layers (3 in this case) to support its structure. And its designer, Christopher Wren, used a catenary curve design to create the most stable dome. Only 10 ft shorter than Brunelleschi’s dome, we hiked our way up all 528 steps with ease compared to our first climb!

Wren’s design for the catenary curve dome of Saint Paul’s Cathedral
The view of London from the top of the dome at St. Pauls Cathedral

We then made our way through the Cathedral, embracing its beauty and history. The American Cathedral, which is part of the larger Cathedral, was named in honor of all the Americans that died while serving in British territory during World War II. They even have symbols representing each of the 50 states in the stained-glass windows.

Our final stop in the cathedral was through the crypts, where we visited the tombs/gravestones of Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke.

After the cathedral, some of us headed over to the British Library to take a look at the Treasures Room. Even though there weren’t any pictures allowed, we were able to check out some original pieces of music from artists like Mozart and The Beatles, see amazing documents like the Magnet Carta, and even letters written by Ghandi.

Exploring London has been fun, but tomorrow we will venture outside of London to visit the university and town of Cambridge!

Museum Monday!

June 10, 2019

We started our rainy day in London with a double-decker bus ride to the British Museum. We received very special behind-the-scenes access to ancient mathematical tablets with our delightful guide, Christopher Walker. We had the privilege to see ancient Babylonian and Assyrian mathematical tablets and get a glimpse into their numerical system. We also got to explore the rest of this amazing museum.

After a quick lunch break, we went to the Science Museum. We went straight to the Mathematics Gallery of the museum and heard a quick informative presentation from our own Devin. We learned a lot about the Difference Engine, the Analytical Engine, Charles Babbage, and Ada Lovelace (daughter of the Romantic Age poet, Lord Byron!). We then got to see explore the museum the rest of the museum and see a lot of cool exhibits, such as Watson and Crick’s DNA model, the German V2 rocket, and many other cool interesting things!

After our day at the museums, we got to enjoy an afternoon tea at the Saatchi Gallery. We got to enjoy fancy English tea with plates and plates of scones, sandwiches, and desserts.

We’re on London time now!

June 9, 2019

Hello everyone! Today was our first full day in London, and we jam-packed it with tons of activities.

Going Underground in London

We started our day by using the Underground for the first time. It is a system of subways that run underneath the streets of London. It’s a bit more complicated than the metros in Paris, and a few of us almost didn’t make it onto the tube, but we managed to make it work.

The Monument: designed by Robert Hooke

When we exited the underground we just happened upon The Monument. It was built in 1671-77 to remember The Great London fire of 1666. Also, there is a secret observatory at the top that Robert Hooke would use to look at the city and the stars.

Our first stop was the Tower of London. It is a castle from the medieval times, however it was built in stages. The original tower in the middle was completed in the year 1066! The castle holds the Royal Armory and the Crown Jewels. Photography of the Crown Jewels was not allowed, but I’ll try to tell you about a few. Of course there were multiple crowns from different monarchs, which were very beautiful, however what caught my attention was the salt shaker. Yes, the salt shaker. It looked more like a small model of a castle, and that is what I thought it was until I read the description. Also, the punch bowl, that is closer to the size of a birdbath, can hold 140 bottles of wine.

While we were waiting in line to get into the tower, we had a lovely site presentation from Jessica Ranshaw. She gave us some history on the tower, which included the fact that it saw twenty-two official executions, and is known for its infamous ravens. The tower is required to have six ravens, with one spare, at all times. They all have names, my two favorites are Errin and Gripp. After we looked at the Crown Jewels, Dr. Edwards gave us a crash course on the history of England between 1600 and 1727, and we learned about Isaac Newton and his work as Master of the Mint. Newton realized that people would shave little bits silver off of the coins, enough so that nobody would notice, and when they gathered enough silver they would make more coins. Isaac decided that all coins should be ridged so that it would be noticeable if somebody shaved it. He also would execute people if he caught them trying to counterfeit money; he took his job very seriously.

We then split up into smaller groups to explore the castle a bit more. A few of us ended up going inside the tower itself to see the armory. The top of the tower isn’t open to the public, however the first few floors and the cellar are filled with amazing weapons and armor, so it is worth the visit. There were complete sets of armor for Henry VIII and partial sets for some of the older kings. The top floor we were allowed to see was full of interactive games. One took you through the process of putting on a suit of armor while another simulated shooting arrows at a target. Also the basement was full of canons, one of which was lost in the ocean for over 300 years!

After a quick lunch, of which most of us got fish and chips, we took a river bus to Greenwich, pronounced GREN-ich. It was only a twenty minute trip, but the views were very nice.

After a pretty rocky docking experience, we got off the river bus and walked through the streets of Greenwich until we reached the Maritime Museum. We hiked up the hill to the Royal Observatory. Instead of looking around right away, we stopped and appreciated the view, which as you can see was so beautiful.

The first exhibit we looked at was the Camera Obscura. It is a picture in real time of the Queen’s House at the bottom of the hill. It uses mirrors to reflect light into a pinhole that opens into a dark room where the picture is projected. It is so accurate it is almost like watching a very dim movie. We then moved on to looking at the previous and current instruments that measured the location of the prime meridian; the one we currently use today is the Airy Transit Circle, however there were two others before it. Each time a new instrument was used, the meridian line would move a little bit more toward the east. This was not because the line was moving, but because we were just getting better at measuring it.

Me, standing on the Eastern and Western Hemisphere at the same time
Anya, checking to see if her foot measures out to one foot (it was too small)
Interactive exhibit in the Time and Space section

We then stepped into the Time and Space exhibit to learn about the process of creating a clock that measured time accurately. Galileo, as you may recall from our visit to Pisa was one of the first people to come up the with the idea for a Pendulum clock, and Christiaan Huygens actually built one. However, the pendulum clock would not work well at sea. This made it difficult to navigate a ship accurately, as knowing what the time is back in London was key in determining latitude. John Harrison created the sea watch to solve this problem. Within the exhibit, there is a wall dedicated to people telling personal stories about when time stopped for them. Some were very sweet, like when someone asked them to marry them, while others were more gruesome; a few people wrote about how time seemed to stop when someone they loved almost drowned.

We also spent some time thinking about what the “Longitude Problem” of today would be. World-wide access to fresh drinking water? Stopping resistance to antibiotics? Restoring movement to those with paralysis? Transportation, such as flight, without damaging the environment? Maybe there’s another John Harrison among us!

Lastly, we walked back down the hill to visit the Maritime Museum. We were all exhausted from our long day at this point, but we still tried to look around. My favorite exhibits were the Great Map, Miss Britain, and the battle ship King George V. The Great Map was just so cool to look at, as you could walk on it and look at the continents up close. The Miss Britain was the first boat to go faster than 100 mph in salt water, however it was beaten by Miss America X in a race in 1933. I really enjoyed looking at the battleship because it was so detailed; every propeller, pump, staircase, and window was perfectly to scale.

That is not Dr. Edwards in disguise in the back row.

Next, we are going to British Museum and the Science Museum, along with afternoon tea at the Saatchi Gallery. See you all tomorrow!

A Louvre-ly Day

June 7, 2019

We began our last full day in Paris at the Louvre museum. Luckily enough we has an “late” start so we could enjoy our hotels for that much longer.

The weather was windy and a bit rainy all day, making it perfect for an indoor art museum visit.

Entrance to the Louvre

Once we were past the iconic glass Louvre pyramid we were off to see what the museum had in store. Dr. Edwards could tell by our constant chatter that we wanted to see the Mona Lisa. So, he took us there first!

For anyone who hasn’t seen it in person, it is not as large as you think it is. Of course it is an artistic and even mathematical masterpiece but if you hype up yourself too much it might be a bit disappointing. Regardless, it was a fantastic experience that only happens once in a lifetime.

Me, Mikayla, Rachael, and Devin in front of the Mona Lisa

From there we began our assignment. We were to find five separate paintings which represented different eras, the Enlightenment and the Romantic Age. Once found, we had to describe and compare them to each other. It was interesting to see how differently visions could change based on what historical time you belong to.

The tribute of one Romantic Age artist (Delacroix) to another (Chopin)
A sweet break from seeing all the great art

After we were completed with our assignment we had the rest of the day to ourselves. Some went back to our hotel to nap and pack, others went to other landmarks, and then my group went out to eat and do some last minute shopping.

I have to say, my last lunch in Paris was phenomenal. It was a sort of beef stew exploding with flavor. My roommate got a pasta dish and it was so good, someone who was saving money to buy some gifts bought the pasta dish instead.

The BEST beef stew!

Before that, our group went to Ladurée to buy some of the best macrons in Paris. I tried almost every floral flavored one there expecting them to taste bad but alas, that was impossible.

Macrons and coffee, a relaxing last day.

With lunch and shopping complete, we went back to the room to pack, nap, and get ready for our farewell dinner. We dressed up nicely and enjoyed some porkchops, salads, and flaming crêpes. Dr. Edwards told us about the life and times of Evariste Galois, a mathematician who discovered which equations are solvable and which aren’t. Galois was a tragic figure who embodied the ideals of Romanticism. We had read selections from “Duel at Dawn” by Amir Alexander prior to our travels, and Dr. Edwards even had us listen to music by Chopin to help us better understand the cultural differences between the Enlightenment and Romantic Age.

Paris was an amazing and fantastic adventure. One that I would love to go on again. Hopefully I can look forward to that and create some new memories.

Until then, au revoir Paris! ‘Ello London!

One of Paris’ many roads dedicated to mathematicians

Gone Gardening

June 6, 2019

I have found a great number of exceedingly beautiful theorems!

 – Pierre de Fermat

Today we went to Versailles! We coursed our way through some confusing train stations, but made it to the city of… gold! We tried to beat the line, but people gravitate towards shiny things! That’s ok, we made it to the golden gates and into the Château in no time! Fun fact (Via Shanna Hilborn): the difference between a Château and a Palace is what surrounds the structure. The first is in the country side while the latter is in an urban setting. Technically, Versailles was once a Château but is now a palace due to the bustling town surrounding it.

Upon entering, we coursed through lavish hallways, seeing memories of luxurious lives of the past. Each room was covered in plush velvet and master paintings. It turns out the Palace always looked like this; the goal was to make each room reflect a museum. This made it seem almost unlivable, I couldn’t picture living there, everything was for show. We learned about Louis XIV’s ceremonial life. He had ceremonies for everything- including going to bed. We saw his ceremonial bed chamber; here, he would undress and wash (as nobles would fight to hold candles for him) and get into bed for an audience. When he “fell asleep” he would walk to his actual bedroom to sleep. I’m not sure if he had a waking ceremony, but I don’t doubt it knowing his habits and desire for attention.

We reflected on how society worked when Louis XIV was reigning. The Château became the hallmark for luxurious parties. Smart on the King’s account, he invited all of the nobles to live at his estate, and flooded them with entertainment. He filled his estate and gardens with artists, musicians, a theater, an opera, gondolas, and even a private zoo full of exotic animals. Why? If his nobles are distracted, they are happy with him and unproblematic in diplomatic situations. Louis XIV had the nobles in the palm of his hand. Unfortunately, the peasants (and most of the population that wasn’t rich and living for free) were uneasy. The French Revolution was a large consequence of such uneven distribution of wealth and the consequent debt of the country.

Aside from politics, we found some interesting connections to the history of mathematics at Versailles. A common part of daily life in those days was gambling. It may have even been a favorite pastime for the nobles, but it was also a clever way for the King to control them further (living for free and owing him money?!). There arose a problem, when people found that a game was interrupted. When people were playing games of chance, and the game ended, what happens with the winnings? This became the famous “problem of points.” How do you distribute winnings in an unfinished game of chance? The answer to this problem was discovered (along with many foundational ideas in probability theory) by Blaise Pascal, and Pierre de Fermat through an exchange of letters. Their work led to what is now modern statistics and probabilities.

After a tour of the Palace and grounds, we split our separate ways to explore the surrounding city… or more gardens (there’s more than eight hundred hectares of gardens!). Here are some pictures summarizing the day.

A Model Layout of the Palace and Grounds

Its Called the Napoleon Complex for a Reason

June 4, 2019

“M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator!” – Napoleon Bonaparte

            “Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis.” – Pierre-Simon Laplace

Group photo outside Le Hotel des Invalides

Day three in Paris found us visiting the tomb of Napoleon. His final resting place is in the Hotel des Invalides, a former home of a wealthy family and also a makeshift barracks for the Nazis during World War II. Now it houses an enormous casket holding Napoleon. There is no way even a normal sized person would need a casket this big, and Napoleon is infamously short (5’7″ but the British spread propaganda about his stature). Then we found out he was cremated! Why would anyone need a casket this large?

Napoleon I’s enormous tomb in Le Hotel des Invalides

While we were there, Dawson gave a short presentation on Napoleon’s life.

Then Dr. Edwards discussed some connections with the history of mathematics. Under Napoleon, several mathematicians were appointed to help run the empire. These included Fourier, Monge, and Laplace, who all contributed to French warfare and politics as well as mathematics and science. We discussed the mathematics of warfare, and the attempts of Napoleon, Monge, and Fouier to establish an Egyptian Institute. We also learned about Laplace, and his work on celestial mechanics.

One of the many murals surround Napoleon’s tomb. This one shows his respect for mathematics. Fourier, Monge, Laplace, Lagrange, and other mathematicians are seen here.

After Les Invalides, we went to what Dr. Edwards called the best view in Paris: the Arc de Triomphe. Made by Napoleon to fuel his ego, it stands in the middle of the Champs-Elysee. We climbed up and were not disappointed with the Parisian skyline.

“The best view in Paris” – Dr. Edwards
Group photo at the base of the Arc de Triomphe

Next, we visited the Musée de Arts and Métires, a science and technology museum. It housed tools used by scientists and craftsman, along with showing the progression of industry and transportation. Devin was really excited to see a weaving machine and described how, because it used punch-cards to help mechanize the weaving, it was a precursor to the modern computer. The museum also houses Pascal’s first calculating machine, and some cool models of quadric surfaces, among many other objects!

Devin with a jacquard loom that Ada Lovelace was inspired by when designing the analytical engine
Hyperboloid of one sheet

After this, we were free to do whatever we wished. A small group of students went to lunch for a delicious meal of Filet and amazing dessert. I had my first genuine french creme brulee! Then we went to the Picasso Museum to see some of the Cubist’s work and the work of others. It was certainly different than the Renaissance art we were used to.

Alexander Calder – Seven Black Red and Blue
Work by Picasso

Tomorrow is our free day in Paris. Some of us plan on seeing the Catacombs, others want to go to Montmarte, and some of us want to have a nice, relaxing day in the city. Au Revoir!

We Were DYING to See More of Paris!

“It matters little who first arrives at an idea, rather what is significant is how far that idea can go.”

– Sophie Germain

June 3, 2019

Our second day in Paris embodied a very different tone than yesterday. Our first destination was the Pantheon, a place built with the intention of being a church. However, it was transformed into a temple representing man’s kind ability to reason and the ideals of the Enlightenment. Many famous philosophers and mathematicians from this era are buried there, such as Joseph Lagrange, Gaspard Monge, Marquis de Condorcet, Lazare Carnot, Voltaire, and Rousseau. It was an eerie feeling to walk among the tombs and spirits of some the Enlightenment’s greatest thinkers. But hopefully some of their knowledge rubbed off on us! 

Brielle Komosinski giving her site presentation on the steps in front of the Pantheon
“Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Our next stop for the day was to visit two homes of mathematical importance that still stand in France. The first was the hideout of Condorcet, who was forced into hiding for refusing to give up on his beliefs during the Reign of Terror. His story of capture is an interesting one. While on the run, he was staying at an Inn and asked how many eggs he wanted in his omelette. Since he was a noble, he was never asked such a question, and responded with 12 eggs. This ridiculous request alarmed the Inn keepers and Condorcet was discovered and sentenced to execution. But being in front of that house really made us think about how we would react in a situation that questions our morals and values. 

The second home we visited was that of Sophie Germain, a female mathematician during the Enlightenment who, despite the odds and all the barriers she faced, was extremely influential in the field of mathematics and in the construction of the Eiffel Tower. She used an alias to hide her gender so she was able to communicate with other mathematicians of the time. She even saved Gauss’s life during France’s invasion of Germany!

Following our humbling experience at Sophie Germain’s home, we made our way to the Conciergerie, where many many famous but also innocent people were held, awaiting their execution by guillotine (including, ironically, the leader of the Reign of Terror, Robespierre himself). In the afternoon we took the extra time to catch up on some work and visit some more museums.

For dinner, some of the group had the opportunity of meeting up with another student on a different Lyman Briggs study abroad with Dr. Parks on the History of Medicine. It was exciting to see fellow Briggs students abroad and since he has already been in Paris for 2 weeks, he was able to provide us with some tips on good places to eat and see.  

Tomorrow we will continue to walk among the spirits of famous historical figures when we visit Napoleon’s tomb!

Ei-ffel for Paris!

June 2, 2019

“Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.”

– Rene Descartes

Today was our first full day in Paris, and it was quite the eventful one! We started the day early by heading straight to the Eiffel Tower. This was one of the times when we had to buy our tickets the day of. While we expected the worst in terms of long lines and wait times, the line actually wasn’t too bad, though, the top summit was not open for tourists to climb. And it certainly was a hot one, reaching temperatures well into the 90s. Perfect for a climb!

While we were waiting in line, we had a convenient lecture on the mathematical connection to the Eiffel Tower. Many do not know, but on the Eiffel Tower are the names of 72 mathematicians and scientists. Some of which include Lagrange, Laplace, Monge, Cauchy, Navier, Carnot, etc. All of these people’s mathematical work contributed to the building of the Eiffel Tower. However, we learned that there is someone’s whose name is not there that should be. That person is Sophie Germain. All the mathematicians who are featured on the Tower are men. Sophie Germain, a woman, was not featured, though she contributed greatly to the structural stability of the Tower.

We were next in line buying our tickets when the ticket vendor gets a call. She tells us that the top summit is now open for climbing—we were the first people of the day that were given ticket access to climb to the top of the Tower. How lucky! Though the stair climb of the first two landings were tiring, we were definitely ready for it given our practice at the Duomo and the Bell Tower. After we reached the second landing, we took the lift up to the top. Naturally, we spent a lot of time capturing the amazing Parisian views and being group photographers.

Once we have all taken in the beautiful views from the Tower and had finished our multiple photoshoots, we were ready to move on to the next part of the day: visiting René Descartes tomb in the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

We picked up food at a lovely boulangerie. We picked up lovely sandwiches and croissants and brought it to our picnic in the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. After a quick bite, we had a scenic lecture about René Descartes: he connected geometry and algebra, as well as math and philosophy. Sure, he got bogged down in all that “how can we really trust what we know stuff”, but so did Bertrand Russell, as we also learned.

I think.

This concluded our course portion of the day: now we had the afternoon free to do whatever we wanted. Some of us went back to nap or get some work done, but others used this time to further explore the city. A few of us went to the Tuileries Garden and the Musée de l’Orangerie. We got to see more beautiful gardens and amazing artwork by famous artists such as Matisse, Monet, Picasso, and many others.

We split for dinner and reconvened as a group for a Seine River Cruise Tour in the evening. This ride was absolutely stunning. We got to see many important monuments along the cruise including Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, etc. After the beautiful ride, half of us went to take stunning pictures with the lit Eiffel Tower and the other half went to get tasty gelato. Overall, a successful and fun first day in beautiful Paris!