It has been almost two weeks after me and my sister came back from our trip to France. It went from May 22nd to May 31st, 2012. We went with the Honors Program at Molloy College. There were 37 students and 3 professors. I thank God for keeping everyone safe and letting us have really nice weather and no trouble while we were in France. We had three main stops to stay in France. First we went to Caen; in the Normandy region (4 nights), then we went to Chartres (1 night), and finally ended up in Paris (5 nights).
First we were in the Normandy region in Caen, France. We saw some castle ruins in Caen, which are the center of Caen. These ruins were made of limestone and were amazing. There was a moat that used to surround the castle, but now it is all grass and open to the public. While we were in Caen we also saw the University of Caen, which was huge. It was kind of funny when we were in Caen because our whole group of 40 people went to a restaurant that was closing, but then they saw us and kept it open although none of them spoke English (luckily three of our people spoke a little french). When we were staying in Caen we also went to Omaha Beach where the USA marines and armies invaded on D-Day (June 6, 1947). We were actually on US territory for a little while. One of the girls on the trip found her grandfathers grave in the American cemetery. I was a little disappointed because we only spent about 45 minutes having a tour and we had no time to just walk around on our own. We also went to Rouen while we were in the Normandy region. We saw the first cathedral of our trip. It was beautiful, and like all the cathedrals there was beautiful stained glass windows and a very nice designed facade. There were many shops, so the group split up into smaller groups and we went shopping for a while. We saw where Joan of Arc was put to death, on a stake. She was accused of cross-dressing as a man. The people in charge of her trial told her to stop, but while in prison still, she was tempted by the guards and put the manly clothes on again. This is what sentenced her to death. There was also a church built in her honor, after she was dead and found not guilty.
My favorite part of the trip is when we went to Mont. Saint Michel which is an island off the coast of Normandy. There is a causeway going to this island, so it is not completely surrounded by water, but in three years there is going to just be a bridge to connect it to land, so it will be an island again. This island is unique because it has an abbey on the top and it was also a fortress. This was the only part of France that the English could not conquer. Today there are 26 people who live on this island, including; 5 monks, 6 nuns, a few storekeepers, a baby, and a young girl. This abbey also had beautiful stained glass, although it was more romaesque than most of the cathedrals which were gothic.
The last five days were spent in the fashion capital of the world, Paris. This was such a fun city. Although some parts of this city are historical, it is still pretty modern. As a group we went to see the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Conciergge, Saint Chapelle, and the Arc de Triumph. Me and my sister went with 5 other girls up the Eifel Tower the last night and it was beautiful. This is when the group was allowed to go to different locations all around Paris and shop. We also walked down champ d'alesse and walked into some shops, and we saw that they were overpriced.
Overall France was an amazing country and it was fun to think that I had went to a different country when I was still 18.