Ariel in Paris #8: Catching Up

Hey everyone! Sorry I wasn’t able to get this post up last Friday, but I was in London all weekend and I didn’t have time to write the post before. Now here I am, though, and it’s time to update you all on everything at once.

It seems like a lot of my life these past couple weeks have been characterized by my desperate attempts to stay on top of all the things I have to do, or, if not, to at least not be terribly behind on those things. Thus, the title of catching up.

Every weekend for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been gone for most of the weekend on long-ish trips, which were of course awesome and I’m incredibly glad I went on them, but they also meant that I couldn’t use the weekends to catch up on homework, and instead I had to figure out times to do them during the week.

This weekend, I’m going on another trip to Marseille (actually, I will be on that trip while you are reading this), so I have to do that again this week. It doesn’t help that, on top of my regular homework for this week, I also had two different presentations on Tuesday (yesterday, as I’m writing this), and one on Thursday. I can’t speak to the one on Thursday other than to say that I haven’t really started working on it yet, but for the ones on Tuesday, I had barely any time to prepare and when I finally did them, I stumbled my way through.

I’m not especially good at prioritizing my time, especially after a non-stop three day weekend where I had to sleep on a bus on the way there and back and then still stumble my way to my classes the next day. I let some things fall by the wayside.

But enough about my struggles with school. Let’s talk about the fun stuff—my trips!

I’m going to try to go quickly because I have a lot to talk about and I don’t want this post to be a monster.

The weekend before last, on Friday, I went to the Normandy area with my school. We visited the beach and got a guided tour of a D-Day museum. We also got to see an old German bunker, just sitting there on a hill.

After that, the next day, my roommate and I spent the day in Rouen, France, which is the place where Joan of Arc was burned. We went to a museum where we saw a lot of videos detailing all the things she had done in her life, then wandered around and visited various other historical sites in Rouen. One of the great things about France is that pretty much everywhere, you can find beautiful old buildings. There’s so much history here, it’s a little overwhelming.

I spent most of Sunday just trying to catch up on homework and sleep, and then the next weekend, my roommate, a friend of mine, and I all got on an overnight bus to London. What followed was a whirlwind weekend with a lot of walking and subway riding. Over the course of the three days, we visited Big Ben (which was under contruction, so not that impressive), Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Kensington Palace Gardens, Churchill’s War Rooms, Hyde Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Portobello Road Market. There might have been more, too, but I can’t recall right now.

Granted, for most of these places it was just a quick walk by since it cost money to go into pretty much all of these places and we were broke college students with not much cash.

Here’s some pictures of our adventures in London:

It was a lot of fun, hanging out in London. It was also really nice to be able to speak English and not feel judged for once. Here in Paris a lot of people can speak English, but all the signs are still in French, and people obviously speak French to each other, and I usually try to speak French as often as I can. It was nice to be able to spend a couple of days in more familiar territory, after being away from it for so long.

Though we ran into a lot of people speaking French while we were there, too, actually.

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Okay, that’s all that I had for this update! Thanks for reading, everyone, and I’ll see you all next week!

-Ariel

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