The noble Cougars gracefully descended upon the illustrious city of Paris, their arrival orchestrated flawlessly by the wings of modern aviation on the resplendent day of Sunday, the 21st of May in the year 2023, precisely at the ethereal hour of 7:15 in the morning, adhering meticulously to the sacred chronicles of the local time. This event took place within the grand tapestry of exploration and adventure. The adventurous Cougars set off on a journey that spanned the maze-like wonders of Paris using a trinity of means of transportation: bus, underground metro and the ultimate symbol of pedestrian freedom, their own two feet. They had been taken over the infinite skies for a period of six hours.
Awe-inspiring masterpiece known as the Arc de Triomphe, a giant of architectural majesty that stood as the first milestone of their voyage, was the first landmark the Cougars encountered on their trek, and it was a solemn encounter. Their astute eyes observed the flawless craftsmanship etched onto the very stones as they entered beneath its towering arches, each detail a tribute to the great genius of earlier times.
The Cougars strolled down the famed Champs-Élysées, an avenue decorated with splendour, where a plethora of opulent shops beckoned to their senses, entranced by their surroundings. Dior, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton were just a few of the illustrious businesses that adorned this holy way, but their names rang out with a thunderous beauty.
The famed Eiffel Tower’s striking silhouette, radiant against the night sky, immediately caught everyone’s attention as the Cougars were then accidentally led to the gorgeous banks of the Seine River. Permit me to intrude with a personal observation: when seen in person, the Eiffel Tower exceeds the limitations of cinematic portrayal and reaches a level of almost transcendent beauty. The Cougars delighted in learning the treasured details that the cameras had missed, revealing the beloved secrets that gave this architectural wonder an enigmatic allure. They marvelled at the panoramic view of Paris provided by the Eiffel Tower from the Palais de Chaillot; their souls captured by the alluring symphony of Parisian splendour.
The Cougars set off individually in small groups to explore the mysterious maze that is Paris as the afternoon’s bright colours unfolded. Some of them sought shelter in the lush embrace of the legendary Champs de Mars, nestled in the embrace of the Eiffel Tower, weary from their journey from the far-off lands of Montréal. Others gave in to the draw of Parisian commerce and explored the countless shops that adorned the city, their goods serving as a tribute to the magnificence of human imagination. A small group of people chose to peruse the Musée de Rodin’s collection of artworks, which is known for being the place where Rodin himself nursed the contemplative figure of Le Penseur. The museum is situated within a lush landscape that may very well be a representation of the mythical landscape of Eden.
The Cougars finally gathered at the Jardin de Luxembourg, converging around the captivating Fountain, where miniature watercraft danced upon the tranquil waters, as dusk graced the skies. Their roving eyes came to rest upon the magnificent Sénat Palais du Luxembourg, a monument to learning and grandeur that made an everlasting impression on their enquiring minds.
By Sarah Contré