Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Final Chapter in France

It has been a week since I spent my last week in France. It has been a wild ride and I would like to thank everyone who made this trip what it was. I would like to thank Ben, Ryan, Manuel, Emily, Alanise, and Lauren for being the best group abroad I have ever had. I believe these friendships will last long after this trip is a distant memory. Each person was unique and brought me many laughs and experiences. I'd like to thank Julien and Cecilia for their input on the trip. The entire experience went fluently due to their amazing planning and they handled the responsibility of our group like it was nothing. Everyone got along so well and the trip definitely was made a million times better by the closeness of the group.

My fourth week in France was crazy! As an American, the sites of World War II are important in our and the world's history. The thought of conquering a beach at Normandy is unbelievable after you see the cliffs and how open the range is, and the American cemetery can't be described by words. It gave me chills down my spine as I walked down the rows of headstones. As a Texas A&M student, seeing a commemoration to James Earl Rudder made me proud to attend such a prestigious school. 

Le Louvre literally was a walking piece of art. I have never seen such a large and diverse collection of art. Ranging from Egyptian artifacts and Italian sculptures to the Mona Lisa and a collection of Napoleon's rooms.

The next visit was the Garden of Versailles. HOLY SMOKE!!! The Palace of Versailles was incredible but the garden really took the show for me. The garden's size was impressive by itself! Thanks to Julien's connections, we got an exclusive tour of the entire garden and its private gardens. Unluckily, it got cut short by an intense rainstorm. Almost got to experience Noah's Ark while we were there. 

If you go to France, you almost have to visit the Eiffel Tower which boasts one of the most impressive architectural designs I have ever seen in person. It even features three levels and a restaurant but I'll have to experience that another time. Here is also where I got to experience a scam firsthand. It was pretty entertaining and gave us a good laugh. It cost them 60 euros but it taught me a good lesson: if you want to prove a point, an example is a great way to get your point across. Spending a late night by the Eiffel Tower, we got to experience the celebrations by the fan zones after France won 2-0. Probably one of my favorite experiences in France. It showed despite the cultural differences and all the turmoil, futbol (soccer) unites us all. 

It gives me the feels that these good times are over, but this really was something that will stay with me forever. I would definitely recommend pursuing an experience abroad if you are interested or questioning it. It will change your life in a good way!

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