Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Croissants galore!!!!

Well ladies and gentleman I'm officially in France! Also I officially am the slowest blogger ever! There is just literally no time for everything that I need to get done in one  day.After taking a 2 hour flight from Vienna to Paris I met up with Rachel (one of the other girls on the study abroad). Because her flight came in before mine she waited for me to get in. Unfortunately not having 3G at all, or wifi most of the time can be a bit of an issue when you are trying to meet somebody in a super duper large airport. Thankfully we figured it out and moved on to our next adventure, getting a taxi to take us to our hotel for the night. Once we found the official taxi stand the man there called one for us and it came fairly quickly. I've never really been a taxi person and have never really had the need for them, so this was definitely a new experience. I just can't believe it costs 60 euros to get somewhere....I could buy like a whole outfit with  that much money! We met up with other people from our group and set out to accomplish some of the things on our "First Day in Paris To Do List" such as take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, buy a metro map (L'indispensable) and Periscope (a weekly guide to events in Paris), and make it to the Sprengers apartment all by 6pm. It was so exhilarating to be in Paris! Dinner with them was wonderful, and the hotel was actually not too bad....breakfast was yummy but probably would have been more satisfying if Savannah and I hadn't had to rush to eat it. Basically I ate like 3 small croissants in under 5 minutes.....yep! :) Then on to the bus and our next adventures: Normandy, Mt St Michel and Saint Malo. Monday night the hotel we stayed at was not very was bunk beds in each room with the bed on bottom being twice the size on the one on top. Thanks to having a wonderful roommate (aka Savannah) we decided to just share the spacious bottom bunk. For dinner that night are options were pretty darn slim, basically McDonalds or a place called "Buffalo Grill". Guess what we chose!? If you guessed Buffalo Grill then you are right! It's pretty much like something out of the wild west, but with a bit of a French twist. Like tea at the end of dinner, and ice cream on top of a donuts  I ordered a hamburger and it ended up being the most massive hamburger ever! Definitely an interesting experience.

Monday we spent time at  the beaches at Normandy as well as the American cemetery, which was really peaceful. I've always wanted to visit there and this was such an amazing opportunity to spend time there and really think and reflect upon the sacrifices that those buried there made. I could feel the Spirit there and it was such a beautiful day that I just quietly walked around reading the names and taking it all in.

One of the beaches we visited was Pointe du Hoc, one of the more famous ones, where the Americans climbed up the cliffs. There were huge craters left from bombs, which I had heard about before we got there, but they were even bigger than I had imagined. They also had hide-ways/bunkers left over from the Germans and you could go down into some parts of them. These areas had a very scary feeling to them, but I definitely think it was still important to go there so that I could learn to really appreciate the sacrifice that the American troops made that day. Tuesday brought Mt St Michel in the morning. It was kinda foggy which  definitely added to the mystique of this castle in the distance all by itself. The monastery was built way in far away from anything else so that it could be safe and was given lots of fortifications as well.  The audio guide was in French, which can be a bit tricky with how fast they talk, but after a while I just ended up taking pictures and looking at all the amazing stained glass and gigantic fireplaces everywhere! Also it is surrounded by water/sand/quicksand/beachy areas which a few other girls and I decided to explore, it was so much fun! It was so muddy and slightly terrifying but also super wonderful!
That afternoon we got to Saint Malo, which was absolutely my favorite place ever! I could totally see myself living there. The people were so friendly and the water was so clear it was like something out of a storybook.   The city is from a Medieval fortified city so it has a wall that goes all the way around it (called a rampart) that  you can walk on and see amazing views! We stopped by a used book store and I got an old children s book in French,way cute! We stopped by the beach, ate delicious crepes, and moseyed around town for a bit. That night we met some 18 year old high school kids and talked for several hours and then got to have rides with them on their unlike me but in the name of my new years resolution I did it and it was so exhilarating! Okay so to be continued because I need to sleep! :) 


Emma Karen said...

I love everything about this post, AGAIN! Seriously, I love it so so much!

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