Mon Voyage #4: The Explorations

Hi all, welcome back to my year abroad series! The past few weeks I’ve been quite busy exploring not only Paris but also other parts of France. With travel on a national level still allowed here, it’s been a real treat to get out of the city.

 

If you read my previous article you’d know I was about to head off on a trip to Normandy the following weekend. The two-day trip itself was a very tiring one. Waking up at 6 am on a Saturday and 7 am on Sunday was certainly a struggle for my non-morning-friendly self. Yet the early starts were worth it nevertheless. We stopped off at two small towns on the way to our main destination. Firstly, to Honfleur – home to a harbour and cute townhouses that very much gave me Amsterdam vibes – and secondly to Deauville – a seaside town best known for its grand casino and American Film Festival. Both places offered different things which made for nice breaks on our journey. Eventually, we arrived in Mont Saint-Michel and finished the day by having some drinks and Dominos at the hotel. 

 

On the Sunday morning after checking out, we stopped off at a beach nearby to take in some of that fresh sea-air before continuing on to the main attraction of the trip – the Mont Saint-Michel island. If you can imagine a small (literally 0.97km) island with a monastery on it, kind of looking like a smaller version of Hogwarts, that’s the Mont-Saint Michel. As a very picturesque place covered in cobblestones and a view of the sea, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in France. Despite the actual monastery not being open to the public we still had a nice time exploring the island and venturing the endless gift shops. Honestly, though that place had a gift shop at every turn! Needless to say that after a 6-hour drive back to Paris in the afternoon, I was slumped.

 

Apart from the trip, I spent most of last week attempting to catch up on uni work and celebrating a friend’s birthday on Tuesday with a classic homemade-style Parisian brunch. It may be cliché but walking into a boulangerie to smell all the freshly baked pastries never gets old. 

 

And that pretty much summarises my recent time in Paris. With mid-terms looming it seems the next few weeks are going to require more knuckling down. One positive thing about the year abroad though, is that our grades this year don’t count towards our overall degree. Meaning I could theoretically fail my exams and it wouldn’t really matter. I’m still going to try of course, but it certainly takes the pressure off a bit. Let’s hope they all go ok.

 

My main takeaways: try to explore as much as you can. You might only be in a certain place for a certain amount of time so you may as well make the most of it when opportunities arise. Also, French Domino’s is nowhere near as good as it is in the UK.