The City of Love and Graffiti

Next up on the European tour was the City of Love: Paris. To get there, we had to take a ferry across the English Channel. Thankfully, I don’t get seasick, so the experience was wonderful for me! We got to watch the White Cliffs of Dover fade into the distance as the ferry shuttled us towards France.

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The White Cliffs of Dover.

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The ferry was massive!

We even had dinner while on the ferry. It had an entire food court! I spent most of my time up on deck taking in all the scenery.

Once we set foot in France, we boarded another coach that would transport us to Paris. Much of the trip was spent on the bus, traveling from country to country. However, I did not mind the long drives. It gave me time to sit back, relax, and just take in everything around me. It gave me time to gather my thoughts and prepare for everything to come. Also, during the long road trips was when I really got to know my fellow students and form some wonderful friendships!

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The French countryside looks a lot like Illinois really…

My initial response to Paris was, “Wow! It is really dirty!” Everything was covered in graffiti, and I remember being slightly disappointed. I had such an idealized version of Paris I’d spent my whole life constructing that I forgot Paris is an actual city with actual people. Of course it has its dirty parts. I also remember the Paris hotel being the worst one we stayed in over the fourteen days. To get to our room, you had to use a stairwell that I swear was designed and built to star in a horror film. Plus, we had to turn on the light switches! So you could be halfway up the stairs and someone behind or above you would turn off the light! Every time we went to our room we ran up the stairs as fast as we could, so we could out of that stairwell. It was the creepiest hotel I have ever seen. Me and my roommate’s room had only one full-sized bed, and the hotel had brought in a cot for the other person. Neither my roommate or I were going to spend the night on that cot, so we ended up sharing the bed and felt much safer.

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The view from our hotel room in Paris.

Next up was a visit to Montmartre which I will cover in my next post. Au Revoir!

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