This past week, I had my first in class field trips. Our first trip was with my sociology class. We visited La Place de la Republique and the surrounding area. The place is one of the few places in Paris that still has benches for people to sit on. We wandered through the 11th and 10th districts, looking out for examples of gentrification and talking about rebellion as we passed the St. Martin Canal. Our teacher was nice enough to leave us in the China Town area with many a restaurant.
The second field trip was to a First World War photography exhibition. Although I have studied the war in history class several times, this was the first time I really understood the impact it had on the cities and how new technology really affected how the war was fought. The pictures did not focus on the actual combat, but on Paris during the war, showing how people changed during the war.
The IES Abroad staff has put together several trips for us throughout our stay in Paris. One of the trips was our trip to Reims this past Friday, known for the Notre Dame of Reims and champagne. Our day began with an hour and a half bus ride, which was spent remarking on the countryside. Despite the fact that we are across the sea from the United States, the road trips look very similar, although we saw less corn than what I’m used to.
When we reached Reims, we had a guided tour of the Notre Dame. It is a pretty big church, although perhaps it is small by France’s standards. The art on the windows and the sculptures in the walls were amazing. This tour was followed by lunch at an excellent restaurant, where of course, the dessert was the best part.
After lunch, we left for the Pommery, the place in Reims where they make champagne. We had a guided tour of their caves, where they keep their champagne. It was pretty dark and a lot of people commented that if they weren’t with a group, they would panic. I really enjoyed walking around in the caves. They had some pretty excellent carvings down there that the owners put down there over a century ago. This finished our tour of Reims; we were all so tired that the bus was silent on the way back to Paris.
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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);">Hey, I'm Shreeya, a sophomore studying Biochemistry and French at Purdue University. In my free time I enjoy playing my violin, cooking, and reading just about everything under the sun. As an avid traveler, I am super excited to spend my summer in Paris and share my experience with everyone.</span></p>