Week 9

WORD OF THE DAY: époustouflant- mind-blowing, shocking

I haven’t posted last week’s blog yet! We’ll have to rectify that immediately, won’t we? Let’s talk about the Skidmore weekend trip.

This past weekend, everyone on Skidmore in Paris, both from the French Studies Center and the Business School, had the opportunity to go on the Skidmore-run, weekend trip to Brittany.

I woke bright and early, Friday morning, to join my friends in catching the TGV train from Paris to Saint Malo.

The train ride was very comfortable and quick, as we took the TGV. Most of the others slept, but I was too excited to sleep. After a 2.5 hour train ride, we arrived in Brittany! We opted to walk to our hotel, and got a great view of the city on the way. Saint Malo was primarily a fishing town for a long time. The most interesting thing I remember learning on our walking tour of the city was that children there have to take sailing and swimming lessons in school from 5th grade onward. This is important because the waters surrounding the city are very dangerous. At low tide, you could walk all the way out to neighboring communities on smaller islands, at high tide, it was as if the beach had never existed. Normally, the water level rises about 35 meters during high tide, and it rises about 80 meters during hurricane season! Sometime after the walking tour, we all went to get dinner and wandered around a bit.

We woke up early the next morning to catch our private bus (there were nine of us, by the way, including the teachers) to the monastical city of Mont Saint-Michel. I’d include pictures, really, I would, but for some reason, I’m having trouble uploading any pictures. My first impression was that the city looked like the setting for a new Series of Unfortunate Events book.

 

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I found a loophole! This was copied and pasted from my facebook page. Isn’t this place cool? The big building on top is the abby. The first thing we did when we arrived was a visit to the abby, complete with audioguides. We even got our audioguides in english! (shhh don’t tell Skidmore.)

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Everyone was very excited all weekend to be by the sea. I know, it doesn’t sound that exciting at first, but imagine being in a city as industrious as Paris for as long as we have, and you can see how excited we were to breath some fresh air and feel the sea breeze on our faces. But anyway, after exploring the abby, we wandered around a bit until we found a tiny crêpe restaurant above a souvenir shop. We got there just in time, and got to enjoy our crêpes while the line to get in kept getting longer. I got a crêpe flambée, which I think I’ve only had once before here in Paris, and it was so cool to see the server set my dessert on fire!

After lunch, we wandered around a bit more before heading to the base of the city to meet our program leaders, Andrea, for the French Studies Center, and Michael, for the Business School. We enjoyed a pleasant, if rather long, walk back from Mont Saint Michel to the bus, which we then took to Dol en Bretagne in order to take the TGV back to Paris. We arrived far too early for our train, so we all wandered into a pleasant town that I’d never heard of before that day, and enjoyed hot chocolates and each other’s company before it was time to head back to the train station.

I adored this trip. I loved being by the sea, and, most importantly, getting to spend time with my fellow Skidkids. In a program filled with people from all over the US and beyond, it’s nice to take some time to bond with the people you came here with, and to talk about life back at Skidmore. This trip also reminded me how much I’d like to continue exploring France. I did most of my travelling last semester within Italy because I wanted to explore it thoroughly while I was there. I’d like to do the same for France.

Now to contradict myself completely, thursday marks the beginning of our five day spring break! I will be heading to the south of Spain to visit a friend, and I’ll talk about it next week.

À bientôt,

Elizabeth

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