April 11th, 2017 in 2017 Spring, Wales | No Comments by
After a jam packed month filled with many weekends away, I concluded my March trips with a quick stop in Paris where I met up with my sister Hailey and my cousin Erin as they were passing through on their travels. Writing that sounds crazy, that we just “met up in Paris for the weekend,” because how often does that happen? Life is pretty cool.
Throughout the weekend we did the typical Parisian tourist activities; we walked through the Notre Dame, strolled down the Champs-Élysées, ate crepes and macaroons and drank good wine, and we saw the Eiffel tower. But I think my favorite part was just being with family. At night in our AirBnB we would play cards and chat just like we would any other time back at home, and after a few months away from home those moments meant so much.
And as for the city and Parisians, they’re a lot nicer than the stereotype suggests. We shopped at a French market one morning and all of the vendors were so kind to us. The city is dirty, as they say, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. To be honest, Cardiff is a dirtier city than Paris. Regardless, I recommend spending some time in Paris if you get the chance. There is literally nothing happier than eating a banana and nutella crepe while strolling through the Luxembourg Gardens. Although as hard as it was to say “au revoir” to the city, it was even harder to say goodbye to Hailey and Erin
Another glimpse of home I got recently was a visit from Joe—something I had been counting down the days for. On Wednesday at 2 AM I left my flat for the early bus to London, where I took a second bus to Gatwick airport. After waiting the longest 30 minutes I think I’ve ever waited, I saw Joe coming out of Arrivals and we got our movie like airport reunion. Okay that may be a little dramatic but it was so nice to see him after so long. We took a bus into the city and spent the afternoon in London. Read More »
April 27th, 2016 in 2016 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland | No Comments by
One great thing about how UCC does finals is that it includes a study break that’s at least a week long between the last day of classes and your first final. I got a break of almost two weeks– two weeks I know that I could not spend the entirety of studying. Making sure to block off two solid days before my first final to study, I planned my “study break” around Europe. Read More »
September 30th, 2015 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by
A few weeks ago my friends and I discussed wanting to go to Paris, but the flights were so expensive we worried we wouldn’t get the chance. However, after looking at flights through Ryanair we realized that we could fly cheaply to Brussels, Belgium, then take a bus to Paris for a day, returning in time for classes on Monday. As much as this was a lot of travelling (and I lost my phone in the process), I can’t stress enough how happy I am that we spent the day in Brussels. It’s not a city many people mention, but it is definitely one I hope to return to. Belgium is mainly known for 3 foods: chocolate, waffles, and beer. However, a little known fact (that I’m about 80% sure is true) is that french fries (or “frites”) were invented in Belgium! I have to tell you, I have never had better fries in my life.
The main hub of Brussels is Le Grand-Place, an area surrounded by breathtaking architecture (see the buildings below). Another symbol of Brussels is the Mannekin-Pis statue (see the small statue of the baby peeing into a fountain). All in all it was an amazing day, and I suggest a visit if you can!
That night we took a bus to Paris (about 4.5 hours) where we met up with a friend of mine from college who is studying abroad there. It was great seeing her, and she was a great guide to Paris (especially because she speaks fluent French!) We had breakfast at Cafe Angelina, a famous Cafe near the Louvre with the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Since I was mainly there to visit my friend from college, I split up with my IFSA friends who went to do the main sights of Paris while we took a walk along the Seine and in Le Marais, the Jewish section of Paris and also a big fashion district. Later we went to Les Catacombs, a museum which houses innumerable skeletons underneath the streets of Paris. It definitely made for some interesting pictures!
April 22nd, 2015 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by
Ah Paris, the city with perhaps the biggest reputation of all the places we visited, and a city I could not wait to explore. However, while the few days we were there were a ton of fun, they also unfortunately seemed to support the not-so-positive stereotypes of Paris being a difficult place to visit.
Read More »