As part of the ASA London program, you get to go on a few day trips, and then two weekend trips of your choice built in to the cost of the program. One of the weekend trips I went on was a visit to Paris. This was awesome, because most of my friends not from ASA had to pay for the trip, so it made me realize how really awesome it was to get to go cost free!
We went to Paris in late April. After getting to King’s Cross station, we took the Chunnell to Paris. It was a surprisingly quick trip! As soon as we checked in to our hostel, my friends and I set off. After navigating the Tube, the Metro was pretty easy to figure out. We took the Metro straight to the Lourve , where we were admitted for free when we flashed our Regent’s student ID’s. After checking out the “Mona Lisa”, obviously, and some other timelessly famous art, we walked through the Jardin de Tuileries, down the Champs Elysees, and to the Arc de Triomphe. That alone is a lot of sights to take in during one afternoon! If studying abroad has taught me anything, it is how to fit a lot in to a short amount of time. We stopped and ate French macaroons and éclairs, while also buying some baguettes and wine.
The moment that you see the Eiffel Tower in person is indescribable. I saw the Coliseum in Rome, the canals of Venice, but the Eiffel Tower was by far the most breath-taking sight. We worked our way towards the Eiffel Tower. We paid to walk part of the way up, then take the elevator to the top. We got right to the top of the Tower as it got dark. For the first few minutes of every hour, the entire Eiffel Tower sparkles and lights up. We watched it from the actual tower itself, then spent the rest of the night on the Trocadero watching it in amazement. This was my most favorite part of Paris, just watching the Eiffel Tower light up while eating a baguette and drinking wine with my friends. It sounds cliché, but there is a reason people always do these things while in Paris.
The next day, we took the train from Paris to Versailles. It was really nice to get out of the “city” and to the country. The small town around Versailles is adorable and exactly what I pictured a French town to be. In Paris, most people speak English, but here they did not. There was an amazing farmer’s market that we went to and stocked up on baguette sandwiches, raspberries, cheese, and desserts. We took our food, and went to the Palace. It is an amazing place that is grander than any other building I’ve ever seen! After the tour, my friends and I ate on the grass outside of Versailles. It sounds so sophisticated! This was another moment that I loved and will remember forever.
During the rest of our trip to Paris, we went to the Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, Pere Lachaise, Montmartre and the Luxembourg Palace. I only wish that we had more time in Paris, but the time spent there was definitely the best weekend I had while studying abroad. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go to Paris with my ASA group. It made my whole study abroad experience even better.