Reflections on France

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter returning home from our study abroad trip I almost feel like a different person. This trip has changed my life and the way I view the world. I have seen how differently people live. In France the way they go through everyday life is different from the ways many Americans do. I learned so much from this trip and became so aware of the world around me. It feel completely different being in a new country where no one spoke English and where nothing was familiar, and I was amazed that there was so much history around me.

In France there was so much history to discover and even see. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe buildings there were all original and old, but of course, beautiful. I saw structures that have been around for thousands of years. Here in America most of our buildings are new and modern but in Europe they are old and full of amazing history. Being in France for three weeks taught me so much about France that I never knew before. Growing up and going to school I was never taught that much about the world around me and I was not aware about many countries unless they affected us in some way. Actually seeing the sites where history was made was unbelievable. After learning the French perspective I realized that they went through so much and lost so much in various wars, and every day it seems that they are reminded of what happened via all of their monuments and memorials.

Being in Europe for a month might seem like a long time but it went by way too fast. There is still so much I want to see and discover. This trip was the best thing I have ever done in my life, and I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of it.

My Month in Europe

IMG_0181After being in Europe for a month I have seen more and done more here than I have in my entire life. Every day was something new and different. Not only did I have an amazing time but I was also able to share this with my fiancé. Our first stop of the trip was to Frankfurt, Germany, where my fiancé has family. Then we went on to Munich by ourselves just to explore and see the sights. We stayed in Germany for a week and I absolutely loved it. The people there were so nice and his family made me feel so welcome. Although only two members of his family knew English well and the language barrier was a little difficult, I still tried my best to communicate as best as possible. [Read more…]

A Day in Versailles

IMG_0892Today we visited the Palace of Versailles. As soon as you can see the palace in the distance the first thing you spot is gold. The closer I got to the palace I noticed the building itself wasn’t the gold I was seeing but the giant gold gates surrounding the palace. The Palace of Versailles was said to have cost 2 billion dollars’ for its construction, with over a 1,000 windows and a total of 67 staircases throughout. The Palace was built in 1624 and originally used as a hunting lodge. Later it was expanded by Louis XIV in 1669. Louis XIV himself lived in the Palace of Versailles as well as Marie-Antoinette. Once you step into the front doors of the Palace the first thing you notice are the beautiful statutes within the building as well as many gorgeous paintings and immaculate furniture. IMG_0967Walking through the Palace you come across a long corridor of mirrors covering the walls from floor to ceiling with crystal chandlers as well as more gold. This long beautiful hallway is known as the Hall of Mirrors. This Hall of Mirrors is not only breathtaking to walk through but is important as well. The Treaty of Versailles was actually signed in the Hall of Mirrors. This treaty was one of the peace treaties signed at the end of World War I. It ended the war between Germany and France.

IMG_0901Behind the Palace is the Garden of Versailles. To be completely honest I was more excited about the gardens than the Palace itself. This royal garden is considered one of the most famous gardens in the world. The majority of the land is covered by finely landscaped woodland areas and several beautiful gardens with classic French style. Inside the garden there are more than 50 fountains, several statues made of marble, and flowers and trees spread throughout. Just to give an understanding of not only how beautiful this garden is, but how big, there are 200,000 trees, as well as 210,000 flowers planted annually. The gardens are definitely something that everyone should see at least once in their life. Getting to see the Palace of Versailles was an amazing experience. I have never seen anything more immaculate in my life, or more gold for that matter. But please prepare yourself for the most people you will ever see jammed together.