Sunday, March 18, 2018

Normandy Exchange 2018: day 3: impressions of Paris and Arrival in Bayeux

This morning we left Paris bright and early to arrive in Bayeux in time to meet up with our hosts at noon in Bayeux.  Most of us slept on the bus, but as we approached our rendezvous in Bayeux, everyone woke up and began to get excited and a little nervous. Would they like their host families? Would their host families like them?  They got off the bus in some trepidation, but were very soon embracing their correspondants, with whom they have been texting for weeks.

During the bus ride, they shared some of their impressions and favorite moments in Paris:
(All except James, who was apparently asleep!)
  • One of the things I learned in Paris was how wrong my assumptions of French people were. I’ve always heard that the French are are rude and snobby, but after actually experiencing France myself, and interacting with the people, I can say that this stereotype is completely untrue. Although I’ll admit that some French people seem intimidating on the outside, the people that I talked to were very friendly and welcoming, and encouraged me to speak French to them. (Kendall) 
  • I loved sitting out eating macaroons and drinking hot chocolate while we watched the snow fall by the Arc de Triomphe (Timo) 
  • Speaking French and observing the mannerisms of the locals made it fun and easy to fit in. Being confident made all the difference as well. Being in the Louvre and seeing some of favorite works of Delacroix... I plan to go back to see every exhibit there! (Marta) 
  • I learned the influence of American culture, and how very similar our two cultures are...I liked the food, the art, and the people...a beautiful city that reflects the people that are in it. (Curtis) 
  • Eiffel Tower, cool. Stairs, rough. (Tessa) 
  • So much of the city reminded me of home, but so much was different. The streets were cleaner and the lights were brighter. Only when someone approached me speaking French was I reminded that I’m in a foreign country. (Christian) 
  • I loved watching the local people and hearing all of the talking. I loved walking past the patisseries and eating everything. Breathing in the air. (Elise) 
  • The amount of walking we've done in the past few days has been tiring, but it's definitely been worth it. The sites and views have been incredible. I particularly enjoyed walking along the Champs Elysées while it was snowing. The food has also been absolutely amazing. (Evelyn) 
  • I had so much fun with my friends in Paris! We learned that we are obviously American, but we still tried our best to speak French anyway. We also learned that they have really nice stores and shopping in the snow is not as bad as it could be. It was actually kind of fun and made for nice photos! (Jadyn) 
  • I loved shopping at the Champs Elysées. We had a great lunch at an Italian restaraunt, where we ate pizza and pasta. After that, we walked along and looked at all the fancy shops, some of which we went in. Although it was cold, the snow was so pretty to see since we haven’t had much back in Virginia. I enjoyed seeing the louvre because I’ve always heard of it. We got to see the Mona Lisa and take a selfie with it, see the sculpture of Venus de Milo, and look at a lot of other italien and Greek art. The only problem is the museum was so big we didn’t get to see everything we wanted to. (Abby Murray) 
  • These first few days in the city of lights have been magical: seeing the Sacré Cœur covered with snow, eating amazing macarons at Laduree, getting to speak french with local Parisians... (Lilly) 
  • Although our trip to Paris was very short, I loved every moment of it. One of my favorite moments included our night visit to the Louvre where we explored the entire museum and saw beautiful, well known pieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Another favorite moment of mine included walking around the Sacré Cœurs in the snow. It had been raining all Saturday morning but halfway through the day, it started snowing! Seeing Paris in the snow made the entire city even more beautiful. (Charlotte) 
  • There is more English here than I thought. English seems to be a tiny slice of their culture. The layout of Paris reminded me of Washington DC as well. But what I love is the French architecture. Side note: The stores they have here are much better than the ones we have back home. :) (Jordan) 
  • I have really enjoyed being able to hear and speak the language so far in Paris. Also it’s been fun exploring the city, however I was in for a twist when it started snowing! Buying gloves from the Eiffel Tower gift shop was definitely a good choice! (Emma) 
  • My favorite moments of our short stay in Paris were definitely getting to see the Mona Lisa in person, and of course drinking lots of café au lait! (Abigail Hawkins)

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