Traveling in France

One of the best things about studying abroad is that I’ve been able to travel a lot within the country of France. As I mentioned earlier, our program started in Paris and we managed to pack so much into the weekend we were there. It seems as though you could simultaneously spend weeks there and still not see everything, but also see the whole thing in three days, which is basically what we did. Once we arrived in Nantes for our six-week program, I assumed I wouldn’t be travelling much, but I was definitely wrong. Something really great about the Pitt program is that they scheduled two excursions out of town while we’re here (and many more in town!). The first excursion was château themed and our entire class headed to the Loire Valley to see Château d’Amboise and Château Chenonceau. At Amboise we had a woman who worked for the castle give us a tour (in very slow, easy French) explaining the historical events and main attractions of the castle. One of the most interesting things about Amboise that I learned is that Leonardo da Vinci spent a lot of time at the castle and his tomb is now preserved at the castle! I preferred Chenonceau, however, because the castle was completely preserved as it was in its orginal day, whereas parts of Amboise had fallen apart during the years. Another cool thing about Chenonceau is that my grandparents visited together on an anniversary trip about ten years ago, and for some reason there weren’t a lot of people at the castle that day. When they were walking around the castle grounds, they said that out of nowhere a man and woman came riding through the castle on horseback, exactly like a fairytale and that ift felt like they were transported back to the original era of Chenonceau. I’m sure some of this was exaggerated or the memory is warped from time, but it’s a nice visual to have anyway. On the weekends that we don’t have class excursions, my friends or host family and I have been traveling to towns in the nearby area. So far, we’ve made it to Pornic and Saint-Gilles for a day trip at the beach, Serrant to visit the château, and Rennes for a weekend where we spent most of our time eating. This weekend we’re trying to take a trip somewhere as well, but it’s been difficult to plan because of the multiple strikes happening in France, but wish us luck anyway!

Clapp K 2
Château d’Amboise
Clapp K 3
A famous cookie shop in Rennes
Clapp K 1
My host mom and I at Château de Serrant