I have spent the past two weekends exploring this country that is my new home. I realized that France has so much to offer outside or Paris. don’t get me wrong, Paris is amazing, but every part of France is so unique and worth visiting! My parents came to visit and whisked me off the the Loire Valley. I am really glad that my dad was driving and not me because there are no lanes in Paris and people just drive wherever they want and I seriously thought we were going to die while driving around the Arc de Triomphe. Also I have no idea how to drive a manual car. We visited a couple of chateaux (castles) that were absolutely amazing. I also saw Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb, because he is buried in a castle in the middle of France! Despite the fact that it was freezing cold, the Val de Loire was beautiful and I can see why French kings decided to build their castles there. On the way home we stopped by Chartres to visit the cathedral, which is very similar to the Notre Dame in Paris. I would not recommend climbing the tower for anyone afraid of heights! I think the stairs may collapse at any minute, there were definitely large holes in them!
The next weekend, I headed off to join my parents in Alsace, the region that has been juggled back and forth between France and Germany for centuries. I heard a lot more German being spoken there than French, so I think that the Germans won that battle. We went hiking to abandoned castles in Ribeauvillé because the weather was so much nicer than the weekend before (it was actually hot!) The towns in Alsace look like they came straight out of a storybook and they have pretzels there, two great qualities that I look for in towns.
It has been a long week back in Paris! On Monday, I took my parents to my favorite crêpe stand, and we walked all over Paris. We also had dinner at the Eiffel Tower (yum!) so I got to see how beautiful Paris looks at night! The rest of my week was taken over by studying for midterms, taking said midterms, and eating lots of chocolate to make me feel better about having to take midterms when all I really want is to enjoy Paris. And tomorrow morning I am heading off to Geneva on a field trip (yeah, we take field trips to Switzerland) to visit the UN and the WTO!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Mimi Price and I am a junior at Santa Clara University where I study French, Economics and International Business. I have been looking forward to study abroad my whole life and I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to study in Paris. By the end of my program, I hope that I no longer feel like a tourist, but feel that Paris is my home. My goal is to embrace all that Paris has to offer from the language to the culture to the history. My hobbies include shopping and eating, so I think that Paris will be a good place for me!</span></p>