Springtime in Paris? Oui.
This past Sunday a group of Robert Morris University alumni and friends, along with President Greg Dell'Omo and his wife, Polly, embarked on a week-long, guided tour of France.
After touching down at Charles de Gaulle airport, the group headed for Lion d'Or, their hotel in the old quarter of medieval Bayeux. Then, on Monday, they boarded a private coach north to Normandy, with its soaring seaside cliffs, rolling pastures, and medieval cities. After stopping for lunch and a stroll at Rouen, the historic port on the Seine, they made for Ville aux Cent Clochers (City of 100 Belfries) where they got a chance to discover architectural treasures like Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Ouen Abbey, Palais de Justice, and the Bourgtheroulde mansion.
On Tuesday, the group toured Omaha Beach, where on June 6, 1944, the largest invading armada in history broke through the German defenses as they began their push to Berlin. The group also toured battlefields and visited Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where the remains of 9,386 U.S. soldiers now rest in peace beneath lines of marble crosses and Stars of David.
Today the group is heading to the rocky citadel of Mont-Saint-Michel, historic symbol of France. There they will climb the steep Grande Rue to the 13th century abbey that crowns the island.
Tomorrow the group will be Paris, stopping first to see the iconic water lilies at Giverny, which was once the home of the renowned Impressionist, Claude Monet.
On Friday the group will enjoy a panoramic coach tour of the City of Lights, viewing one legendary attraction after another—The Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde. Saturday, they will take a walking tour of the Latin Quarter, for centuries the heart of Parisian intellectual life and the traditional haunt of artists, poets, and philosophers. Here they will view the baroque Cathedral of Saint-Sulpice, most recently made famous in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
On Sunday, the group will visit the astonishing Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV’s unequalled architectural extravagance.
RMU’s 2011 Alumni Tour will conclude on Monday, May 23, as the group bids adieu to France and travels back across The Pond to Pittsburgh, which Post-Gazette writer Brian O’Neill refers to, appropriately, as The Paris of Appalachia.
For more photos of RMU’s tour de France, click HERE.