“V” is for Versailles

VThe day before we left France was another cool and slightly gloomy day. It had poured and sprinkled off and on every day in Paris except for the first extremely hot day that we arrived. It didn’t really rain as we headed for the metro and onto a train to Versailles, however, it rained for a moment while we took shelter inside of a Parisian McDonalds.

After eating our beignets and macaroons from the French-ified restaurant, we walked down several blocks to visit Château de Versailles. It was slightly strange walking off the path of the suburban surroundings and onto the property, which once housed monarchs.

There the Palace of Versailles stood as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the “Ancien Régime” in the middle of a country village, and it continued to sit beautifully dripping gold in the wealthy modern suburbs of Paris. Continue reading ““V” is for Versailles”

“S” is for Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Palace of Versailles, Paris
Palace of Versailles, Paris

We hit the ground running after we traveled by bus from Beauvais-Tillé Airport in to the heart of Paris. We snapped our pictures under the sparkling Eiffel Tower that stood proudly against the starry sky, seen all that Disneyland Paris had to offer, saw Parisian guards in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, walked through the paths at Place des Vosges and Palais du Luxembourg, and gazed up at the gargoyles and beautiful stain glass window in Notre Dame Cathedral.

Between all the running around the group that I was traveling with, we had went from being completely confused by the Parisian metro, to mastering the city that resided underneath the surface. We were submerged in a crash course lesson of everything French. I didn’t know the language before traveling to France, but after what were most likely hours spent riding the metro; we had listened to the voice overhead announcing the stops to the point where we memorized the order of some of the places, and were taught how to pronounce them perfectly. However, for a few of us (including myself), learning how to navigate our way through the metro didn’t translate as well to the above ground city of Paris. Continue reading ““S” is for Saint-Germain-des-Prés”

But We’re In Paris #StudyAbroad

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

The glaring spots from street lights flew past me at a momentous speed. I was barreling into the darkness with a concerned look on my face. “Had I gotten on the wrong midnight train to the Pisa airport for my flight to Paris?” I had seen no one that I was supposed to be traveling with and, I was traveling to a foreign country alone, again.

I sat there in my dimly lit coach holding my backpack tight and my purse even tighter. I felt my eyelids droop a bit and was about to fall asleep when I heard a man shuffling down the aisle and into the seat facing mine. All I could thing of was, “not again.” Continue reading “But We’re In Paris #StudyAbroad”