August 22, 2010

Quinnipiac Men's Basketball In Europe: Day 8

There is so much to do in Paris that it makes it so difficult to pick what you want to do. Our tour guide, Bob, said you could see something new every day for at least two months and still not see everything. Today we had some time to see different things that we wanted to see. Myself and several players, coaches and staff, went to the garden at Musee Rudin and saw the famous statue "The Thinker." We also went to the Musee de l'Armee or the Hotel des Invalides, which was the home of Napolean's tomb. His tomb was astonishing. It was enormous. Inside the giant tomb were five caskets, one inside the other, and the last one held the remains of the famous Emperor. The former church in which he was buried was full of beautiful paintings, and statues, on the ceilings, walls and floor. Entering the level of the tomb was like entering some sort of forbidden chamber at the Hogwarts Castle in Harry Potter. Also inside the Hotel, was Napolean's son's burials, as well as displays of all sorts of weaponry and armor used at the time.

The main event today was certainly climbing the Eiffel Tower. I'm told there will be video footage, and picture proof of what may appear, to the un-trained eye, as me being slightly alarmed by the heights we were at. Let me take this moment to explain myself. I had the bejesus scared out of me. My palms were sweating like a shower head, and my knees trembled like the San Andreas Fault. In my defense, this is not like going up on top of a tall building in New York City, where you walk out onto a deck with walls to protect you. At the Eiffel Tower, everything is out in the open. It's an entirely outdoor extravaganza. You see everything. And when you get to the top, there is no wall to protect you, no enormous glass panels, there is a fence, that my dog could jump over and some wires. Coach Eaton thought it would be funny to comment on every noise the elevator made on the way up. Justin Rutty was talking about parachuting off of the top, and I'm extending my arms as far as they can reach from the wall just so I can get a few pictures of the breathtaking view from up there.

Then on the way down, when we reached the second deck (which is about a third of the way up the tower), the group I was with decided it would be best to walk down the stairs the rest of the way. Let me bring you back to when I said this was an entirely outdoor adventure. So we could see everything as we were descending. I made sure I stepped firmly on every step despite the constant ridiculing from my teammates.

At long last we stepped back on solid ground, and after all that, it was a great experience. I'm so glad we got to up there, and I would do it all again.

We capped the night off with a spectacular boat ride on the Seine River. We saw so many great parts of Paris from the river including Notre Dame cathedral, and of course the Eiffel Tower. The boat ride was concluded with a surprise ending as we floated past the Eiffel Tower just as it was illuminated for the night. It drew many "Ooh's" and "Aah's" from the crowd and was truly an unbelievable sight!

Tomorrow will be our last day in Paris, and our last day on our European Tour. We will be looking to end our tour with a win tomorrow night, and one final day of sightseeing here in France.

Until tomorrow, goodnight QU!