Saturday, August 31, 2013

My First Month in France

Bonjour à tous!

We (my father and I) arrived in Paris, France on August 8th but swiftly boarded a train for Rennes, a city of moderate size in the Brittany region of France. We visited family friends, the beach in St Lunaire, and beat the jet-lag. After three lovely days in Rennes, we left for Paris to do the usual tourism! We saw the Arc du Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadero, the Louvre, the Sacred Heart basilica, the Champs-Elysees, La Defense, Notre Dame and had so much fun! I had my first real crepe whilst sitting by the Trocadero fountain watching the Eiffel Tower light up for the night. It was surreal and I can still hardly believe I am here in France. After two brief days in Paris, we headed down to Lyon, dropped off my stuff with a friend, and headed to Bad Abbach, Germany, a small village outside of Regensburg. We went for the wedding of my childhood best friend and had an amazing time. Her father gave us a full tour of the city and we had a great time catching up. From Regensburg, we came back to Lyon and I had to say goodbye and a huge thank you to my dad for helping me settle into my new home! My English-speaking self left on the plane with my dad. From then on, I have been speaking only French (very intentionally) and I am so happy with how much progress I have made even in these few short weeks. 

I've explored the city a little every day. I'm living in a rather quiet neighborhood called Monplaisir. There are grocery stores and post-offices nearby, the Lumiere brothers museum is on the next block, and there is a farmer's market in the courtyard every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I have one apartment-mate, a girl from Strasbourg who is also going to Universite de Lyon 2. I am very excited to take advantage of the opportunity to speak french all the time, but even more so to create a good friendship. It has really been nice to be here so many weeks before school starts and while most of the country is on vacation. I have been able to get so many things done! I have taken walks by the Rhone, through the Parc de la Tete d'Or, and seen the Fourviere basilica. I am looking forward to next week and the start of school.